Some people train their dogs to develop their skills, others for the sheer fun it could give, but for most people they train to discipline their pets. Dogs, even when highly domesticated, could show a lot of their instincts and natural tendencies. These are they nature. However, to adapt them to the human needs some of their instincts need to be repressed and tailored.
There are several common behavior problems that most people just can’t tolerate. Here are some suggestions to solve a number of problems usually encountered by dog owners.
I. Undesirable Barking
Barking is the main medium of communication for dogs. However, some dogs tend to bark excessively in which case the owner can do the following actions:
a) If he is barking don’t say no. Dogs just can’t understand our language and saying “no” repetitively to a dog could excite him and give him the impression that you too are barking.
b) Practice consistency. Use only one command when you want him to stop barking.
c) Don’t get mad at him, be patient enough to drive him to the behavior you want to modify.
d) Reward him whenever he picks up your command. Don’t let a good behavior pass and reward it accordingly.
II. Chewing Behavior
Puppies are natural chewers, they use chewing for practicing their jaws and mouths. However they could chew for a number of reasons: they may feel bored, they are teething, they just want to play around, or they are curious about something. Like children, they use their mouths to find a great deal of information about their environment.
To eliminate excessive chewing you can do the following:
a) Put him in a crate where he could not have access to items in the house which could be chewed.
b) If you don’t want to confine him in a crate, be ready to supervise all his movements closely. You do not want to find a tear on your sofa because your puppy loved chewing the upholstery.
c) The puppy does not know the difference between an old shoe and a new shoe so instead of giving him shoes; give him other items that can be chewed. Toys, but not plush toys, may be good alternatives.
d) Buy for him chew toys. Chewing tendencies could never be satisfied if the puppy doesn’t get to chew something. If you don’t want him to chump on your furniture, it is best to invest on chew toys.
e) Give your puppy a good amount of exercise. Chewing could also be a result of too much energy in the body. If you could exhaust him a bit, his chewing behavior might be lessened.
III. Unwanted Digging
Another primal instinct, digging could be due to boredom, want for escape, need to find a cooler place to rest, to hide something like a bone or to make a den. While dogs used digging for many valuable reasons, many people find it destructive. Here are some solutions to avoid undesirable digging behavior:
a) Allow a specific area for him to dig. This way, you would prevent any occurrences of digging in inappropriate places. To condition him to dig the specific area alone, you should try to make it a rewarding experience and punish him whenever he looks for other places to dig.
b) You could also try deterring him from digging inappropriate places by putting small amounts of diluted ammonia or pepper in the area.
Unwanted dog behaviors could be tapered according to your wants through proper dog training but be sure to employ only the best training procedures.