…And Why They Do It
Dogs are great and dogs can also be a pain. The secret is to identify the things that make him or her behaves badly and find a solution to break those habits. Your dog may even be doing things all along that you have never really considered to be bad habits. Well, are you in for a surprise. Here are what we consider the ten most common bad dog actions and how to fix them before they really get out of hand.
1 – Chewing
Aside from doing this as part of a mealtime ritual, when your dog destroys things from chewing on them, you have a problem. Although it is a natural action, it can become a bad habit. Chewing results from several conditions ranging from teething to anxiety and boredom. The best way to beat this issue is to have several dog chew toys available and even switch those items you don’t want destroyed with chew toys when your dog starts to gnaw at them.
2 – Barking
Hey, sometimes it’s not your dog talking to you. Sometimes he or she just likes the sound of their voice and can’t stop using it. It can come from wanted more of your attention to anxiety and even boredom. You can stop excessive barking with training and aids, like a sound and vibration bark collar (cruelty-free, and no electric shock!). If you are up to the task, be patient and work diligently on ‘quiet’ and ‘bark’ commands to bring it under control. It will take time and effort but will be worth it in the end.
3 – Digging
Your dog comes with a special added bonus. It has a hunting instinct. Sometimes that goes out of whack and Rover decides to dig up your yard, your neighbor’s yard and anything else worth clawing at. But your dog may be doing this out of fear, to hide something or to burn off excess energy. You can break this habit by spending more time with your pooch, which in effect will provide other mental stimulations. Combining this with training will help to beat this issue.
4 – Separation Anxiety
This is a big one. It grips a lot of dogs. A dog suffering from separation anxiety can do a lot of things ranging from barking to digging and chewing. It may also choose inappropriate times and places for bathroom breaks. Although this can become a very frustrating matter, there are ways to remedy it. Solutions can come from dedicated training focused on behavior modification and desensitizing exercises. However, with patience, it can be overcome.
5 – Inappropriate Elimination
It happens and for most dog owners this is one of the most frustrating bad habits they have to face. Not only can these inappropriate eliminations cause damage, staining and can be embarrassing, there may be a deeper problem in place. Your vet can give you some insight and your pet may be suffering from some condition that will require behavior modification training.
6 – Chasing
Things that move are viewed as something to chase. This goes further than playing a game of fetch as a hunting instinct will cause your dog to want to chase animals, people and vehicles. In some cases, this can result in dangerous situations. You will have to identify the triggers and concentrate on training that may have to be repeated during the life of your four-legged friend.
7 – Begging
If you are one of those dog owners who encourage your pet to beg for food at the table, you can skip over this part as you won’t like what you read. Begging can result in obesity as well as digestive issues. This can leave your dog in the position where health conditions can develop that may get costly to remedy. Training and patience will solve this. Feeding at regular times and in a designated location – a food dish located away from the dinner table – can work to eliminate this habit. Regular exercise can also do wonders in keeping your pet fit along with feeding a well-balanced diet that does not include table scraps.
8 – Biting
Your dog is biting for reasons you may not understand. It typically comes from instinct and gentle nips from puppies to adults are often one way in which a dog can explore its environment. However, when nipping becomes biting it can be a sign of fear, pain or sickness. The best remedy for this habit actually comes from proper training and breeding practices.
9 – Jumping Up On You (And Others)
When a dog jumps up on your leg or lap when you are sitting, it is generally a result of instinct. Puppies usually jump up on their mothers and it is a form of greeting. However, some adult dogs can take this too far and use the action as a form of dominance. When this happens, it can be dangerous as well as annoying. By ignoring the dog and walking away, you can eventually train your dog to stop acting with this form of aggression.
10 – Aggression
The aggressive activities of a dog can range from baring teeth and growling to snarling, biting and lunging. It can be quite frightening and if left unchecked, can result in injury to someone and possibly your dog if the behavior is exhibited to another animal. Your vet may be able to offer some solutions but training and behavior modification may be your best option.
Oh, And There Is One More Thing…
There are some bad habits that your dog can form that you may be able to prevent long before they get a chance to develop. By spaying or neutering your dog at the appropriate age, you can sidestep having to deal with some of these common issues. Naturally, the breed and the genetic make up of your dog will be contributing factors. Consult with your vet to ensure that you are doing the right things to keep your pooch in good health and are feeding him or her properly. Your dog should be your best friend and companion. In order to spend many good years together, you must have your best friend properly trained and socialized.