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How To Handle The Top 10 Behavior Problems

2. Chewing

First, what is he chewing? Cushions, shoes, his own feet? Some objects may need to be removed from temptation, especially while a puppy is still learning good behavior and self-control. Some things may be just too hard to resist. Others can be saved with the use of a bitter chewing-deterrent spray, which also works on feet and tails. Simply creating a terrible taste will likely be enough to stop chewing and prevent future episodes, without harming your pet.
If a puppy is teething, she definitely needs something to work those gums on. Try offering a toy or treats specifically designed for this purpose. Even better, freeze the chew toy for several hours, then give it to your puppy. This will both relieve his teething pain, AND distract him from chewing other objects. Win-win!

3. Digging

When trying to keep dogs from digging you may want to start off simply by taking your dogs for regular walks. A lot of digging behavior comes out of boredom or a need to get rid of extra energy. Taking your dogs for walks or taking time to actively play with your dog can be effective to curbing your dogs’ digging behavior.
A not so pleasant way to stop dogs from digging is to put a little solid dog waste in each digging hole. The waste will deter your dog from continuing to dig holes in the yard. It may not sound like the most comfortable way to stop dogs from digging, but it does work.

4. Separation Anxiety

Dogs anxiety actually starts when you are getting ready to leave. When most people leave their house there is a routine they follow. This routine may be getting your jacket then your keys then heading to the door. Whatever the routine is, the dog watches this and gets anxious from the beginning.
To stop this anxiety, make the routine of leaving become a small ordeal rather than a major life changing event for the dog. Start by doing the first step of your routine over and over again. If the first thing you do is get your coat from the closet, get your coat and then put it away. Do this about 15-20 times or until the dog gets bored with this portion of the routine. Repeat step 2 with every step of your leaving routine.

5. Inappropriate Elimination

Put away his food and drink by 8:00 pm and take him out for his last potty time by 10-11:00 pm. Consider crating him overnight while he sleeps. Most dogs will not soil their own sleeping area so this may solve the problem of inappropriate elimination overnight. If the inappropriate elimination in the house is taking the form of a male dog lifting his leg on furniture you can help stop this behavior by keeping a spray bottle handy. When ever you see the dog start to lift his leg on something, spray him and tell him, “NO.” Be very firm because this behavior can be hard to break if it becomes fixed.

6. Begging

Make a no-treat-at-the-table rule and stick to it. This can be difficult if you’ve already established a pattern of slipping your dog a morsel or two from the table. It’s important to get the entire family together on this rule, if Junior secretly palms his meatballs and holds them behind his back until the dog eats them, the problem will continue. Feed your dog the leftovers in a separate place. No one wants to waste good food but wait until you’re all done eating and clearing the table before you offer the scraps to your dog in a different room or outside. She will come to associate not begging at the table with her treat.

7. Chasing

Wild dogs were predators and it’s ingrained in them. Mostly, chasing is just a fun event and a part of its play kit. And if your dog is be nature a herder, like an Australian Shepard, then perhaps he is not quite chasing. He may be trying to corral those moving objects, whatever they might be.
Place your dog on a leash and stand with him. Show him a ball or toy but do not let him have it. Next, throw it away from you and give him the “off” command. When he starts to go after it, give a solid tug on the leash and say “off” again. You must not allow him to get to the toy you have thrown. Otherwise he will associate the “off” command with chasing and trying to get the toy. The scenario should be practiced in brief sessions several times a day until your dog understands and consistently performs properly. Be sure to heap lots of praise on him/her and give him/her a special treat each time they get it right.

8. Jumping Up

When your dog is about to make a lunge for you, put your arm straight out, palm towards his face and say no. if your hand is in the way, he has no where to jump to. As he settles back. Immediately give an alternative command such as sit. If he sits praise him for sitting.

Another method that I sometimes use to stop dog from jumping behavior, is either turn away or step back so that he will miss you. Do not speak and do not make eye contact. When he no longer tries jumping up, give him a command that you know he will obey. When he obeys, praise him. He soon learns that he does not get praise for jumping up.

9. Biting

It is very natural for a dog to mouth people when they first come home to their new life away from their pack. In the pack, the puppies will mouth each other as well as the mom. When they get too harsh the other puppy will YELP to let them know it hurt. Most puppies simply grow out of this behavior altogether. Remember, they are teething when they are young, so chewing feels good! Give lots of toys with different textures to help get their chewing needs appropriately with puppy training. You must remove your attention every time this happens. Attention to a dog includes eye contact. With kids its best to tell them to cross their arms and stare at the ceiling. 30 seconds is about the time you should ignore your puppy. Don’t push your puppy away as this can become a game quickly.

Yelping in many puppy training cases will communicate exactly what you want – that it hurts when your puppy does that. That in combination with removing your attention will likely get rid of the mouthing problem. Of course some puppies will become excited by this yelp and bite harder – if that happens, don’t use this puppy training method.

10. Food Aggression

For those of you who have a dog that displays aggression over his food bowl, you will want to stop this kind of aggressive behavior. Any type of aggression like this could morph into more serious aggression problems and even lead to someone getting bit.

A good idea is to feed the dogs in completely separate areas, so that the need the aggressive dog feels to safeguard his bowl is now removed. During the meal make sure the aggressive dog does not leave his area to bother the other dog, and vice versa. You need to make sure he eats his meal without distractions. If your dog is not finishing his meals, do not leave the food out-put it away until the next meal. If you leave any uneaten food out, in either dog’s bowl, you are creating a situation that could lead to more aggressive behavior and you definitely want to put an end to that.

One Response to “How To Handle The Top 10 Behavior Problems”

  1. 1
    mandy:

    I have tried several methods to get my puppy to stop chewing, sprays, alternative toys, kenneling when she chews inappropriate items, etc. She seems to be getting worse instead of better. Her manners are also getting worse. She was house trained for a solid 3 months and now she is urinating out of spite. She was sleeping through the night and now she has started waking us up 3-4 times every night. I’ve had many dogs and puppies over the years and I run a part time shelter. I have dealt with many behavioral issues in many breeds. I have never seen a dog as defiant as this Blue Lacy. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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