Posts Tagged ‘bad behaviour’

How To Get Your Puppy To Stop Stealing Clothes

Samantha | July 28th, 2012
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Puppies are like little children in that they need constant discipline and a watchful eye to be sure that they can learn the rules of your house. Some puppies have major behavior problems, while others display the typical scenarios, such as stealing clothes and other small items around the house as if it were a game.

Puppies are notorious for stealing anything that they can get their mouths on and then run away with it. At first this little habit is cute and very comical. However, after a while it needs to be seriously addressed because as the puppy matures into an adult dog, he will think that he is allowed to eat anything in the house, including your expensive shoes and nice furniture.

There are several ways to handle a puppy that is stealing your cloths and other items from around the house. One way to get your puppy to drop something from his mouth immediately is to simply walk out of the room and shut the door behind you. For example, let’s say you are in your room and your dog grabs a sock from the corner closet and runs around the room avoiding you at all costs. This is just a game to him, nothing more. So what you need to do is quickly have him lose interest in the game by just leaving the room with the door closed. In less than 10 seconds your puppy will drop the sock and start crying for your presence.

Another way to distract your puppy from stealing clothes and other small items is to distract him by running to the door and shaking your keys so that he understands that you are going to take him outside (dogs quickly associate the jingle of keys to someone leaving the house).

Now take the dog into the yard or the sidewalk for just a few minutes. If you do this enough, eventually your puppy will be able to stop playing his little thief game anytime you shake your keys. It’s all about distraction and training your puppy’s mind to associate something else of importance whenever he attempts to break the rules.

Last but not least, as I always recommend for most common behavioral problems with dogs, get yourself a small water bottle that you can use to squirt your puppy. Of course you do not want to torture your dog by squirting them in the eye or anything like that, but a little spritz of water can go a long way when trying to get your dog to stop whatever behavioral problem he keeps getting into.

Whenever you see your puppy grabbing something and running around the house with it, give them a quick squirt and a firm “no” command. He will be so surprised and shocked that he will quickly drop anything from his mouth while learning that this is one rule he cannot break.

A Simple Reason Why Your Dog Is Chewing Everything In Sight

Gemma | March 21st, 2006
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Before you can train your dog to stop his destructive chewing habits, you must first identify the type of chewing that your pet is demonstrating. There are different reasons why puppies and dogs engage in this habit, as well as a variety of ways to fix the problem. Therefore, identifying the type of destructive chewing is an important step in eliminating the issue.

There are different motivational factors for chronic and destructive chewing. The most common types are:

1. Puppy chewers
2. Spiteful chewers
3. Jealousy chewers
4. Boredom chewers

Puppies chew mainly for two reasons: to explore their new world and to soothe their aching gums during the teething stage. Dogs between the ages of six to eighteen months have a different motivation to chew: boredom (although this motivator can also apply to puppies as well).

Most dogs who are going through their adolescent stage have high amounts of energy in their systems. This energy, when not utilized or given the proper channel, can result in problem behaviors like destructive chewing. Chewing out of boredom between puppyhood and adulthood usually occur because the newness and excitement of the pets presence in the home wears off. The family does not pay as much attention to them as they used to when he was still a puppy.

A different motivating factor thats responsible for problem-chewing is jealousy. This usually occurs in adult dogs. It could be caused by having a new pet in the household, or because the family has turned their attention to something else, thereby, causing the dog to feel alienated.

For example, if you keep catching your dog chewing on your books, its very likely that he thinks that the books cause you to spend less time with him. The same reason can be stated for dogs who like chewing on their owners shoes. Our beloved pets felt that the shoes were responsible for alienating the owners attention. Each time you leave the house, the dog sees those shoes going with you and he will take his jealousy and frustration out on those shoes at any chance possible.

In this case, the best way to eliminate destructive chewing is as simple as spending more time with your dog. Spend ten or fifteen minutes with your pet before you start reading. Take him for a nice stroll, or maybe brush his coat before leaving the house. Most of the time, all it takes is giving your dog personal attention to get rid of these bad behaviors.

Common Puppy Behavior Problems: Nipping Till It Hurts

Gemma | March 6th, 2006
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All pups start out doing everything possible to seemingly want to annoy you, get in trouble, or worse hurt themselves. But at the same time they are incredibly cute – they have to be so you’ll still love them when they are being really bad, which happens often while they are learning how to behave in a human world.

If your puppy is misbehaving, don’t fret. You can do plenty to help teach him the right way to act in just about any situation. Let’s look at a very common puppy problem of nipping and how to solve the issue. If you follow this approach then you can rest assured that your pup will stop nipping in no time at all.

The Nipping Problem: An Easy Approach

It’s natural for a puppy to nip while playing, and your puppy surely will do it to you, especially when he’s excited. But no matter how cute he is and how harmless it seems, you must put a stop to nipping the moment it begins.

Puppies need to learn that their teeth should never touch human flesh, even in play. This will pay off when your dog grows up he’ll be less likely to bite anyone, especially if you have a big dog. And even the smaller breeds can give a good bite if the nipping behavior is not taken care of.

