Even if your dog can sit and speak on command, he might still have a few annoying behaviors that are hard to get rid of. From excess barking to jumping or chewing, there are lots of things dogs do that can irritate their family. Keep reading for more information on how to address your dog’s pesky behaviors.
Why the Bad Behavior?
Before you can start dealing with bad behavior, you should understand that these problems always have a reason. As humans, we may not understand that reason fully, but rest assured that your dog is doing what he is doing because it serves a purpose for him. We’ll get to what these reasons could be for each of the following behaviors.
One of the most common complaints of dog owners (and their neighbors) is excess or very loud barking. To us, it may seem unwarranted, but as we mentioned above, this behavior has a reason.
The first reason could be that your dog is barking out of fear. It’s quite normal for a dog to bark at a knock on the door, but if he continues to do so once you’ve opened it or allowed a guest in, he’s likely feeling uncomfortable. A professional trainer can help your dog adjust to new people.
Another reason for barking could be attention-seeking. Your dog might do this to get you to give him something he wants, like a treat, a toy, or a walk outside. To discourage attention-seeking barking, simply ignore it. When they see that the behavior isn’t getting them the reward they want, they’ll learn to stop.
If you find that your dog is making regular snacks of your shoes, couch cushions, or anything else, you’ll want to stop this before it becomes a costly habit. If your furry friend is a puppy, he might be chewing as he teethes, just like a baby. In this case, you should provide him with a few extra chew toys or chewy treats, so he knows what’s ok to chew and what isn’t. If your dog is older, he may be experiencing anxiety or boredom. Keep him engaged by playing with him or teaching him new tricks, and make sure he has plenty of ok-to-chew items that you can give him to replace a shoe or pillow he has picked up.
Let’s face it – some dogs are just excitable, and that excitement shows up in the form of jumping. While this may not be a big problem, especially if you have a small dog, it’s not a great behavior to encourage, especially if he takes liberties with jumping on strangers. To discourage this behavior, make sure your dog knows you don’t like it. When he tries to jump on or at you, move out of the way or step back so that he doesn’t make contact. Instead of ignoring the behavior as you would with barking, actively prevent it by making yourself inaccessible.
Once you have done this, teach your dog a more appropriate behavior to express his excitement. Teaching a dog to spin in a circle in front of you or hold out a paw for a “high five” is equally fun and much less pesky!
Some breeds are more prone to digging than others, so if you have a terrier or other working dog breed, you could find that he loves to dig. The action hits that evolutionary sweet spot for dogs that were bred to dig for a purpose, so they’ll have the urge to do it.
If you find that your yard is turning into a minefield with holes, you can instead create a dig-friendly zone dedicated to that dog’s needs. You can even hide a few treats or toys to give them a reward for digging only there.
If you immediately rush to your dog when they begin digging in an unwanted location, they may associate the digging with attention – which is what dogs want. If you find that he digs to get attention from you, go inside immediately to let your pup know he won’t get a reaction.
Contact Argos Dog Training
As the expert dog trainer in the Boston area, Argos Dog Training knows just how important it is to fix your dog’s problematic behaviors so you can enjoy life with your dog at his best. If you need assistance with any behavioral issues or additional training, give us a call today at to set up a consultation.