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Solutions to 10 Common Dog Behavior Problems

Solutions to 10 Common Dog Behavior Problems
Are you frustrated with your dog? Do you feel like you don’t know what to do? Many dog owners feel this way, and that’s normal! Not all dogs come from the same place or have the same needs, so it’s hard to understand how to raise them sometimes. This guide will help you figure out what your dog behavior problem might be and give you some ideas about how to solve it so that you and your dog can both be happy together. These tips are especially great if you have just adopted a new puppy, but they can also apply to older dogs as well!

1) Leash Walking

Leash walking is one of those dog behaviors that owners have to work on continuously. One day your dog can walk nicely next to you, but before you know it they're straining at their leash to reach a stranger or another dog. A good way to get your dog back on track with leash walking is to teach them what it feels like when they've reached the end of their leash. If they try pulling while out for a walk, simply stop moving forward until they are under control again; eventually, after repeated experience, they'll learn that pulling equals no movement. Its also best to have a short leash and have your buddy walk next to you and not in front. IF he is in front, he thinks he in charge or the alpha male. YOU need to be the alpha male, otherwise other undersidaerable behaviors willl develop becaus ehe thinks he is teh boss and can do no wrong.

2) Play-Biting

Dogs are dogs, and that means they’re going to be playful. But play-biting is a common problem among puppies who haven’t been taught how to play nicely. Teach your pup how to properly play with other pups by taking them to puppy training classes or using a variety of chew toys, balls, etc. Since play biting often occurs when two pups start fighting over an object, try keeping different toys in areas where your pup spends time so that he/she will learn how to use different items for chewing or playing with. It can also help for owners to make sure their dog has plenty of exercise before interactions with other dogs occur—dogs who are tired are less likely to want to play so roughly!

3) Separation Anxiety

Your dog doesn’t want to be left alone. He gets anxious when you leave, peering out of windows, scratching at doors, and whining in a pitiful manner until you return. While it’s not a serious issue in most cases, separation anxiety can lead to some bad behavior if your pet is left alone too often. How do you stop separation anxiety? It all comes down to keeping your dog busy when you’re gone—giving him something else to focus on. If he’s left with an abundance of toys, chews or food puzzles he won’t have time for bad habits like chewing up your stuff or tearing apart the garbage bags.

4) Housebreaking

Sometimes, a puppy can learn to eliminate on command. Keep him near pads, in a small confined area at first in case of accidents. It’s important to remember that your dog will not develop a bladder or bowels overnight (even if you take him outside every hour) so be patient and teach him as much as you can in small increments. Watch him closely when he wakes up from a nap or first gets up in the morning, before he has a chance to eliminate, then take him outside immediately so he knows where you want him to go. Say do your business each time you take your dog out, then reward them once they relieve themselves.

5) Digging

Your dog digs because he’s bored, looking for cool places to sleep, or trying to bury something. Dogs are good at keeping secrets. To stop your dog from digging in flower beds, create an area just for him in a corner of your yard—invisible fences can help too. Consider planting fragrant flowers that will lure your pup over (you could even put his bed inside) and get creative with toys, like building blocks or other puzzle-type toys. Or train your pup to respond to verbal commands like leave it or drop it so he knows what you want him to do when he finds something on his own.

6) Chewing

Chewing is a normal dog behavior, but it can be destructive if not properly managed. Dogs’ mouths are full of bacteria, so they’re often licking or chewing things to get rid of dead skin cells in their mouth. To curb chewing on furniture or other objects, try providing your dog with a chew toy. If you notice your dog is still biting something that doesn’t belong to him, give him something that does—like one of his own toys or an object designed for dogs (don’t leave socks lying around!). In addition to removing triggers for chewing behavior, you may also want to seek out a veterinary dentist.

7) Barking

Barking can be a big problem in a family living situation. Dogs that bark frequently are usually bored or lonely, as they only bark when they’re not around other animals or people. Find ways to keep your pet busy, either with training sessions or by giving him toys or treats to keep him occupied while you’re out of sight. If he starts barking while you’re home, distract him with attention-getting tricks that do not involve your leaving his sight. For example, give your dog some space to run around in and start throwing his favorite toy from across the room so he has to run after it. Do whatever works best for him!

8) Socialization

It’s important to socialize your dog with other animals as early as possible. We always recommend getting a puppy—between 8-12 weeks of age—and taking it to get socialized (with both people and other dogs) immediately. This helps your dog grow up to be confident around other animals. You should also keep an eye on different signs of stress in your dog: If it’s sniffing around or licking its mouth, those are clear signs that it is uncomfortable, so take them out or put them in another room for a bit until they feel more at ease.

9) Aggression

Aggression can stem from fear, lack of socialization, or loneliness. Luckily, there are many solutions for aggression. If your dog is aggressive toward other dogs or people in general, you should look into obedience training to help establish yourself as an authority figure—as well as helping your dog learn appropriate behavior. Since biting often stems from a lack of self-confidence, it’s important to make sure that your dog knows she can trust you before putting her in new situations where she might feel threatened. By handling situations confidently but calmly (including petting), you can reassure your dog that she’s in good hands. If training doesn’t do the trick, consider seeing a vet to rule out any health problems that could be causing behavioral issues like aggression.

10) Crate Training

Some dogs bark out of anxiety, which can lead to separation anxiety if left untreated. This can be combated with crate training. A dog crate is a large wire cage designed for a pet dog that serves as a den or bedroom for your pup when you’re not home. Dogs are den animals, so spending time in a crate should be relaxing—you shouldn’t hear any whining or other distress sounds while they’re in there. If your dog is whining or barking when in their crate, try feeding them treats or giving them praise right before they go inside; that way, they associate their crate with pleasant things.


The most important thing to remember when it comes to dog behavior is that you should never hit your dog. If your dog is misbehaving, take a step back, relax, then try to figure out why he’s acting out in that way. Reward good behavior with treats or affection, as appropriate. Remember: Positive reinforcement can go a long way! The purpose of training isn’t necessarily to punish bad behavior—it’s to make sure your pet understands what you want him to do. Spend time teaching him new tricks and rewarding his good behavior before you get frustrated with bad habits.

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