Common Dog Behavior Issues and How to Fix Them

Every dog is going to need some type of home training as there are common behavioral issues that can arise. Dog owners are capable of fixing many of these issues, although it often takes patience and consistency. Here is a look at some common dog behavior issues and the ways to fix them.

Excessive Barking

There are times when dogs just keep on barking, which can be frustrating for their owners. However, the barking is typically a sign identifying the state of the dog. For example, barking is a product of dogs being startled, playful, bored or anxious. Barking can also be done in an effort to seek attention or identify themselves to other dogs. It is important to be able to read your dog and recognize the cause of the barking. Shouting at dogs and yelling “no” will usually worsen the situation. In order for dogs to stop barking, they need to be relaxed and comfortable. Positive reinforcement is recommended as owners should attempt to make their dogs feel at ease to eliminate excessive barking.

Chewing on Furniture and Household Items

Dogs who chew up furniture and other household items can cost their owners a pretty penny. When that problem occurs indoors, it is wise to invest in some chew toys which can replace the furniture. If the problem is occurring in your backyard, try putting a leash on your dog the next time he/she ventures outdoors. When dogs are set to chew on something they are not supposed to, give a tug and let them know that is not okay. It may take a few times to do this before they learn their lesson.

Begging

When you are sitting down to have a snack or meal, a begging dog can be an unwelcome sight. The first step to eliminating this issue is to not feed your dog anything from your plate. One or two crumbs is enough to keep them begging for more, even days and weeks later. Another important step is to ignore a begging dog while you eat. Doing this consistently will eventually teach the dog that those begging efforts will be to no avail. It is also important to not feel sorry for a begging dog, who is usually very well fed and does not need any scraps from your plate.

Jumping on People

Some dogs have a tendency to jump on people as soon as they set foot in a home. Remedying this issue will take some work and reinforcement. Try putting your dog on a leash and have someone knock on your door. Walk to the door and command your dog to sit. Do not open the door until your dog complies. When the door opens, have the person ask the dog to sit and reward the dog with a treat when that directive is followed. If the dog tries to jump, prevent him by tugging on the leash. This will need to be repeated until the dog learns that he will be rewarded for sitting instead of jumping when guests arrive.

Aggression

Some dogs have been known to act aggressively and that could be due to a variety of causes. Some forms of aggression may be in the form of a growl or quick nip. Aggressive behaviors range widely and include territorial, social, protective and possessive forms of aggression. The first task is to identify what is motivating your dog to behave aggressively. Behavior modification is then used as a way to treat aggressive behavior. There are several exercises owners can do with their dogs in the behavior modification process. However, patience and consistency are imperative for this to work as each approach much be tailored to the particular type of aggression.

Humping

It can be quite embarrassing when your dog starts humping every leg he can find. Some dogs will exhibit some early warning signs before beginning trying to hump someone or something. When you notice those signs, try to distract your dog by giving him a treat, chew toy or ask him to play some type of game he is familiar with. And when your dog does try to hump, use a firm voice and tell him “no” while pushing him down. If it continues, put him in another room for a time out. However, there will still be the need to go beyond discouragement as the humping will need to be replaced with a positive activity, such as sitting on cue.