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Correcting Bad Behavior in Dogs
As we take on a woofing buddy, we also take on their more or less annoying behaviors, such as excessive barking and sometimes puppy biting. While these behaviors are all-natural for dogs, there are ways to reduce them to near zero when they are out of place.
Correcting Barking Behavior in Dogs
Dogs bark for many reasons, from expressing needs and giving commands to warning family members of impending danger. In this section, the goal is not to stop barking, but to control excessive barking. Once you figure out why your dog is barking, you can figure out the appropriate solution. When dogs bark to get attention or want something, they feel like they are the alpha of the territory. In this case, you need to establish your leadership position with the dog. There are two ways to do this. You can teach your dog a command, such as "Quiet" or "Stop". When the dog barks, simply say "Stop!" Just say "Stop!" and show him a treat at the same time. Wait a few seconds for the dog to quiet down before feeding it a treat. Eventually, your command will work just as well, even if you don't use a treat.
The second way is to ignore the dog. Although this will be a bit of a pain in the ear, it may work. The dog will probably get angry and bark at first, but when he realizes that it won't work, he'll stop talking. Which method you try first depends on your personal preference. If your dog has a problem with barking at passersby, it's not just a problem for you.
Thousands of mailmen and delivery drivers get barked at every day. Dogs see these people as intruders, and if the intruder leaves under his barking spree, just as he wants, he will repeat the behavior. If you want your dog to stop barking at passersby, you can block his view or make it impossible for him to get to where these people are passing by. If he always barks at a specific person, such as the mailman, you can talk to him and give him some of your dog's favorite snacks to feed the dog. He can feed the dog a little bit each time he visits so that the dog sees him as a welcome guest and not an intruder. Remember to ask the mailman first to see if he is receptive to the idea.
Correcting Dog Biting Behavior
Puppy biting is not difficult to correct because dogs at this stage are still testing the boundaries of nibbling. If the dog still has this problem when it grows up, then the owner will have to consider obedience lessons for these aggressive dogs. Since biting is a broad issue, there are several corrections you can take when your dog is young. A common way to correct a dog's tendency to "bite for fun" is to make him feel like he's hurting you. When a puppy and its littermates play with each other, if one side gets bitten and screams, the other side will stop nibbling. If the dog bites you hard, then a big "ow". The purpose of this is to scare the dog, and then leave, not to play with it. The puppy will soon learn that as soon as it bites you as a playmate, you will disappear for a while.
How do I stop my dog from digging?
Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, including exercise and play. Some dogs dig because they are bored; others may be teething or anxious. Digging can be a sign of separation anxiety or it could simply be that your dog doesn't have enough toys to keep him occupied.
To stop your dog from digging, you first have to determine what motivates him to do so. Once you know the reason he digs, there are several steps you can take to curb his behavior:
Add more toys and bones for chewing that are not allowed in the yard. This will help satisfy his natural desire to chew and get rid of pent-up energy at the same time.
Give your dog more exercise by taking him on walks or playing fetch with him indoors until he tires out from all the activity.
Teach your dog an alternative behavior such as touching his nose to your hand while saying "leave it" when he starts digging. When he touches his nose to your hand, reward him with one treat per repetition until he catches on and learns how to perform this command automatically whenever he sees dirt anywhere in the yard (or house).
How can I prevent my dog from lunging at people and dogs while walking?
Dogs who lunge and bark at people and other dogs often do so because they are afraid. This is not aggressive behavior; they are simply acting out of fear or anxiety.
The first step in helping your dog overcome this behavior is to determine the cause of his fear. Is it a particular person or breed that he feels threatened by? Or does he simply react negatively to any person or dog who comes close?
If it's a specific person that triggers the reaction, then you need to find out why he reacts negatively to this individual. If you think he may have been abused by this person, try asking him if he would like to talk with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist about what happened. You may also want to discuss the situation with an animal behaviorist so they can help you determine how best to respond if your dog acts aggressively toward this person again in the future.
If your dog reacts negatively toward all people or dogs who come near him, then you'll need to work on desensitizing him so that he doesn't feel threatened by them anymore.