IS YOUR DOG GUILTY OF ONE OF THESE 5 BAD HABITS?
Everyone has bad habits, and our furry friends are no exception! The good news is, it’s actually pretty easy to break your doggo’s unwanted behavior with patience and a few helpful tips. Whether you’ve got a new puppy or a dog whose been your companion for ages, even the oldest dogs can learn new tricks! Keep in mind that your dog wants to continue behavior that they're rewarded for.
Knowing the root of your dog’s undesirable behavior is also an important factor in correcting your dog! Is the bad habit an instinctual behavior, the result of boredom, over-excitement, anxiety, etc.? These all affect how to approach breaking your dog’s bad habits.
Let’s get started on some training tips for correcting the following unwanted behaviors:
The fact that your dog is chewing isn’t the problem – chewing is natural and healthy for dogs and shouldn’t be discouraged! The issue is they need know the difference between a new pair of shoes and an appropriate doggie chew toy. You can first help by not leaving things out that your dog isn’t supposed to chew, and if your dog ends up gnawing on something they’re not allowed to, replace that item with one of their chew toys. Praise your pup if they choose the right chewing toys! Have plenty of toys on hand to trade out for objects your pup shouldn’t be munching on.
Having an overly mouthy pup is super common, especially in younger puppers. Luckily this is an easy problem to nip in the bud! If your pup chomps down on you too hard, yelp and remove yourself from the situation for about 10 seconds. This is how their littermates would react, and is how dogs naturally learn their limits during rough play. Your dog wants to play with you, so relating a hard nip to less playtime will make them not want to bite!! Using your hands to instigate playtime with your pup also encourages some level of playful biting, so instead of using your hands, use a toy! Your dog is allowed to clamp down on a toy, and it encourages healthy playtime for both you and your pup!
Just like chewing, digging is hardwired into your pup’s DNA. Digging can often be the result of boredom - in this case you can prevent a yard full of holes by providing your dog with plenty of physical and mental exercise. Grab yourself a nice leash and take your dog on some lengthy walks or hit the trails! Your dog also might be digging to find a nice spot to cool down, in which case you can create a comfortable space in the shade or lay out a cooling mat for them to rest on. Some dogs are just diggers, and this is how it’s always going to be. If this ends up being the case, consider having an area that is your pupper’s designating digging spot – maybe their own section of the yard or even a separate sandbox!
Let’s face it – it feels great when you come home from a long day and your dog is SO excited to see you that they can hardly contain themselves and want to jump all over you! The fact is, they can contain themselves, and it’s very important to train them to do so. You don’t want them knocking over guests upon entry into your home! Remain calm and assertive when your dog is overexcited - don’t feed into that energy, it will only encourage it! If your dog jumps on you, turn away and don’t give them the attention they’re looking for. Make sure you’re not giving them negative attention either, such as pushing them down, because this is still attention!! Once all paws are back on the floor, have your dog sit and reward them with pats and praise. Consistency is key! Your dog will be a proper greeter in no time!
Another common and easy to handle dog owner complaint! While walking, the trick is to stop when your dog starts pulling, and don’t start walking again until they’re back at your side and on a loose leash. If your dog stays by your side, praise them with positive affirmations and pats! Treats are also a great way to entice your dog to stay by your side. If your dog is pulling you towards something - stop in your tracks! Allowing them to get to their destination by pulling is rewarding them for pulling. Wait for your dog to walk loose leash by your side (this might take a lot of stopping and starting!) and let them get to their destination only with zero pulling. This teaches them that the best way to get what they want is by NOT pulling. Consider a harness for more control over a pulling pup!
Soon you'll be well on your way to having the most Proper and Polite Pooch!