There are very few “bad dogs” in the world, but there are a lot of dogs who don’t understand what humans expect of them. Dogs are dogs, after all, and most perform a number of regular “dog behaviors” as a way to seek out your attention or keep themselves occupied. Teaching your dog appropriate behaviors in a calm, fair manner will go a long way toward building a bond of trust and companionship for years to come. Remember that your dog doesn’t speak English, so rather than yell, scold or punish, teach him what you want him to do instead. Here are a few tips to adjust common dog behaviors:
This is merely an inappropriate greeting behavior, as your dog is excited to see you.
Usually dogs dig because they are bored or left outside for too long. However, digging is a normal activity for dogs and many of them really enjoy it.
Chewing is a normal and necessary behavior to promote healthy teeth and gums. All dogs should have their own chew toys. Avoid cooked bones, poultry bones and rib bones as they tend to splinter and cause choking or intestinal problems. It is recommended that you supervise your dog when he has a chew toy/bone.
Dogs bark to alert you of danger, because they are lonely, bored or anxious and seeking attention, or because they are being teased by an outside influence (i.e., squirrels).
Please call us for help if your dog appears anxious or stressed or if the barking does not subside.
Bolting can be a very serious problem that may show up at your home in the first few days before your new dog realizes she lives with you!
If she escapes, don’t run directly after her as this can often be seen as a game, and she probably will run away faster! Instead, try turning around, calling her happily and running away at an angle and the dog may turn around and chase you safely home. If your dog approaches you, try crouching down and offering a cookie to lure the dog to you. Talk in a “happy” voice to attract your dog.
Usually within 30 minutes of the owner departing, the dog attempts to get out to find his owner. Tremendous damage can be done to door frames, drapes, windowsills, furniture, blinds, etc. Dogs can injure themselves in their panic. Putting a dog in a crate or kennel can increase the anxiety, and they can break their teeth and rip out their nails in a frantic effort to get out. Food is rarely a distraction. Most dogs will be too frantic to even notice treats. The dog also may urinate and defecate because of his anxiety.
The dog is not being willfully destructive or malicious. Punishing the dog does no good as it only confuses your already anxious and distraught pet. Usually the dog is extremely affectionate, calm and loving when in the presence of his owner. The attachment formed is very strong, so much so that the dog feels intense panic when the owner leaves, feeling unable to cope with being left alone.
What can you do?
Please consult a board-certified veterinary behaviorist to obtain a proper diagnosis and for more information on this problem. Treating your dog with medication may be necessary to take the edge off his anxiety and enable you to implement a behavior modification training program.
If the anxiety is mild, please ask for help by calling our Behavior Helpline @ (630)323-5637 as there are many more things we can suggest to help you and your new dog.