Common Behavioural Problems in your Pet and How to Fix Them
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Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” – John Grogan
But what about moments that aren’t worthy for social media?
Unfortunately, #PuppysFirstTimeOut isn’t a popular hashtag, otherwise pet owners may feel less alone in their quest to train the perfect dog.
Listed below are common behavioural problems in dogs, and what you can do to fix them.
The number one behavioral problem that puppy parents complain about is that their beloved pup won’t stop chewing – everything.
There are many reasons that young dogs are attracted to chewing your favorite items, but primarily it is because they want to explore the world around them.
Whereas human babies have hands to help them cause mass destruction, dogs lack opposable thumbs (for better or for worse), and use their mouths instead.
Also like babies, puppies go through the painful process of teething and often seek objects to chew on in order to relieve their pain.
How can you curb this destructive behavior?
Unfortunately, chewing is just as natural for dogs as not sleeping through the night is for children.
The best way to combat chewing is to provide your dog with appropriate chew toys, such as a nylon bone, a rubber toy, or your ex’s favorite sunglasses.
And, there is no age-bracket for this advice.
Whenever your dog is chewing inappropriately, give them stern voice “no!” and then replace the improper object with the correct one.
If your dog continually will not leave a certain area alone, such as a chair leg, a common remedy is bitter apple spray, which is a safe and natural solution found in pet stores that dogs cannot stand.
Simply spray the area and the next time your dog tries to chew, he or she will be met with a foul taste instead.
Another common problem is the tendency to play with humans in the same manner as they would play with their canine siblings, by nipping and biting.
While this behavior may be cute when the dog is small, it can quickly become a bad and dangerous habit as the dog grows larger.
Although some dog trainers suggest that you bite your dog back or use another form of physical correction, this method is not recommended as many people look rather silly playing with their pups at the park and then getting on all fours to bite their pets back.
A simpler solution is to teach your dog that you will not play with him or her when play biting occurs.
The next time your pup latches onto your hand or arm, simply let out a yelp and then turn around and walk away, ending the play session.
Your dog will quickly learn that if he or she wants to continue playing, the human rules must apply.
A third common problem among dogs, especially those of certain breeds such as Border Collies, Dachshunds, and Huskies, is digging.
Unfortunately, just like chewing, digging is a habit that dogs are genetically predisposed towards.
Also like chewing, the best option is to simply redirect the dog’s behaviour towards an acceptable digging area, such as a sandbox… or if you’re anything like Stink, the entire eastern Florida coastline lol!
Rest assured, this is only the first of many concessions you will make in order to maintain harmony in the house when you have a canine as a roommate.
Like biting, jumping is a bad habit that is cute at first but quickly becomes an annoyance as the dog grows older (and larger).
The best way to keep a dog from jumping is to never allow your dog to form the bad habit in the first place; but, as we all know, it is humanly impossible to resist the urge to pay attention to an acrobatic puppy trying to climb up your leg.
To overcome the bad behavior, the best solution is to practice asking your dog to sit anytime he or she is prone to jumping, such as when you first walk through the door.
If your puppy is sitting patiently waiting for a treat, he or she is unable to jump, and over time your dog will associate having four paws on the floor as being appropriate.
For puppies that have not yet attended obedience class, pet owners can get a head start by watching/utilising the RSPCA’s free training videos.
If your puppy is like most dogsstubborn, this method may be difficult to implement.
Instead, the next time your puppy jumps on you, simply turn around and walk away, thereby removing the “reward” your puppy was seeking from you: Attention.
Now, if only ignoring annoying co-workers yielded the same result!
Overall, puppy parents should be aware that many behaviours, while frustrating, are actually common among
Just because no one Instagrams their puppy’s bad behaviours does not mean you are the only one struggling.
Pup Update – 2 Years
These are the many Jerry faces of ‘Give me a Treat Mommy.’ Although quite polite these days, Jerry does have a patience threshold. It always begins with this expectant excitement…kind of like he cannot believe his luck. Then we move to a quiet, resigned, disappointment. Still hopeful but ‘knowing’ that it’s actually almost dinner, so above all… it’s probably not likely to happen. Finally, the ‘be damned woman’ look, I want new pawrents and I want them now! Very Dick Dastardly as if looks could kill. Thank goodness, like most pups, memory retention is only as long as it takes for the next opportunity… and they NEVER hold a grudge.
Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
Jerry – Born ‘Royoni Naughty-on-Arrival’ June 17, 2017
Follow Jerry’s adventures on Instagram @jerrythecockerspan
Now that we have a greater awareness of the more common health & behavioural problems in dogs, let’s discuss which of these situations ‘Are’ and ‘Aren’t’ Emergencies. Next
Watch this space – Chapter Thirty – Coming Soon
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Photo Credits: Photo Credits: Arlo – @arlothecavoodle, Calvin – @calvinthecockerspaniel, Maisie, FADM, Barry, Jax, Bailey – @baileyb767, Bella, Jerry – @jerrythecockerspan