It’s very important to remember that you dog learns though every interaction they have. Over the course of the dog’s life these interactions shape behavior. Routine comes from past experiences and practices.
If your dog barks to get your attention for meal time, walk time, play time or what have you, if you fix him his dinner or take him for a walk, you’re training him to bark by allowing him to get what he wants though his actions. If you give a puppy attention when he climbs on your leg (oh, that’s so cute) then you can’t be surprised when a year later he is still jumping up. Although this time it’s not so cute as he is 75lbs of mud covered happiness. It’s your fault because, remember you trained it.
How do you un-train these things?
The first step is to stop reenforcing the behavior. When you give the dog what they want you’re reenforcing the bad behavior. Ignore the bark, push him off and command off or stop playing with him if he jumps on you. These are tactics that can go along way but you must realize that things will for sure get worse before they get better.
Imagine if I gave you $20 every time you jumped in the air. You would be jumping like Michael Jordan all day. Then if I stopped, you would keep doing it. Probably more. You would get in my face and say “Can’t you see I’m jumping my tail off here!?” If after you got in my face, if I were to slip up and I would give you the $20 you would realize that you just need to be persistent. Keep it up and I’ll cave…”Easy money baby”. But if I stick to my guns, eventually you will stop and realize that trick does not work any more.
Keep these things in mind if you’re starting with a new pup or trying to “untrain” an old dog of old tricks.