When you play with your pup, redirect his biting behavior to his toys, especially soft plush toys that have a satisfying give in his mouth and have rubber toys that you can stuff with treats to engage his interest and his teeth.

Even if your puppy is as young as 8 weeks old, he can still learn that biting is not acceptable. If your puppy bites you during play, say ouch in a low voice, and remove your body part from his mouth.

If he continues to bite, walk away from him. If he follows you, step through a door and close him on the other side, but just briefly – don’t leave him alone long enough for him to get in trouble!

You’re teaching him that biting too hard makes the fun stop. He’ll learn to control how hard he bites so you’ll keep playing with him. As he starts to get the idea, you’ll notice that he bites hard with less frequency. Then you raise the bar, and start applying your ouch to softer bites, until he learns to keep his mouth off of skin completely.

Common Puppy Behavior Problems: Jumping Up

Gemma | February 27th, 2006
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Nothing is more disconcerting than having a big dog jump up on you and practically knock you over. In fact, this habit is even more dangerous when children or elderly people are concerned. Far too many dog owners leave this bad habit alone and do not get concerned until it’s too late, and the pooch is like a full grown bear trying to tumble over everyone he greets.

Teaching your puppy not to jump on people is important. Even though your pup is small now, he’ll be bigger in no time. If he’s a large breed, he’ll be capable of knocking people over when he jumps up to greet them.

Small Dogs Are Not Off The Hook

Even small dogs can be a nuisance when jumping up so just because you own a toy breed do not think they should be off the hook. These small dogs can rip pantyhose, scratch legs and even knock over small children.

Instead of allowing your dog to jump on people, teach your dog to sit when he greets anyone including you and the other members of your family. First, teach him to sit. Once he knows this basic cue and performs it reliably, you can move on to training him not to jump up.

A Simple Anti-Jumping Training Routine

Start by setting up some training sessions. To train your puppy not to jump on company you’ll need your guests to help you. Before you allow your company in the house, put a leash on your puppy and then bring your guests inside. Tell them that they cannot pet or pay attention to your puppy until he sits in front of them first.

Tell your puppy sit as the company enters. If he doesn’t sit but instead tries to jump up on your visitors, hold him back with the leash and tell your guests to back away from him. They cannot pet him until he obediently sits and controls his impulse to jump up.

To teach your puppy not to jump on you, follow these steps: make sure your hands are free when you come in the house and your puppy tries to jump up on you, grasp him by the collar and tell him Off. Then tell him to sit as you continue to grasp his collar. Hold him in this position and then praise him for sitting.

Encourage everyone in your family to enforce this rule constantly to your puppy gets the message. Consistency is key when teaching a puppy not to jump up. Within a week of solid training your pooch should show signs of control from jumping on people.

Common Puppy Behavior Problems: Barking & Digging

Gemma | February 26th, 2006
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Barking is completely normal for any dog but it should be considered a problem if it becomes excessive. Most dogs will bark at strangers passing by, and this is to be expected. However, you need to teach your puppy that although some barking is OK, too much barking is not.

Allow your puppy to bark two or three times when someone rings the doorbell, approaches your house or walks past your yard. Don’t let your puppy bark frantically until the person eventually leaves the area.

A Simple Anti-Barking Routine

To train your puppy not to bark excessively, be consistent and plan ahead. Ask a friend to come to your home and ring the doorbell. When the bell rings, your puppy probably will run toward the door and bark.

Take hold of your puppy’s collar at that moment, and say his name and then the cue be quiet. When he listens to you and ceases his barking, praise him heartily. After several practice sessions, your puppy should start to catch on.

Once your puppy has learned to respond reliably to the quiet cue while inside your house, you can begin the training session outdoors in your yard. Ask friends and neighbors to help you with the training by walking past your property or doing whatever else it is that sets your puppy off on a barking spree.

Remember, too, that bored dogs will bark more than those who are getting enough stimulation. If your puppy is barking like crazy at everyone who passes the house, he may need more exercise and stimulation. That way he won’t feel compelled to come up with his own distractions.

Digging

The instinct to dig is strong in most dogs and often starts in puppyhood. If your puppy is starting to dig up the yard, you need to intervene before your garden begins to look like a mine field.

The best way to control your puppy’s urge to dig is to give him a spot in the yard where he can dig to his heart’s content. This might be a place where you’ve already seen him digging if you don’t really mind that he digs there. Or, you may want to entice him to dig in an area that is out of the way and not visible from most parts of your yard.

If you catch him digging in a place that is not allowed, correct him by saying NO DIG! and take him to his allowed spot. If he digs in this designated digging area, praise him to let him know he’s got the right idea.

Even though he has his own digging spot, you may find that your puppy still likes to dig in places he shouldn’t. Protect these areas with temporary fencing (like chicken wire) until your puppy gets in the habit of digging only in his designated spot. Eventually, you should be able to take down the fencing and give him the run of the yard.