An Overview of Common Dog Behavior Problems

Many common dog problem behaviors are easy to solve if you understand their source. Calm, gentle and consistent responses will have the best effect. Yelling, hitting or any other abusive response will frighten your dog and defeat any effort to correct the problem.

A local dog training class can be a big help in establishing a good training routine with your dog. A beginner's class will usually cover basic commands like "sit," "stay" and "down" as well as good leash handling. Dog owners usually need as much training as dogs.

Jumping on People

Sometimes your dog is looking for attention and she doesn't think she can find it on the floor. So she jumps. Usually, you push her down. She jumps again. You push her again. Do you see a pattern here?

The best way to deter a jumper is to ignore her. Cross your arms and turn your back. Look up at the ceiling, not at your dog. Hum if you have to. When she has calms down a bit, praise her in calm tones.

Pulling During Walks

Leash pulling can turn a walk into a drag-literally. A training class can help you learn the basics of heeling. Alternatively, you can purchase an anti-pull harness. There are several different models available. You may need to experiment to see which one works with your dog.

Certain breeds are more inclined to pull; sled dogs like Huskies are notorious pullers. Why not put his skills to work? Buy a sled and hook him up. There is also a sport called skijoring. It's a cross between dog sledding and cross-country skiing. Your dog pulls you on your skis-for the right dog, this is great fun.

Housebreaking Can Take Time

Housebreaking is one of the most common training issues for dog owners. It requires patience and lavish praise to effectively housetrain your dog.

Begin by establishing a routine. Take your puppy outside at least every four hours. When you're going out, say, "time to go" or some other phrase that you will use each time you take her out to eliminate. Bring her to the same spot and wait patiently. Don't play or engage your puppy at this time. Heap praise upon her when she eliminates in her spot.

Puppy Housebreaking Tips:

  • Take your puppy outside immediately after eating.
  • Learn to recognize her signs. If she starts circling the living room, use the "time to go" phrase, and get outside!
  • Until twelve weeks, puppies lack the ability to "hold it." Please don't expect her to.
  • From twelve weeks to five months, you will need to take your puppy out at least six to eight times a day.

Do not punish your dog for accidents, especially after the fact. If you catch your dog in the act, clap your hands and issue a loud "NO." Immediately bring your dog out to her spot and praise her if she eliminates.

Aggression Requires a Professional

Aggression problems require professional assistance. Speak to your veterinarian for a referral to a qualified dog behavior specialist who can help you with this problem.