Having a companion around the house can bring an immense amount of joy, but it’s important to remember that dogs need guidance and training. Canines have their own personalities and behaviors, some good and others not so desirable. However, with patience, understanding, and consistent training techniques, you can correct most behavior problems. Here are five common dog behavior problems to know about and the ways to address them.
Excessive barking can be a nuisance for pet owners, neighbors, and anyone else within earshot. Many dogs exhibit this behavior due to stress or anxiety. However, there’s a slew of other causes, such as fear or boredom. If your dog is barking excessively, try to identify the cause first. Once you know the trigger, you can work on addressing the root cause. Training your pup to respond to commands such as “hush” or “no bark” and providing plenty of exercise are some of the best ways to reduce barking.
Chewing and Property Damage
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, but when it results in property damage, it can be both costly and frustrating. As with any other behavior problem, the best way to address this one is through consistent training. Provide your pup with plenty of chew toys that are appropriate for its age, and make sure you praise it for chewing the toys. Redirect it whenever it starts chewing on something else.
Digging Up the Yard
Digging is another common dog behavior problem to know about. This habit can wreak havoc on your lawn, making more work for you and your neighbors. To reduce it, make sure you give your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. You should also provide it with its own designated digging area where it can go to dig without destroying anything. Praise your dog when it uses the designated area and redirect it if you see it starting to dig somewhere else.
Jumping Up on People
Jumping up on people can discourage you from bringing guests over, especially if your pup is larger or rambunctious. Fortunately, teaching your dog a “no jump” command and rewarding it with treats when it obeys can help. Make sure you avoid petting or talking to your dog while it jumps, as this can reinforce the behavior. Instead, wait for it to settle and then reward it with treats or petting.
Unprompted Fear or Aggression
Depending on your dog’s temperament and previous life experience, you may even find that it exhibits unprompted fear or aggression. This can be frightening and potentially dangerous should it decide to lash out. If your dog displays either of these behaviors, consult with a professional trainer to identify the root cause of the problem. This way, you can work on addressing it. This may involve desensitization and counterconditioning techniques.
At Balanced K9 Academy, we believe that with proper training and consistency, you can correct your dog’s problematic behaviors. In our behavior modification dog training courses, we address everything from excessive barking to aggression toward people or other animals. If you’re at a loss, reach out to us. We’ll provide the resources to help you foster a happy, healthy relationship with your pet.