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Learn some tricks to get your dog to behave

Special to the Courier (StatePoint)

You've trained him to sit, lie down and obey, but still your dog likes to take an occasional bite out of the sofa. What do you do?
"Many owners might be tempted to reprimand their dogs for what they interpret as bad behavior, such as inappropriate chewing and digging, but often such behavior is a sign of boredom," said Gina DiNardo, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Partners Program.
Here are some of the AKC Canine Partners' best tips to keep your pooch from becoming bored and acting out:
Be preemptive
An easy way to keep your dog entertained and prevent unwanted behavior is to give him a variety of toys and rotate favorites. Put "old" toys out of sight for a month or two, then bring them out again. Items in which you can put a treat will keep your dog extra busy.
Dogs that are left unattended for hours during the day often become restless and act out. Leaving the radio or television on when you are away should keep them company and calm nerves.
Also keep in mind that a well-trained dog is a happy dog. A good training program, such as the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, will teach your dog basic good manners such as sitting and coming when called, as well as other behaviors for daily situations.
Spend time together
Like humans, dogs are social animals. Unlike humans, they rarely complain about where you go, so long as you're with them.
"Owners can ensure their dog is happy and well socialized with some easy steps that will not only curb Fido's boredom but increase the bond you have with him," said DiNardo. "Try incorporating your dog into your daily errands and activities, like exercise, to benefit his health and yours."
Take your dog for walks or throw a ball around to get him up and moving. Or play hide-and-seek by keeping your dog occupied in one room with treats while you go and hide in another, then call his name and see if he can find you. Or conceal a treat in one hand while holding both arms out, and let your dog select one. He gets the treat if he picks correctly.
Put Fido to work
When in doubt, give your pooch a task. Teaching him to fetch the paper or simply making him sit before getting a treat will give your dog a sense of purpose and accomplishment while keeping his mind occupied and body out of trouble.
For more ideas on having fun with your dog, visit the AKC Canine Partners website at: