MiDogZ

Tips On Normal Day to Day Behavioral Problems

Chewing

If your dog has chewing problems, the best way to correct it is to fixate him/her on proper chewing toys like Gumabones, Nylabones and Rhino toys. You can help this process by making the toys part of your dog’s play and fun activities, like when you use a ball, instead use these chewing toys. Encourage your dog to fetch these toys and praise him/her when he/she does.

Also remind them of these toys by giving him/her the toys when you greet/leave your dog. Try soaking the Nylabone or Gumabone toys in beef or chicken broth to increase your dog’s interest in them.

With the Rhino or Kong toys consider putting cheese or peanut butter in the centre.

If you do not want your dog to chew certain items, make sure you have sprayed them with bitter apple within the past few hours. Continue this daily process until your dog is fully trained, also intercept your dog before he/she actually chews these items by startling the dog, but not scaring him/her. A firm “No” or sharp clap should be sufficient. This should get the dog’s attention long enough for you to give him/her the acceptable chew toy. Make sure to always praise your dog when he/she chew’s the right items.

Giving your dog premium quality kibble and exercising your dog is also very important.

Digging

Your dog might be digging for a specific reason, determining thisreason will allow you to solve the problem much easier. Ask yourself if your dog is :

Digging to Bury toys, etc?

  • Tie her toys to a stationary object by using cable.

Digging to make a cool spot?

  • Consider a hose mister or wading pool your dog can use.
  • Also get your dog a summer cut if he/she has long hair.

Digging at molls etc?

  • Get an exterminator.

Digging because it’s fun?

  • Fill all existing and new holes with your dog’s solid waste, and cover with about 1” of dirt, without your dog noticing.
  • Never dig or plant in front of your dog. Also exercise your dog more often and give him/her new and interesting toys to play with.

Digging to escape?

  • Try spending more time with your dog in the back yard.
  • Make the back yard a fun place for your dog to be and play, you can hide food treats for him/her to find in the yard. Give your dog more exercise. When you catch your dog digging, interrupt him/her by making a noise that would startle him/her (again not frighten or scare). Do not let the dog know you made the noise or he/she might just continue whenever you are not around. Also ensure that the fence is strong enough so that your dog cannot escape.

Housebreaking

Most dogs don’t “go potty” close to the place they lay in. You can make sure he/she does not eliminate until you take them outside by confining your dog to a small area. Try to give your dog meals at the same time every day, and take your dog to the same bathroom area using the same route each time at regular intervals. Take your puppy outside every 30 minutes in the beginning, if he/she dos not eliminate within 5 minutes, bring her back to the confined small place. Every time your puppy goes “potty” within 5 minutes of being outside,praise him/her and give her another 5 minutes to make sure he/she is finished. Reward your dog for going outside by giving her 10-20 minutes of monitored free time in the house. After 7 days without accidents, you can start lengthening the free time in the house.

Watch your puppy closely when he/she is inside the house so that you can interrupt him/her if you see them getting restless, moving away from the group or sniffing about.

You want to interrupt your dog when this happens, but not by means of fright, afterwards calmly take them out to “go”.

When your puppy has an accident in the house, it is best not to punish or scold him/her, this will only make the training part even more difficult. Clean the accident with odor neutralizer and take your puppy outside to their bathroom area. Some owners who allow their puppies too much freedom in the house too quickly, will find that their puppies have more accidents.

Nipping

To reduce nipping, try to avoid rough games and vigorous playful petting and excitable greetings. Rough games are wrestling, chasing and tug-of-war. Puppy nipping behavior might be encouraged through these interactions. If you sometimes encourage nipping but not always, you will have a difficult time to eliminate the problem.

Since this is a natural way for puppies to play with one another, the best way to to keep this to a minimum will be to teach your puppy another way to play with you. Teach them to play with certain toys like Boomer Balls, Buster Cubes and Nylabones.

Teach and encourage your puppy to fetch. Constantly have these toys available, so that whenever your puppy greets you, you have the toys. When interacting with your puppy, keep your hands slow and low, hold food treats in one hand and pet your puppy with the other. This will keep her busy while you are petting him/her.

When your puppy learns to remain calm, you can gradually reduce the treats. Freeze and say “no” when your puppy nips you.

The objective is to slightly startle but not scare the puppy so that he/she stops nipping. When your puppy stops nipping, direct her attention to her toys or food treats. Praise your puppy and gently begin petting him/her again.

To develop a good relationship with your puppy, you want 99% of your interactions to be positive. You can keep thing positive and prevent most nipping by always having food treats and toys with you.

Jumping

Jumping is a natural way for dogs to get attention or to greet each other, but you can teach your dog another way to greet you and to get your attention. Teach your dog to sit when greeting you or guests and reward him/her by giving him/her attention, praise and petting when he/she does. Do not be too enthusiastic in praising your dog, as this may result in further jumping.

It is very important to be consistent when teaching your dog not to jump. Try to avoid rough games also vigorous playful petting, as this may encourage jumping behavior.

If you teach your dog that it is sometimes acceptable to jump and other times not, then you will almost always have problems with eliminating this behavior.

When your dog jumps on you, immediately turn away from her.

Most dogs will continue jumping for approximately 10 seconds before trying another approach. Typically, they will come around and try to face you, and then jump again. If this happens, turn the other way and continue to ignore the behavior. It takes patience, since some dogs may continue jumping for several minutes before they stop. After the dog stops jumping for at least 2 seconds, you may turn to her to praise and pet her in the sitting position. Keep your hands low and slow. If she starts to jump again, turn away from her. When she stops jumping, turn round and begin petting her again. Continue this until the dog realizes you will pet her only when she is not jumping.

Barking

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons.

Excitement. Young dogs primarily bark out of excitement. Practicing obedience in public daily will calm her. When she barks, draw her attention to you with a food treat. She will soon look at you and ignore distractions in anticipation of the treat.

Fear. If your dogs body posture is low to the ground, she may be barking out of fear. Do not punish her for this or she may become more fearful and might bite. In addition to professional training- build her confidence & re-direct her attention towards you using the techniques outlined in a).

Dominance. If her body posture is forward and upright she may be engaging in dominant or territorial barking. Dominant dogs can become aggressive if they are physically corrected for barking. In addition to professional training, re-direct her attention to you using techniques in a).

Demand. Some dogs bark at their owners to demand attention or other favors. Each time your dog barks at you, get up and walk away. If she never gets any attention or favors from you for barking, she will stop. Teach your dog that obeying obedience commands is the best way to get your attention.

Boredom. Increase her daily exercise and add new, interesting toys to the yard. If these techniques do not resolve the barking, she may be trying to tell you she is ill. Have her examined by your veterinarian

House Manners

Don't allow your new puppy to do things that you won't want him to do when he's full grown

When you bring a 7 or 8 week old puppy home, it may be hard to imagine him taking over the furniture, knocking over lamps, stealing food off counters, eating potted plants and harassing the family cat.

Even though it may not damage anything when a tiny puppy jumps up and puts his paws on the edge of the couch and it may even look cute when he jumps around and barks excitedly at the cat, these are the beginnings of that wild behavior.

 You must teach your puppy house manners.

 To begin teaching house manners, your puppy should be given an on-leash "tour" each time he enters the house.  Calmly walk the puppy through the house on-leash, allowing him to sniff.

Praise and reward him with food treats for being calm. If he tries to drag you through the house, simply stop and wait for him to move back towards you.  If he sticks his nose somewhere it shouldn't be (in a potted plant, shoes, children’s toys etc.), simply clap or make some other sound to divert his attention.  Immediately redirect the puppy back toward you with the food lure and continue with your tour.  Avoid using your voice to interrupt him. We don't want him to think he should only leave those things alone around you!  It is better if he thinks the interruption is coming from the item he shouldn't touch or from the environment in general.

Assign the puppy his very own spot in the house.

After the “tour” outlined above, take the puppy to a well-trafficked area of the house. Tie him in that area with a buckle collar and leash. (note: if your puppy might chew on the leash, properly treat it with bitter apple or use a chain leash). Get a comfortable mat for him to lay on and place it where you want him to lay. Give the puppy an appropriate chew toy he enjoys and invite him to lay down and relax in that area on his mat. Ignore the puppy until he calms down and starts chewing his toys before rewarding him for being there. It may be difficult for him to disengage from you and relax if you don't leave him alone for a bit.  It might take him up to 15 minutes to relax.

When he's resting, reward calm behavior.

Don't attempt to bring your puppy in the house without;

a) first giving him the opportunity to relieve himself and 

b) giving him sufficient exercise to enable him to be calm in the house.

Most of you are familiar with the "puppy crazies" that afflicts most puppies several times each day. If the "puppy crazies" strike while he's in the house, it is definitely time to take him outside. Also, if your puppy already has a habit of being rambunctious and playing in the house, it will take longer for him to learn the "new" rules of being calm.

Be patient and consistent with these exercises to develop house manners and he'll catch on. You can help your puppy learn the rules by not playing with him in the house. Playing should occur outdoors only until the puppy is trained. If the weather prevents you from playing outside, then at least confine it to one out-of-the-way room, not the middle of the living room.

Until the puppy/dog has house manners (is quiet, calm, obedient, stays off furniture, is housebroken, doesn't touch forbidden objects

like shoes or TV remote controls, stays out of forbidden areas of the house etc.) he should not be allowed loose in the house.

This means that he must be monitored on leash every moment he's not in his crate, in the back yard, or in his dog run. Most puppies are not mature enough to be loose in the house unmonitored for even short periods of time until they are about  6 months old.

Remember, you wouldn’t let a 2 year old child run loose in the house unsupervised.  After your puppy understands the routine of the calm  '"tour" followed by going to his spot to lie down, you can start allowing him to have small amounts of freedom.

Remember to always reward calm behavior.

How to prevent your dog from biting someone

Don't allow your new puppy to do things that you won't want him to do when he's full grown

When you bring a 7 or 8 week old puppy home, it may be hard to imagine him taking over the furniture, knocking over lamps, stealing food off counters, eating potted plants and harassing the family cat.

Even though it may not damage anything when a tiny puppy jumps up and puts his paws on the edge of the couch and it may even look cute when he jumps around and barks excitedly at the cat, these are the beginnings of that wild behavior.

 You must teach your puppy house manners.

 To begin teaching house manners, your puppy should be given an on-leash "tour" each time he enters the house.  Calmly walk the puppy through the house on-leash, allowing him to sniff.

Praise and reward him with food treats for being calm. If he tries to drag you through the house, simply stop and wait for him to move back towards you.  If he sticks his nose somewhere it shouldn't be (in a potted plant, shoes, children’s toys etc.), simply clap or make some other sound to divert his attention.  Immediately redirect the puppy back toward you with the food lure and continue with your tour.  Avoid using your voice to interrupt him. We don't want him to think he should only leave those things alone around you!  It is better if he thinks the interruption is coming from the item he shouldn't touch or from the environment in general.

Assign the puppy his very own spot in the house.

After the “tour” outlined above, take the puppy to a well-trafficked area of the house. Tie him in that area with a buckle collar and leash. (note: if your puppy might chew on the leash, properly treat it with bitter apple or use a chain leash). Get a comfortable mat for him to lay on and place it where you want him to lay. Give the puppy an appropriate chew toy he enjoys and invite him to lay down and relax in that area on his mat. Ignore the puppy until he calms down and starts chewing his toys before rewarding him for being there. It may be difficult for him to disengage from you and relax if you don't leave him alone for a bit.  It might take him up to 15 minutes to relax.

When he's resting, reward calm behavior.

Don't attempt to bring your puppy in the house without;

a) first giving him the opportunity to relieve himself and 

b) giving him sufficient exercise to enable him to be calm in the house.

Most of you are familiar with the "puppy crazies" that afflicts most puppies several times each day. If the "puppy crazies" strike while he's in the house, it is definitely time to take him outside. Also, if your puppy already has a habit of being rambunctious and playing in the house, it will take longer for him to learn the "new" rules of being calm.

Be patient and consistent with these exercises to develop house manners and he'll catch on. You can help your puppy learn the rules by not playing with him in the house. Playing should occur outdoors only until the puppy is trained. If the weather prevents you from playing outside, then at least confine it to one out-of-the-way room, not the middle of the living room.

Until the puppy/dog has house manners (is quiet, calm, obedient, stays off furniture, is housebroken, doesn't touch forbidden objects

like shoes or TV remote controls, stays out of forbidden areas of the house etc.) he should not be allowed loose in the house.

This means that he must be monitored on leash every moment he's not in his crate, in the back yard, or in his dog run. Most puppies are not mature enough to be loose in the house unmonitored for even short periods of time until they are about  6 months old.

Remember, you wouldn’t let a 2 year old child run loose in the house unsupervised.  After your puppy understands the routine of the calm  '"tour" followed by going to his spot to lie down, you can start allowing him to have small amounts of freedom.

Remember to always reward calm behavior.

Exercising your dog for better behavious

The following is for information only. DO NOT START your dog on an exercise program without checking with your veterinarian first.

 Many dog owners find it difficult to cure their dog of common behavior problems like barking, chewing, digging or general unruliness. Providing your dog with sufficient exercise can be an important step in reducing or eliminating many of these problems.

The more energy your dog spends running, walking, learning tricks or playing fetch, the less energy he has available to bark, dig or chew.

There is an old saying trainers have that goes:

“A tired dog is a good dog!”. This statement is as true as it is simple Many people don't give their dog sufficient exercise because they don’t know how to exercise them in a way that is fun and safe. We would like to give some suggestions here to help owners give their dog sufficient exercise so they can enjoy better behavior from their pet.

Here are a number of ways you can increase your dogs exercise.

A qualified trainer can help you teach your dog any of these new exercises. Have your dog run alongside a bike or with you while you roller skate. Put your treadmill to good use by teaching your dog to run on it.

Fetch is also a good way to burn off excess energy. Even dogs that don’t like fetch can be taught to love that game with the help of a trainer. Many dog owners have been warned to not play tug-of war with their dog. This is good advice but the real warning is against playing tug-of-war incorrectly! Again, a qualified trainer can help you play this fun game correctly. Teaching your dog to pick the toy up off the ground to start the game, not allowing him grab it from your hands, and teaching him a command to drop the toy, will allow you to exercise your dog playing tug, without developing bad habits.

Lots of dogs like to dig, so why not create an acceptable area for him to exercise by digging? Loosen the dirt in one special area of the yard and show your dog that you are burying a bone or favorite toy there. You can also purchase rabbit scent from a hunting store, place it on one end of a long dowel and run the dowel down through the dirt to make a scent trail. Since dogs love to hunt, let your dog hunt for his dinner. Instead of eating his kibble out of a bowl, toss it out on the lawn like chicken feed. Your dog will get mental and physical stimulation “hunting” for his food. Your dog can also hunt for a toy or you! .

Enroll in obedience training, trick training and agility training classes.

If you are saying to yourself, “But I don’t have time to do any of these things!” you may need to employ the help of a dog walker.

Some high school kids would love to make extra pocket change walking your dog after school. At the very least, give your dog extra chew toys and have a trainer show you how to teach your dog to play fetch, tug and some simple tricks you can do with your dog even while watching TV.

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