Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Bad Dog Habits: Curing “Faux Paws”

Dog behind a treeThe holidays are done and now you find yourself with a new dog. How is your new furry friend fitting in as a member of your family?

We all have our quirks when it comes to behaviors that don’t quite pass social standards and dogs have them too. Dogs don’t mean to be frustrating or rude. They’re just being dogs. Until they understand the expectations of the household, they can’t change for the better. That’s where your leadership comes in to help! Below are some of our best tips on correcting the most common bad dog behaviors.

Problem: Chewing

Solution: Take preventative measures. As tempting as yelling at your dog for chewing on your furniture or shoes can be, you should avoid scolding at all costs. Your dog doesn’t understand chewing is bad and he may have excess energy waiting to expend. You can either keep your belongings out of your dog’s reach or simply provide your dog with chew toys before you leave the house.

Problem: Carpet Scooting

Solution: Bring your dog to a professional dog groomer. One of the most common reasons why dogs scoot their rears on the floor is because they have clogged anal glands. A groomer can locate your dog’s anal glands and express them. In other words, relieve your dog of liquids and pain. If you can’t find a groomer who can professionally express your dog’s gland, have a veterinarian express it internally.

Problem: Barking

Solution: Determine what triggers your dog to bark and correct it. The ABCs of behavior involve: antecedent (trigger), barking, and consequence. Since there are many types of barking, you should use the ABC method to figure out if you should make a change to either the antecedent or consequence. With the use of verbal cues, treats, and patience, you can keep your dog’s barking to a minimum.

Problem: Jumping

Solution: Turn away from your dog. Only give your dog your attention when he stops jumping for at least two seconds. A good rule of thumb is to offer praise when all four of his feet are on the floor. Repeat this process until your dog realizes jumping doesn’t result in petting.

Problem: Digging

Solution: Place your dog’s stool and lava rocks into the holes your dog has dug. Cover with one inch of dirt. The rocks will discourage your dog from digging in the same areas and digging in general. It’s important your dog doesn’t see you in your backyard. This may prompt your dog to think his digging behavior is acceptable.

Did you get a new pet over the holidays? Was he a gift or a planned adoption (we hope the latter)? If you had specific behavioral issues with your new holiday pet, please post them in the comments section below. Our Pack can provide suggestions or tips on how you can help your pooch become a well-behaved good citizen by next holiday season!

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