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Thursday, August 27, 2015


So last week we discussed the first five behavioral problems seen in dogs:  Digging, Chewing, Begging, Not Coming When Called, and Pulling on the Leash.  For more on these see the previous post.  The last five of the top 10 behavioral issues are:

6.  Separation Anxiety.  The goal is to make sure your dog knows that you will always come back.  Start by leaving for just 5-10 minutes.  Give a chew toy and leave the radio or TV on.  Do this several times.  Always be calm and don't make a big fuss when returning so he knows that it's okay for you to come and go.  Stay away in a little longer increments after he seems okay with the shorter time frame, gradually increasing time away.  Crate training is a good way to prevent separation anxiety, although this is easier with a younger dog.  Always ask your vet for advice on crate training an older anxious dog.

7.  Whining for attention.  If you pet your dog, look at her, or do anything except ignore her, you are teaching her that whining works.  To stop this, turn your back when she whines, look away or leave the room.  Make sure to pet, play with her and give rewards when she is not whining.

8.  Jumping.  If the dog jumps on you, raise a knee to bump the dog down to the ground.  Do not give him any attention unless both front paws are on the ground.  Then you can greet and pet or tell him to sit.  Then wait until he does before petting.  Keep greetings low key.

9.  Biting.  Any dog can bite if they feel nervous or threatened.  Socializing your dog early can teach him to feel relaxed around people.  Gradually exposing him to many different settings, places, and people will help him to feel safe.  Spend a lot of time with your dog so they learn to trust people, but be especially careful when your dog is around kids and food.

10.  Barking.  Some dogs bark out of frustration.  Yelling at your pup will just make it worse.  Obedience training can help frustration barking.  Teaching your dog to sit before doing something fun can help them to learn to control her impulses and learn patience.  Distracting them from the source of the barking with a toy or command.  Also making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise both physical and mental each day will help.  A tired dog is less likely to bark out of frustration or boredom.