Jumping on shoes, barking at the doorbell, and counter surfing, are just a few among some of the problematic behaviors that dog owners have to contend with.
As human beings, we do have our own bad habits, and dogs being exceptional members of our families, are not immune either. Therefore, let’s cut them some slack. It’s worth noting that just like humans, dogs tend to repeat habits they’ve found rewarding.
However, we can break this cycle by rewarding them even more so that they don’t repeat them. In this article, we help you tackle 5 bad dog habits and how to break them. Indulge.
5 Bad Dog Habits and How To Break Them
Chewing, especially in puppies, isn’t a bad thing. Chewing releases pent-up energy and helps in shaping their gums and teeth. The only downside to this is that dogs chew indiscriminately and inappropriately, destroying anything in their path.
Don’t get me wrong. You’d lose your marbles if you got a dog that didn’t exhibit chewing at all. Right? It’s totally normal or natural for dogs to chew. However, It’s essential that you teach your canine what’s appropriate for chewing and what’s not.
Punishing your dog for inappropriate chewing doesn’t help either. You’ll end up lowering your dog’s self-esteem by making it cringe or cower every now and then. Upholding positive reinforcement during such instances is vital.
Rather than punishing your dog for chewing up the calendar or shoes, train them on what’s chewable and what’s not. You will need to stock up on chewable toys, rewarding them every time they chew on them.
Further, explore other options such as mental stimulation and exercising if inappropriate chewing continues in older dogs.
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As unbelievable as this may sound, table manners should also trickle down to our dogs. It’s no longer an isolated case where dogs slather their mouths at the family dinner table, longing for a piece of the action, an embarrassing situation, particularly if guests are involved. Don’t think that you’ll get off the hook that easily. It only shows that you condoned or reinforced such behavior in the past.
In extreme cases, dogs can literally bring down the party by taking off with the table cloth. And yes! We know that those puppy dog eyes make you all mushy on the inside. They are just hard to resist but don’t get sucked in.
To curb such behavior, you’ll need to be firm and discourage feeding at the dinner table. With time, your dog will learn that it always won’t have its way with begging hence stopping such tendencies.
Further, you could train your dog to always stay in its bed during meal times. Better yet, plan their meals around yours so that they eat away in their bowls as you enjoy from your plate.
As we dissect the 5 bad dog habits and how to break them, let’s shake things up with some dog facts.
Did You Know…
A guy with a dog is 3x likely to get a girl’s phone number. Guys, now that you know, use it to the max.
That a dog’s nose print is unique, the same as to human fingerprints
Just like humans, dogs have dreams and dream about doing dog things…Hmmm!…Interesting! Maybe like chasing burglars? We’d love to know whether your Doberman sleepwalks!
It’s perfectly normal or natural for dogs to dig. However, to understand why your dog destroys your lawn, get to know the reasons behind such tendencies. Dogs dig for several reasons. They may want to look for a perfect cooling spot, a place to warm up during the cold, escape from boredom by simply looking for a spot to hide their stash, or maybe they just tracked the scent of a squirrel. Whatever the reasons may be, it pays first to understand the reasons behind it.
Offering a comfortable cooling space and a mat would definitely aid your dog in cooling off. Further, alternative activities during playtime or extended walks can reduce your dog’s boredom levels by aiding it in using up excess energy.
If your dog simply loves to dig, go ahead and create a special zone in your yard where such behavior can be tolerated. In the absence of such, create a sandbox and cordon it off from other lawn areas.
Dogs always get upset when their owners leave. The current pandemic is just about to create havoc as different countries and states strive to return to normalcy. I can tell you for a fact that dogs loved the lockdown period and took advantage of it. Many dogs got to know our bosses during the work-from-home period.
As we gear up to head back to work, separation anxiety is sure to kick in. A lot of them aren’t ready to accept the fact that they’re going back to the lonely path.
Teach your dogs that you’ll always come back. It’s advisable to start early for the unlucky ones who have to physically appear at their workstations. For starters, leave them alone for 5-10 minutes, staying away a bit longer each time.
An added tip is to incorporate a chew toy or leave the radio or T.V on. It will significantly reduce anxiety levels. Lastly, always act calmly while heading out or coming in so that they understand that being alone is okay.
Any dog can exhibit aggression tendencies, and this only means that they are scared or nervous. And that’s where the professionals come in. Enlist the services of a professional dog trainer so that your dog learns how to rely on you and interact healthily.
Note that guard dogs exhibiting aggressive tendencies shouldn’t be left alone with unfamiliar adults and kids. Further, you can always use the muzzle as a deterrent in such cases to reinforce calmness.
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Dogs are wonderful pets and pleasant to be around. However, as much as they are pleasant, they have their shortfalls. The 5 bad dog habits and how to break them guide serves as an essential blueprint to both experienced and first-time dog owners. If you experience any weird tendencies, check in with your vet to understand such behavior and alleviate any fears.
Check ouy my other article, Do Dogs Eat Their Puppies Sometimes?