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Dealing with Common Dog Behavior Problems


It is not a shocker that most dogs have phases wherein they encounter some common dog behavior problems. Dog behavior problems can stem from different reasons, and one of which is merely because of boredom and of seeking for attention.

Good news is, common dog behavior problems do not necessarily mean the end of the world, for there is hope that these unwanted behaviors can be prevented and corrected.

Excessive Barking

The first step to putting a stop to excessive and inappropriate barking is determining why your dog is barking. Without doubt, your dog is barking for a reason - may it be because of hunger and he wants food, or merely because he wants to get your attention for cuddles. When and where does this excessive barking usually occur? What or who do you think triggers it? As you answer these questions, it is now fairly easier to appropriately address the excessive barking.

  • Establish a good and nurturing relationship with the dog.
  • Create distractions. Divert the attention of the dog every time it barks too much. Keep the dog busy with other activities. Let the dog get sufficient physical and mental activities every day. Busy dogs are those that are less likely to excessively and irrationally bark from boredom.
  • Teach the dog commands. Teach your dog to bark (and to stop barking) on command. Train dogs to “speak,” bark on command, and then train it to be “quiet,” to stop barking.
  • Use safe dog bark collars. Bark collars are designed to regulate barking of dogs by ending a signal that would warn the dog or serve as a consequence of his barking. Dog bark collars of different variations can be purchased online.

Destructive Chewing

The best way to prevent and deal with destructive chewing is to “dog-proof” your space. This means that valuable objects must be kept away, such that the dog has no access to these things. Keep clothing and shoes in enclosed spaces or closets. In this way, you are helping your dog do away with destructive chewing, by keeping him away from “temptations.” The next step is to provide your dog with appropriate toys and chewing materials. Because chewing is also good for the dog, such that it strengthens their jaws and cleans their teeth, it is very important that they have something clean and safe to chew on.

  • To help the dog learn the difference between what things he can chew and cannot chew on, avoid confusing him by offering unwanted items, such as old slippers and pillows.
  • Some dogs who are deprived of enough physical activities often turn to biting as another way of releasing their energy. Make sure that your dog gets enough play time and physical exercise.

Biting

The ultimate goal is to teach your dog to be very gentle when playful mouthing and STOP aggressively biting people. As early as possible, teach your dog to be gentle when using his mouth. In this case, it is best to seek the help of a professional, to ensure utmost safety and avoid accidents. When you have successfully taught your dog this, teach him that teeth do not belong on human skin - to avoid mouthing people - by distracting him or providing him other activities and things to get busy with.

  • Encourage other forms of play that do not require much physical contact with people. Play fetch or tug-of-war, instead of play wrestling with your dog.
  • When your dog attempts to gnaw on you, provide a substitute toy or anything to chew on.
  • Provide a variety of interesting toys and things to chew on.
  • Give your dog a lot of opportunities to expend his energy and play with other friendly dogs.

Digging

To address this dog behavior problem, it is important to first identify the cause of the digging. If the dog digs because of boredom or in order to expend his high energy, you should provide your dog a lot of various fun and interesting activities he can spend his time and energy on. When your dog’s digging problem seem to stem from seeking comfort and protection, try to bring him inside more often and make sure that the outdoors is a safe and comfortable environment for your dog. Another thing to consider is that, like kids’ nature to want to play with sand, dogs also naturally love digging as a hobby. To not destruct your garden or your backyard, it would be nice to provide your dog his own digging box.