11 Hyperactivity and unruliness
More often than not, the reason your dog is too energetic, unruly and hyperactive is because they're lacking stimulation or find themselves bored. Depending on the breed, size, age and upbringing, dogs will have different levels of activity, and some of them will feel the need to release all the extra energy or fight boredom regardless of location or situation.
How to fix it? Because every dog is different, in order to fix this fairly common dog behavior problem, dog owners must address it in several ways to find the best solution:
- Don't give into the game. If this is not something you're comfortable with, avoid encouraging his sudden energy outbursts and ignore them completely for a while.
- Ensure sufficient exercise. You need to know exercise requirements of your dog breed. Make certain they get enough training, walking, running and playing on a daily basis.
- Try clicking. While this technique doesn't always work with hyperactive dogs, you should still try clicker training for calm behavior.
22 Stealing things
How to fix it? Obviously, when you're preparing to have a pet in your home, you should immediately consider things that they will reach out for when you're not around. Exchange the “bad” stuff with the “good” stuff – put down plenty of dog toys for your dog to chew on, or anything else that you think will not harm your pet and you don't mind having canine saliva all over.
33 Rough play
How to fix it? Whenever your Fido starts being rough with you during play time, stand up immediately and raise yourself above their level. Stop interactive with your dog, making sounds, moving around and reacting to your dog's actions. Freeze completely and keep your arms close to the body. Your pet will soon realize that the game time is over.
Another part of these most common dog behavior problems is when they play roughly with other animals. If you spot this, stop the play time without hesitation and grab your dog while trying not to interact with or excite him. At this point, your pet needs some time off from socialization, so breaking any contact for a while is a good idea.
44 Constant biting
How to fix it? Although biting comes from the fact dogs are still animals, regular proper training and socialization can fix this. Spending time with your pet and letting them socialize with other animals and strangers will help in fixing this problem the most. Expose your dog to different settings, places and new things and whenever you'll see your pooch getting uncomfortable, don't ignore it and attempt to switch that around. In short, this is a habit that can be changed with some constant supervision and work.
55 Chasing moving things
How to fix it? Dog behaviorists know that there is no way trying to stop a canine from chasing things, but you can try to prevent anything bad from happening as the outcome of your pet's need to chase.
- When outside in the environment that pose potential dangers, make sure to keep your dog on a leash.
- Train your dog well to listen to obedience commands, and especially “come” when called.
- Always be on the lookout for any possible triggers that will set off your pooch: bicycles, joggers, cars, etc.
66 Inappropriate elimination
How to fix it? Understand that inappropriate elimination in dogs can be not only a behavioral problem but a medical conditions. Therefore, it's vital for you to discuss this case with your veterinarian as soon as you discover it. Once your vet has definitely ruled out any health problems as the reason for your dog's inappropriate elimination, there is only one thing you need to do to fix this difficult issue – training (or retraining) your dog.
Inappropriate elimination is a simple lack of understand from the dog why she cannot relieve herself anywhere she wants. You would need to go back to housebreaking basics (same ones as those used for training puppies), and go through with your older dog about appropriate ways of elimination. Remember that for puppies under the age of 12 weeks, inappropriate elimination is normal and is difficult to “fix” instantly.
77 Jumping up on people
How to fix it? To resolve this one of the most common dog behavior problems, ignore your dog when you come home until she stops trying to jump up at you. Do not shout, do not call for your dog and do not push her away either. Any of those behaviors will excite your pooch, and encourage jumping even more. Start petting your dog as soon as her feet land back on the ground, so that she learns that her jumping up was the reason you were ignoring her.
88 Separation anxiety
How to fix it? This issue requires a lot of constant training (in very extreme cases, vets even recommend using dog anxiety pills). The best way to start dealing with this dog behavior problem is teaching your pet that you will always be back: start with leaving for 10 minutes and always extend time frame based on your pet's reaction. Use chew toys to avoid having your dog destroy your shoes. You can even leave the TV or radio on for your pet.
Another way to fix this common dog behavior problem is to get an appropriate dog crate and crate-train your pet. When dogs have their own den, they spend less time stressing with separation anxiety and rather do things in their den – playing with toys, chewing on things, or simply sleeping when you're away. Finally, if nothing works, do talk to your veterinarian about this problem.
How to fix it? This is yet another case for effective obedience training and training of new habits in your dog. To resolve unwanted and/or excessive barking, you must first establish what situations make your dog bark, and then teach your pooch how to handle those situation more appropriately. For example, if your dog barks when someone is at the door, turn that behavior into a productive behavior: teach the dog to bark a few times, and then wait quietly by the door to see who's there.
1010 Aggressive behavior
How to fix it? You must demonstrate to your dogs that they're not in control of the situation and set the limits of how caprice they can get. Ignore their poor and aggressive behavior and use positive reinforcement. Also, evaluate your pet's diet because some foods or dog supplements can cause certain dog breeds to behave more aggressively.
Finally, monitor the progress of your pet's aggression and if none of the obedience training, setting limits, reinforcing positive behavior methods work to deal with this behavioral problem – talk to the vet as well as a professional dog trainer. You might need to get your dog to understand how to live among people, and only a professional will be able to do that.
1111 Begging for food
How to fix it? To resolve problem of your dog's begging, simply teach your canine that begging for food will not work. Always ignore your dog and do not give him any food when you are eating. Be patient and consistent. Do not reprimand your dog for begging, as the attention he receives will reinforce the behavior. Remember that this is an ongoing process, and even after a long-term practice, if you cave in – the process will need to be started from the beginning.
