Do you want to be the best dog owner possible? If so, then tackling negative and bad dog behaviors should be at the top of your priority list. Unwanted behaviors such as chewing items up, jumping on guests, barking excessively, and digging in the yard – just to name a few! These can have drastic impacts on your relationship with your pet if left unchecked.
But luckily there is hope; not only are there strategies and methods to stop these disruptive behaviors but it can also help strengthen the bond between you and Fido too!
In this blog post, we’ll provide insightful tips on how you handle 7 common bad dog behaviors that could potentially harm their health, or damage furniture and property.
1. Barking excessively
Does your pup bark, howl, or whine all day long? Believe it or not, excessive barking is a common problem among dogs—but luckily, it’s one that can be fixed with some patience and training. Here’s what you need to know about why dogs bark excessively and how to help them break the habit.
1.1. Understanding Why Dogs Bark Excessively
There are several reasons why your pup might be barking too much. It could be a sign of anxiety due to separation from their owner or another pet.
It could also indicate boredom or frustration; if your pup isn’t getting enough mental stimulation during the day, they might become restless and start barking out of boredom or frustration.
Finally, some breeds of dogs are naturally more vocal than others—so if you own one of these breeds, the excessive barking may just be part of the package!
1.2. Training Your Dog Not to Bark Excessively
Before you can begin training your pup not to bark excessively, it’s important to first identify the cause of the problem. Is it loneliness? Boredom? Anxiety? Once you’ve identified the root cause of their excessive barking, you can begin working on ways to alleviate it.
If they bark because they’re lonely or anxious when separated from their owners for long periods of time (like when you leave for work), try leaving them with an interactive toy like a Kong filled with treats that will keep them occupied while you’re away.
If they bark out of boredom or frustration due to lack of mental stimulation during the day, invest in some new toys or enroll them in obedience classes so they have something to do that gives them a sense of purpose.
Finally, if they just happen to be a breed that barks more than others (like Chihuahuas), consider investing in a “bark collar” which will give them an electric shock whenever they bark too much. It may seem cruel at first but it can help break the habit over time!
2. Chewing on household items
Most dog owners have been there before. You come home to find your couch shredded and your favorite pair of shoes in tatters. Chewing is a common problem among dogs, but with the right strategies, you can help your pup learn to stop chewing on household items
2.1. Understand the Root Cause
In most cases, chewing is caused by boredom or anxiety. If your pup is feeling lonely or cooped up, they may turn to chewing as a way to keep themselves occupied.
On the other hand, if they’re feeling stressed or anxious, chewing can be a great way for them to alleviate that stress and give themselves something else to focus on.
2.2. Find Appropriate Chew Toys
Once you understand why your pup is engaging in this behavior, it’s time to find appropriate ways for them to get their chewing needs met without destroying your furniture.
Look for tough chew toys like rubber bones or bully sticks that are designed specifically for dogs who like to chew. Not only do these toys provide an appropriate outlet for their need to chew, but they also help keep their teeth clean and strong!
Be sure to rotate out old toys with new ones every few weeks so that they don’t get bored with the same old thing.
2.3. Provide Mental Stimulation
In addition to providing appropriate physical outlets for their need to chew, you should also make sure that you’re providing plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day as well.
Find ways for your pup to stay active mentally by doing things like playing hide and seek with treats or teaching them fun new tricks!
This will help reduce their boredom and keep them from getting into trouble when left alone for too long.
3. Jumping on people
Everyone loves a friendly dog, but jumping on people can be disconcerting. Don’t worry though—we have some tips that will help you get your pup to stop their unwanted behavior.
3.1. Understanding Why Dogs Jump On People
In the case of jumping up on people, there are two main reasons: attention-seeking and excitement.
Dogs jump up on people because they want attention or because they are excited to see them; either way, the behavior should not be encouraged or rewarded.
3.2. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding your dog for good behaviors and ignoring bad behaviors.
When your dog jumps up on someone, simply ignore them until they calm down and then reward them with treats or praise when they do something good (like sitting calmly).
This will help reinforce the idea that calm behavior is what gets rewarded while jumping up does not get rewarded at all.
3.3. Teaching Good Commands
In addition to positive reinforcement training, it’s also important to teach your dog commands like “sit” and “stay.” These commands can help redirect their focus from jumping up on people to more appropriate activities like sitting calmly or staying in place when someone approaches them.
You can also train them to respond when you say “off,” which should cue them that it’s time for all four paws back on the ground.
4. Digging in the yard
It’s a common problem and one that can be incredibly frustrating. After all, who wants to spend their time cleaning up dirt piles or dealing with holes in their lawn?
Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to help teach your pup that digging isn’t allowed. Let’s take a look at what you can do to stop your pup’s digging habits.
4.1. Provide an Alternative Activity
One of the most effective ways to stop bad behavior is to provide an alternative activity. Instead of punishing your pup for digging, give them something else they can do when they get bored.
Toys are a great way to keep them occupied and distracted from any bad behaviors like digging. Make sure you rotate out the toys so that they stay novel and interesting for your pup—otherwise, it won’t be as effective.
You could also try giving them a special “dig box” filled with sand or dirt where they’re allowed to dig instead of the lawn or garden bed. That way, you can reward them when they stick to their designated area!
4.2. Make Areas Unappealing
Another way to discourage bad digging behavior is by making certain areas unappealing or even unpleasant for your dog.
If there’s one particular spot in the yard where they always like to dig, try sprinkling it with cayenne pepper or vinegar—both have strong odors that most pups don’t enjoy.
