Dog behavior

10 Tips to Correct Bad Dog Behavior

1. Walking On Leash

Wouldn’t you love to go on an enjoyable walk with your dog? No one wants to be dragged down the street, being pulled to and fro.  Your dog doesn’t want to be yanked either. Learning to walk together as a team is very important and will grow your relationship as you two venture down the street, along paths and through parks, relaxed, controlled and attached to each other.

Training tip:

Have your treats and the dog on the same side.  If the dog is on the right side, the treats are in the right hand. This way the dog will not cross in front of you to get his or her reward. Use treats as you start training your dog to walk next to you to ensure the dog understands that walking next to you is the fun place to be.


2. Puppy Training

There is so much for a puppy to learn. Working with you and your puppy teaches both of you to communicate clearly with each other so you understand each other.  Puppies start their education with their mothers and their siblings. We continue to educate your dog so he or she learns the language of your home. House training, commands/cues and manners are important to start your new family member off correctly.

Training tip:

Start by teaching your dog his or her name.  Stand close and in front of your dog, say the name and give a reward when the dog looks you in the eye.


3. Puppy Biting

Puppies bite. They learn a certain amount when they are with their brothers and sisters.  If they bite down on a paw of a sibling, the other puppy squeaks and goes away from the biter.  The puppy learns that he loses interaction with his siblings if he bites them. Puppies don’t have hands. One way to get our attention is to use their mouths to grab our hands or clothes.  Acceptable behavior needs to be taught so your puppy learns that biting is wrong.

Training tip:

If your dog bites your clothes or your hand, walk away and stay away from the dog for 30 seconds.


4. Hyper Dog

Unless you acquire a senior dog, puppies and dogs are very energetic.  They need to have this energy targeted in a positive direction or your dog could destroy your house. Training is the start for channeling this energy.  An untrained dog is just a wild animal in your home. Teaching your dog the basics and playing games will allow you to connect with your dog.

Training tip:

Exercise your very energetic puppy or dog. Throw a ball, throw a toy, run with your dog and give your dog puzzle toys to work on.  Mental and physical exercise will be a release for this spirited dog.


5. Home Alone

Your puppy or dog can become anxious when you leave the house.  Teaching a dog to accept quiet times without working him or herself into a meltdown will make their lives much happier. This will end destructive behavior and allow your dog to adjust to being without you for a short time.  Confidence will grow.

Training tip:

Start by leaving your dog for very short amounts of time. Keep the puppy or dog occupied with a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter, Easy Cheese, wet dog food or any other soft tasty treat. Freeze this stuffed Kong in your freezer. It takes a while for a dog to finish a frozen Kong.


6. Fear of People

Changing a dog or puppy’s fear of people into happy encounters is a priority.  You want your dog to live happily among humans.  To do this you have to control people and children who want to meet your dog, ensuring every interaction is a happy one.

Training tip:

Introduce a new puppy to strangers by having the stranger walk by the dog, drop a treat and keep walking. This will make a positive impression on the puppy.


7. Excessive Barking

Why is your dog barking?  There are so many reasons why dogs are compelled to bark and each reason has to be solved differently. Finding out why the dog is barking is the starting point.  Some barking issues can be solved more quickly than others, but there are solutions.

Training tip:

If your dog is looking out a window and barking at dogs and people as they walk by the house, use newspaper or waxed paper where the dog looks out to block their view so they don’t react to passersby.


8. Excessive Chewing

How is your dog or puppy to know what is yours and what is their toy?  It all looks the same to them. Dogs love to chew and play with things, especially things that smell like you. Dog treats, dog toys and dog games will allow your dog to chew appropriately.

Training tip:

Puppy proof your house.  Put anything you don’t want the dog to chew away. Close bedroom doors. Don’t leave shoes, etc., where the dog can get to them.


9. Come – Sit – Down – Stay

These cues are the beginning of your human/dog interaction. Dogs usually don’t arrive understanding these words. They learn to understand the meaning of these words. Exciting times for everyone.  And we grow communication from here. 

Training tip:

To start to teach your dog to come to you, stand near your dog, hold a treat between your fingers, bend down so the dog’s nose will be in line with the treat and say “Rover, Come”.  When the dog goes to the treat hand release the treat and say “Yes”. Slowly widen the space between you and your dog to ensure the dog understands what you want him or her to do.


10. House Training

The most common reason a dog is given up to a shelter is house training issues.  Every dog you bring home must be house trained as if they are a new puppy.  That means starting from scratch with puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs and any rescue you adopt. Your new dog will be confused and overwhelmed moving into their new surroundings.  Ensuring they do  not have accidents and constantly rewarding your new family member for pooping and peeing where you want them to will make house training a positive experience for you and your dog. Your dog will learn quickly and you will not become stressed.

Training tip:

During your house training phase always have eyes on your dog.  Keep them with you at all times by using baby gates or having them on a leash tied around your waist. If you can’t watch them put your dog in a crate with a food stuffed Kong or puzzle toy.  The more they are watched, the fewer accidents they will have and the quicker they will learn to not soil the house.