May 04, 2021
We LOVE our dogs. But there are times in every relationship with our furry friends when we lose our patience.
Between chewed shoes, non-stop barking., and cringeworthy leg humping...
...we’ve all been there. But the good news is, with just a little bit of training and patience, you and your dog can resolve these behavioral issues!
The first thing to acknowledge is that you can’t blame it all on your dog. Sure, he or she is the one exhibiting the poor behavior. But dogs behave as they have been taught—and they love to learn...and to please their humans.
Shere's a breakdown of how to solve the 7 worst dog behavioral problems:
For many dog owners, this is the big one—the nap-waker, the neighbor-complaint machine, and the destroyer of work-from-home meetings. The FIRST thing to do is to establish the reason your dog is barking too much. It’s usually something obvious: A knock at the front door, an unfamiliar sound, fear, and sometimes just good ol' fashioned bored. Next, reward-train your dog a “quiet” or “stop” command. Once they stop barking, give praise and a small treat...but do NOT act until the barking stops.
We repeat, do NOT reward your dog until after the barking has stopped from your command.
Chewing is normal behavior for canines – especially puppies who are teething. It's how they explore their world and it can calm them down. But there is a huge difference between playfully gnawing on a chew toy and demolishing a brand-new pair of shoes. So make sure your dog has a selection of toys to choose from and discourage any playing with or chewing on valuable human belongings. Whenever you see inappropriate chewing, give a “no” or “leave it” command. And replace the forbidden object with a chew toy.
They're going to chew no matter what— so again: REPLACE the forbidden object with a chew toy.
Almost all breeds enjoy digging to a certain degree – and some breeds (terriers, dachshunds, beagles) are just natural diggers. It’s nearly impossible to untrain digging, especially dogs genetically inclined to do so. The best solution is to provide a small area where digging is allowed. When you catch them digging in an off-limits part of the yard, give a “no” or “leave it” command. And then take them to an area where digging is allowed. (A sandbox is ideal!) Bury a favorite toy or tennis ball and watch your dog have fun. Praise your pup to encourage digging in the play area, not where your prized roses are growing.
Many dog breeds have a genetic predisposition for herding or keeping natural enemies from encroaching on their turf. This behavior is so hard-wired that it can be challenging to change. Joggers, cyclists, automobiles and other four-legged critters are just some of the possible targets for chasing. The most effective way to prevent this is to teach your dog a “freeze” command. And then to come to you when called. It takes practice and patience, but it is doable. When you are walking your buddy (always with a leash if you are in public), be on the lookout for potential triggers and use the opportunity to teach the command. Also, it helps to play fetch in your yard to allow for your dog to chase something without endangering other people or animals.
Puppies nip. It’s inherited behavior among pack animals as they learn their place in the pack. Adult dogs also nip. Mostly for attention. All this is normal behavior for a dog. But it can be disconcerting, especially with young children or older people not accustomed to being around dogs. Playful biting or nipping should not be discouraged – it is merely your dog’s way of engaging in plat. But biting can be dangerous when it is done with aggression, dominance of fear. It’s important to know your dog and understand his or her intent and mood. If the tail is wagging and he or she appears playful, provide a toy to chew on. If the biting appears to be aggressive or threatening, give a terse “no” command repeatedly. Make sure your dog understands that YOU are the alpha in the pack. And that YOU are the protector. Social your dog regularly to help limit this behavior. Additional professional training may be needed if your dog continues to act aggressively.
This is one of the most common complaints dog owners have with their furry friends. Your dog may be perfect in every way, but he or she just can’t chill out on a leash. We’ve all seen the comical dance of a dog tugging so hard on the leash that the human on the other end of it can’t control the situation. And chances are YOU have been the victim of this uncomfortable situation. It takes time. And lots of practice. Be consistent. Every time you or a member of your family takes your dog for a walk, be diligent about preventing the pull. Keep the leash short but loose. Stop when you feel it go tight. Your dog will stop to see why you aren't moving. When they come back, reward them and keep walking. After a few days, they’ll figure out that pulling get them nowhere.
Thrusting. Humping. Mounting. Dogs have no shame. But humans do. We’ve all cringed and laughed nervously when our dog humps a stranger’s leg or taken our furry friend to the doggy park only to cut the adventure short because of incessant mounting. Once again, this is normal and inherited behavior – in both male and female dogs. If this happens only on occasion (once a week or so), there is no real reason to correct the behavior. But If it is more frequent or it just bother you, try distracting your dog with a toy. Or ask your dog to perform a trick (shake or sit or lay down).