Puppy Behavior Problems

Puppy behavior is not sweet and obedient at all times. Aggressive puppy behavior can manifest in the puppy biting or growling. Puppy housebreaking and behavioral problems can be dealt with in many positive ways. This article will explore these behaviors and ways to address them.

Aggressive Puppy Behavior

There are several ways a young dog may exhibit aggression. Growling can be playful but when combined with baring the teeth or with hair that's standing on end, it's a sign of aggression that needs to be dealt with immediately. A puppy may become aggressive if you try to take a toy or food away. Puppies sometimes bite in play but a puppy needs to learn how to adapt this play behavior according to what's comfortable with the playmate, be it person or dog.

Possible Reasons for Puppy Aggression

Understanding the reasons for aggressive puppy behavior can help you deal with the problem in an informed way. Usually, a puppy becomes aggressive when it is unclear to him who is in charge. He will then try to assert himself as the alpha dog through his aggressive behavior. The humans in the house need to assert that they are the alphas, and this can be done without aggression or punishment. To deal with food aggression, for example, you can teach your puppy to eat only on command. You can also practice taking the dish or a treat away and sternly interrupting the growling response with an assertive "no!".

Curbing Puppy Play Aggression

Play aggression creates an excellent opportunity for establishing yourself as the alpha and socializing your dog. If your puppy bites you, the best approach involves responding the way an alpha dog would. Dogs usually make a loud yelp and stop the play if they get hurt by the other dog. The alpha dog in the pack will show he's in charge by being the one to say when and how play can occur.

If your dog bites you, you can let him know that's not acceptable by making a loud high pitched sound and stopping the interaction. You can also create rules when playing with your puppy to show him you're the alpha and to teach him what safe play is. It's best if you create a no-tolerance policy to any biting, whether accidental or purposeful.

Puppy Housebreaking

The most effective puppy housebreaking consistency, rewards, and interrupting accidents as they happen. Incorporating a combination of crate training and working around a consistent feeding schedule can help ensure success. Punishing a dog when you catch the evidence of an accident merely teaches him to fear you and to avoid eliminating in front of you.

Positive Puppy Housebreaking

A puppy tends to need to eliminate 20 to 30 minutes after eating and about once every 1 to 3 hours. A healthy dog will not eliminate in their crate. Thus, you can put the puppy in his crate for an hour and then make a trip to a consistent designated toileting area. You can also take the puppy to the toileting area 20 to 30 minutes after eating while keeping him in the crate just after eating. Using these techniques, you'll be the most likely to catch him eliminating in the right place so you can reward him to solidify that positive behavior.