The old saying goes that a dog is a man’s best friend. But what about the times when Fido is less than perfect? Dog owners love their pooches but want to make sure that their dog is well trained. There is nothing worse than coming home to discover your loving family pet has destroyed the couch or torn apart every trashcan in the house. Many dogs have common behavioral issues and with a little work and training a dog can be man’s best friend again. Here are dog-training solutions to common bad dog behavior.
Digging: You know the drill. You let your pooch outside in the fenced backyard to do business and the next thing you know, your dog is knocking at the front door. Is your dog Houdini? Doubt it. Your dog is just very good at digging. First, you must remember that a dog does not exhibit less-than-perfect behavior to annoy you. Remember that digging is a natural instinct for dogs, so you can’t blame him for trying. One way to train your dog to stop the urge for digging whether he is digging up your flowerbeds or under the fence is to redirect your dog’s attention to something more appropriate. Consider constructing a small sandbox where your dog can dig to their heart’s content. When you see your dog digging and enjoying the appropriate location, offer lots of verbal praise and rewards. Your dog will soon learn that digging where you want him to dig is the way to your heart. Another good solution to is bury either charcoal or your dogs feces in the holes. This may sound strange, but think about it. Have you ever seen your dog digging near the area where he relieves himself? Hiding the poop where you do not want the digging to continue will make that spot unattractive to your dog. More than likely, it will probably curb your dog’s desire for digging. This will help train your dog to stop digging under the fence.
Pulling the leash: Ever wanted to spend a nice day at the park with your dog, only to come home with sore, aching arms? Dogs who are untrained on the leash can be a nightmare to walk. If you have ever been pulled down the street by a 100-pound dog, you have to wonder who is walking whom. Pulling on the leash during walks is another bothersome behavior, but it can easily be solved with the right kind of training. If you have never trained your dog, it is not too late to learn. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Of course, if you get a puppy, that is the time to start getting your pooch leash trained. If you have tried to train your dog on a leash and find that the pulling still continues, you may want to look into an obedience course. Consider signing up for a dog behavior class where dogs learn basic commands, including leash etiquette. When you train your dog at home, your dog will also respond well to positive reinforcement and treats. Be sure to have plenty of treats on hand when teaching your dog to walk on a leash. It may take some practice and time, but your dog is capable of learning to walk on the leash without pulling you around town. With the right training on a leash you will soon find that taking your dog on a walk around the neighborhood can actually be an enjoyable activity.
Chewing: Every puppy owner knows the despair of a constantly chewing dog. Chewing tops the list as the most annoying and most destructive form of doggie behavior. Dogs may chew on priceless rugs or expensive shoes not because they want to cause you heartache, but because there is some underlying issue. Your dog can be trained to stop the chewing. If you have a puppy, he or she is chewing simply because it is probably teething. Puppies need a way to help them teethe, just as human babies do. Offer your puppy lots of attractive doggie toys and playtime. If you catch your puppy red-handed, redirect his or her attention to one of the teething toys. If your find your dog chews on items around the house while you are away, and your dog is not a puppy, then it is possible your dog is suffering from separations anxiety. Training a dog to stop chewing for this reason can be a little more difficult, however, it is not impossible. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time, you dog could simply be bored and looking for amusement. If you think your dog is chewing because she is bored while you are away or is suffering from separation anxiety, consider crate training. Most dogs do not mind being in a crate because it reminds them of a natural den environment. Crate training is completely appropriate and your dog will soon enjoy crate time.
With a little time and patience, you can train your dog to stop bad behavior. You love your dog and you owe it to your pooch to teach him or her ways to help you both get along. Remember that many dogs are left at animal shelters because of the owner’s frustration at improper training. Get your dog trained and you will have many happy years together.