You could also try putting up barriers like chicken wire around off-limits areas so that your pup cannot access it without supervision. Just make sure not to use anything too dangerous like electric fencing; this could hurt your pup if they come into contact with it!
4.3. Eliminate Stressors
Digging is often caused by stress or anxiety in dogs, so it’s important to identify any potential triggers in your pup’s environment and eliminate them if possible. This could include anything from loud noises outside (like fireworks) or even changes inside the home (like getting a new pet).
Once these triggers are identified and removed, it should reduce stress levels for your pup—which will make it easier for them to resist the urge to dig!
5. Pulling on the leash
Walking the dog can be a wonderful way to bond with your furry friend, but unfortunately, it can also be a source of frustration if your pup is constantly pulling on its leash.
To make walks more enjoyable for both of you, it’s important to get a handle (no pun intended) on this bad behavior as soon as possible.
Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks that will help you stop your dog from pulling on the leash.
5.1. Teaching Leash Etiquette
The first step in improving leash manners is teaching your pup proper leash etiquette.
Start by teaching them to walk beside you. If they pull ahead, turn around and go in the opposite direction. This sends the message that pulling isn’t acceptable and will help them learn where they should be while walking.
Then, when they are walking nicely beside you, reward them with treats or praise. This reinforces good behavior and helps create positive associations with walking with you.
5.2. Focus Your Dog’s Attention
Another helpful tip is to keep treats or toys handy while out on walks. This way, if your pup starts tugging or pulling on their leash, distract them with something else to focus their attention on instead of trying to run off and explore whatever catches their eye in the environment around them!
Of course, always remember to reward good behavior when they stay close by your side after being distracted by a treat or toy.
5.3. Be Consistent
Finally, consistency is key! Make sure you’re always consistent with commands like “heel” or “come” so that your pup knows what’s expected of them no matter what distractions are present outside.
It may take time for some pups who have been used to running around freely without being attached to a leash – but eventually, they’ll get it!
6. Aggression towards other dogs or people
No one likes it when their furry friend shows signs of aggression. Whether it’s towards other dogs or people, aggressive behavior can be difficult to manage and embarrassing for owners in public.
It’s important that dog owners take the necessary steps to stop this type of behavior in order to create a safe and happy environment for everyone involved.
Let’s unpack some tips on how to do just that.
6.1. Identify the Cause of Aggression
The first step in managing aggressive behavior is to determine what is causing the aggression. This could be due to fear, anxiety, frustration, or even a lack of proper training and/or socialization.
Identifying the root cause is key to developing an effective plan for addressing the behavior. If possible, try to identify if there are any particular triggers that set off your pup’s aggression so you can begin working on those specific issues first.
6.2. Train Positively
Using positive reinforcement rather than punishment is often more effective when it comes to training your pup not to display aggressive behavior.
Positive reinforcement involves rewarding desirable behavior with praise or treats as opposed to punishing undesirable behaviors with physical or verbal reprimands which can actually make matters worse by making your pup more anxious or fearful.
Additionally, try and avoid putting your pup into a situation where they feel overwhelmed or threatened; instead, slowly introduce them to new situations so they don’t become overwhelmed or overstimulated too quickly.
6.3. Seek Professional Help
If you find yourself struggling with managing your pup’s aggression, before getting some dog bite scars, it might be time to consider consulting a professional dog trainer who specializes in such issues.
They can help provide guidance on how best to address the problem depending on its severity and also help you identify any underlying causes which may have gone unnoticed before now.
Additionally, working with a professional can help you establish goals that are achievable while helping your pup learn better ways of responding in potentially difficult scenarios.
7. Separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is a common problem for many dogs and can lead to destructive behavior if left unchecked. But don’t worry—there are several ways to help your furry friend overcome their anxiety and manage the issue.
7.1. Identify the Cause of Anxiety
It’s important to remember that there can be multiple causes behind a dog’s anxious behavior.
For instance, if you’ve recently moved homes or changed routines, it could be that your pup is struggling to adjust to its new environment.
On the other hand, some dogs may simply have difficulty dealing with being left alone all day while you’re at work.
In either case, it’s important to recognize the source of their stress before trying any solutions.
7.2. Create an Appropriate Environment
Once you’ve identified what’s causing your pet’s anxiety, it’s time to create an environment conducive to helping them cope with being alone.
This includes providing them with plenty of toys and bones so they can stay occupied while you’re away.
You might also consider leaving on some background noise like music or television in order to distract them from their anxieties.
Additionally, make sure that your pup has access to windows so they can keep an eye on what’s going on outside—this will help prevent potential boredom and restlessness due to lack of stimulation.
7.3. Train Your Dog for Independence
Finally, it’s important that your pup learns how to be independent.
Start by making sure that they get plenty of exercise during the day so that they’re tired when it’s time for bedtime (or when you have to leave). Gradually increase the amount of time that they spend alone each day until they become comfortable with being away from you for longer periods of time without becoming anxious or destructive.
You may also want to consider hiring a professional dog trainer who can teach your pup how to better cope with being alone and learn independent behaviors such as chewing on toys instead of furniture or barking less often when left unattended for long periods of time.
Final Thoughts on Bad Dog Behaviors
Learning how to stop common bad dog behaviors doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little patience and training, your furry friend can be well on their way to being the best-behaved pup on the block. Did we miss any of your dog’s bad habits? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with all of your friends who are looking for a little help when it comes to training their pups!