Is Your Dog’s Behavior a Problem?

If so, you are not alone. Many dog owners are faced with serious behavior issues that may affect the quality of their relationship. Instead of punishing your dog by locking him/her in a cage or tying outside, the behavior may often be corrected simply by understanding the dog’s motivating factors. In fact, most behavior problems are directly related to the discomfort experienced by the dog when he/she is left alone. Problems such as barking, jumping, mouthing, and overall destructiveness occur when a dog desires attention and interaction and there is no one present to offer these things. Think about leaving a radio or television on when you are away to provide stimulus for the dog. The sounds may comfort the dog in your absence.

Your next task is to improve the quality of the time you spend with your pet when you are home. Rather than focus on the unacceptable behavior your dog is exhibiting, try teaching your dog a desirable behavior. To begin training your dog, you must create the teaching situation before a problem situation can arise. For example, to correct pestering behavior, you should begin by playing vigorously with a toy. Remember to pet and praise the dog while you are playing. Then stop, take the toy away and give the dog a chew bone. Withdraw attention to the dog. Do not look at, talk to or touch your dog until he/she is settled. The fi rst time you do this, the dog will sit, lie down or wander away by chance. To establish a pattern to create desirable behavior, you must repeat the playing process. Call your pet to you, and then begin playing with the interactive toy, petting, and praising him/her the entire time. The most important rule to remember is to be consistent. Continue to repeat this training process. Remember to give attention for proper behavior only. If the dog comes to you later and exhibits the pestering behavior again, withdraw and give the dog a chance to choose a more desirable behavior. In time, the training process will stimulate the desired acceptable behavior.

For more information, contact East Coast Academy of Dog Training at (410) 585-1500 or visit them at

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