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9 Tips for Dealing with Behavioral Problems in Dogs

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Does your dog have behavioral problems? If you answered ‘yes’ – then you are in the right place. To help you deal with your pet’s behavioral problems, we have put together some handy tips.

Dogs make fantastic family pets, they’re fun-loving and loyal and make excellent companions. However, if not properly trained, behavioral problems in dogs can develop. These kinds of problems can range from chewing the furniture and chasing the cat to more severe problems, like being aggressive toward other dogs and people.

As a dog owner, you only want what’s best for your pet, which is why it is so important to nip any behavioural problems in the bud, as soon as possible.

If your dog has behavioural problems, you might be feeling isolated or alone, but there is no need to feel like that. At one time or another, every dog owner has to deal with some form of problem behaviour.

Your best chance of resolving your dogs behavioural problems comes from understanding why you dog acts the way he does and what the best way to resolve the problem is.

Here are our nine top tips to help you deal with behavioral problems in dogs:

1. Be in control

As the owner, you need to be in control. If you can control your dog successfully, then you can control the situation. Of course, this is often easier said than done, but it’s an important thing to master.

One of the best ways to gain control of your dog is with a training collar and lead – for many dogs this equipment shows them you mean business. If you use a lead, your dog is unable to run away and will have to listen to what you say – you can show your dog the kind of behaviour you expect from him.

2. Use positive reinforcement

Instead of using the term ‘no’, opt for positive reinforcement instead. When your dog does something wrong, don’t use the term ‘no’, instead ask him to sit. If he sits, you can then praise him, instead of having to tell him off.

If for example, your dog jumps up at people, instead of saying ‘no’, tell him to sit. Then when he does it, praise him – this will teach him that jumping isn’t acceptable, but sitting is.

3. Accept your dog’s natural behaviors

Many problems that owners consider to be behavioural issues are often just the dogs natural behaviour. For example, for a garden-proud dog owner, the idea of your dog digging up your garden might be upsetting, but it’s a natural behaviour.


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If your dogs natural behaviours concern you, get creative about how you deal with them. But remember, it is important to allow your dog to be a dog.

4. Always be consistent

The golden rule of having a well-behaved dog is to be consistent. If you swap training tactics every other day, how can you expect your dog to learn anything? To teach your dog properly, it is crucial that you stick to the same training methods and remain consistent.

If you allow your dog to sleep on the furniture, don’t expect him to understand when you shout at him, to get off the couch because you have guests. If you don’t want your dog sleeping in your bed, don’t let him in there – even as a puppy. No matter what your rules are, you have to be consistent with them.

5. Get professional help

If your dog is causing you real problems, don’t just sit by and let them get worse, seek professional help. Whether that’s taking your dog to a training classes or hiring a specialist trainer, if you need professional help, get it.

Have a look online or ask in your vets for details of any local dog training groups or specialists you could contact. Don’t be embarrassed about needing help, some dogs are harder to train than others.

6. Give your dog enough exercise

Did you know that the most common cause of behavioural problems in dogs is boredom? That’s right, most behavioural issues are caused by a lack of sufficient exercise, which is why giving your dog enough exercise is so important.

Your dog might have the run of the house and garden, but spending each day doing the same thing is boring. To be a happy, well-behaved dog, you dog needs to get out and about and do new and exciting things.

Take your dog for a walk to the park, go on a hike in the woods, go for a gentle jog – just make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. The best-behaved dogs are always the ones that are well exercised and tired at the end of the day.

7. Dogs need mental stimulation

Don’t make the mistake of thinking regular exercise is enough for your dog – to be a happy and well behaved pet, your dog needs regular mental stimulation.

The best ways to give your dog mental stimulation is by providing them with toys and games to play with throughout the day. Games that dispense treats, like Kongs, offer the best mental stimulation, as they require the dog to use their skill to get the treats out of the toy.


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Many dogs that are left alone during the day have a tendency to howl and whine, often loud enough to annoy the neighbours. The best way to deal with this behavioural problem is by providing your dog with toys and games to keep them occupied while you are out at work or running errands.

8. Ask your vet

If you are unsure how to deal with a certain behavioural problem, ask your vet for advice. Don’t feel ashamed to ask your vet for help, that’s what they are there for.

Many dog owners have problems dealing with dogs who get over-excited, vets can often suggest a product like Calmex to help deal with it. As well as being able to buy these kinds of products on the internet, you can also buy them from many veterinary surgeries and pet shops.

9. Take your dogs genetics into account

Many dog owners fail to take their dogs genetic makeup into account in terms of their behaviour. Whether your dog is a Labrador or a Doberman, a Springer Spaniel or a Jack Russell, it is important to take their genetics into account.

Each breed of dog is built to do different things. While springer spaniels and Beagles are bred to be gun dogs, Border Collies are bred to be farm dogs and Labradors are bred to be family pets. That’s not to say that a Border Collie can’t make a good family pet. It just means that a Border Collie would require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, compared to a Labrador.

Take the time to get to the bottom of any challenging behavior and train your dog properly, and you will have the best-behaved pet around.

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