I have a year-old Boston Terrier and she’s so bad. She gets into everything, and I have no idea what to do. I hit her when she is bad, but it does not help. Can you help me?
I’m glad you wrote to me. It will be a real help to you to learn gentle, positive methods to train your dog.
Hitting a dog is often done out of human frustration, and it simply doesn’t work as a teaching method. The only thing it accomplishes is creating a dog who’s afraid of you, which makes her stressed and more likely to exhibit even more behavior problems. She’s only a year old, so please contact a trainer who uses positive reinforcement to work with you and your Boston Terrier, teaching you the skills needed to greatly improve your relationship with your dog, and learn how to communicate with her clearly and fairly.
It’s critical to understand that we need to train our dogs for the behaviors we want, not just hope for the best and then punish them when they haven’t been able to read our minds! Training should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
A great place to begin your search for a good trainer is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, which is the biggest dog trainer association in the world. You just type your zip code and click Trainer Search, and then a list of trainers in your area displays. You can choose a trainer who offers in-home training, which I would suggest for you to start off with, then join a group class to hone your skills and help socialize your dog. Be sure to call at least three to five trainers and ask about their methods before choosing one. Best of luck to you!