As animals, dogs have many instinctive behaviors that don't often fit into our modern lives. In the age of professional trainers, doggy groomers, and puppy daycare, there are many methods and techniques out there promising to fix your dog's behavior problems. However, there are only a few techniques that are guaranteed to fix any behavioral problem that's only behavioral. Physically or mentally ill dogs and pups may experience behavior problems that ordinary techniques won't help.
Exercise - Just like with humans, dogs require physical activity on a daily basis or they become sluggish and depressed. Lack of exercise is the root cause of many behavioral problems among dogs. If you work outside the home, get up early and take your pup or dog for at least a 30-minute walk. This will give him exercise, and more importantly tire him out so he doesn't spend his energy destroying your home.
When you return from work in the evening, regardless of how tired you are take your pup or dog for another long walk, at least 30 minutes but 60 would be preferable. Exercise will not only keep your dog healthy, it will keep your relationship with your dog healthy as well.
Quality Time - It's important that all pet owners, but particularly dog owners remember to spend time with your dogs each day. Sitting together in front of the television doesn't count as quality time with your wife and it doesn't count with your dog either! When a dog is feeling lonely or neglected he channels that energy into another project, usually destroying different parts of your home.
Neglected pups and dogs often act out in an effort to get attention. They don't speak English, but the old saying "all attention is good attention" appears to be universal. Even if you're reprimanding your pup, he'd rather have that than no attention at all. Try some of our tips to fit doggy time into your day:
- Game of Frisbee in the park
- Dip in the pool
- Walk on the beach
- Trip to dog park
- A spot at the foot of the bed
Spay & Neuter - This isn't ideal for many owners, especially male owners but some aggressive behavior in dogs is rooted in sex. Lifting his leg to mark is territory, while not overtly sexual, is rooted in the male's need to mark his territory and assert his dominance. Spaying or neutering may also correct incessant humping of sofa legs, chairs, people, and stuffed animals.
Before you consider this technique, consult a vet because your pup's behavioral problems may have a deeper reason.
Obedience Training - Sometimes a dog just needs help from a professional to solve his behavioral problems. If your dog is too aggressive or has bitten someone, the problems may require the assistance of a professional dog trainer. If you choose this, find a trainer that will help you rather than do it for you. As important as it is that your dog's behavior problems are fixed, it is equally important that he sees you as an authority figure. Without that respect, correcting any behaviors will be almost impossible.
Andrew Daigle owns and operates many successful websites including Dog Training Advice and Tips, a website to learn how to train dogs and puppies with proven techniques with audio and lessons and Secrets to Dog Training for more dog and puppy training information.