1212 Jumping on Furniture
How to fix it? If you're trying to train your dog not to jump onto furniture, provide him with a comfortable dog bed instead (there are also indestructible dog beds designed for aggressive chewers). When still training, reward your dog for using his own bed instead of yours, either verbally or with a treat. Then, if you catch your Fido on the couch, make him come off immediately and with strict command. If necessary, block off access to the furniture when you aren't around or use furniture repellents for pets.
How to fix it? Bite inhibition is the most common dog training method against biting as well as mouthing. Many dog experts use this technique on young puppies to a great effect. In addition to bite inhibition, you should also work on your dog's mouthing habit:
- When mouthing occurs, find a dog toy to substitute for your hand
- Use positive reinforcement and treats when dog stops mouthing
- Encourage less rough games with your dog
- Practice obedience training and let the dog know once he does something wrong
How to “fix” it? Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, and the first step to resolving this problem is to figure out why she's digging in the first place.
- Some dogs out of boredom, or to get your attention. In this case, your dog needs more exercise and more playtime.
- Your dog may well be hunting burrowing prey. If this is the case, deal with the prey.
- Some dogs dig to lie in the cooler dirt below, or to hide from wind or rain. In this case, reduce your dog's time outside, or provide your dog with a dog house.
- Finally, some dogs dig to escape under fences. Block off access to the fences, or reinforce the ground below the fences.
Once you figured out the reason for your dog's digging habits, address it appropriately using the most effective ways that have already been mentioned: correction of your dog's habits and positive reinforcement.
1515 Destructive chewing
How to fix it? Make sure your dog has plenty of access to appropriate chewing outlets, like interesting and tasty chew toys. Block off access to wires, cords, papers, or anything else your dog might have been using as an inappropriate chewing outlet. If your dog still ends up chewing the wrong things, it might mean he is bored or under-exercised.
1616 Excessive licking
How to fix it? Since excessive licking in dogs can be caused by many different reasons – from psychological like anxiety to actual medical conditions (including allergies and injuries) – the first and most important step to fixing this behavioral problem is accurately determining the reason.
Monitor your dog's licking habits as well as any other common behavior problems they have and start defining the problem through the process of elimination. Once you have a good idea of a few potential reasons, it's time to talk to a professional and see if this condition can (or should) be fixed.
1717 Showing a fear of noises
Exposing a dog to a sound it fears will not desensitize it to the noise, and will generally aggravate the fear. If the sound is unavoidable, such as thunder during a thunderstorm, maintain an air of confidence. Do not address your dog's fear, as you will probably just reinforce the idea that the fear is justified.
How to fix it? You can try obtaining a recording of the noise and playing it to your dog on very low volume in a calm, safe setting. Slowly increase the volume over the course of many sessions, and your dog may eventually overcome his fear. Again, do not go too fast! Forcing your dog to face its fear will not work, and will probably be counter-productive.
How to fix it? To start the battle against your dog's disobedient behavior, you must go back to obedience training basics and go through the whole process again. Do not chase after your dog, do not punish your dog, and do not try to bribe them either.
When it comes to this type of misbehaving, be strict with your canine and establish your dominance. Most of the time, negative reinforcement will not work on a disobedient dog, so if you find your training methods to be ineffective – it's time to ask for a professional's help. Fixing this behavioral problem is important and should be done effectively.
1919 Being overprotective of family
How to fix it? Start by socializing your dog in easy social situations: one new person at a time, or a person and their friendly, well-socialized dog. Slowly work up to more complicated social situations. At all times, maintain an air of confidence.
If your dog senses that you are worried, he will conclude that you are in danger, and will try to protect you. Even though their intetions are good, you must let your pooch know that this is inappropriate behavior. Practice obedience training and positive reinforcement, too.
2020 Leash pulling
How to fix it? Start by very frequent walking sessions with your dog on the leash. Dog experts recommend to keep these sessions short and fun for the dog. When training against leash pulling, never allow your dog to do what you don't want him to do. Try to keep your dog leash short but loose enough so as not to hurt your animal.
The best way to go about training your dog to walk alongside you is to always have a bunch of tasty dog treats and use positive reinforcement. Also, try walking on faster pace and do go jogging with your dog on the leash. All of these methods will make the dog understand where you expect him to be when on a leash.
2121 Whining for attention
How to fix it? To stop your dog from whining, the first thing you should do is ignore her. Do not react, do not pet, do not talk to your dog unless you know there might be a specific reason which requires your attention (such as a medical one). Once your dog stops whining, start reacting to their suddenly changed behavior: pet your pooch, play with her or otherwise interact. Your dog must understand that whining didn't do anything, yet once she stopped, you reacted.
2222 Being overprotective of property
How to fix it? Start training your dog to let go of items that you are sharing, like tug-of-war ropes. Begin by playing tug for a while, and then tell your dog to ‘let go' or ‘drop it'. Present a very tasty treat in your other hand. When she lets go, give her the treat and praise her. Eventually, move on to toys you aren't sharing. This is also a good way to teach your dog to play fetch.
How to fix it? First, consider that the only reason you should fix dog behavior problems like humping is only if they bother you or someone else. If this normal for dogs behavior doesn't affect anybody, you really shouldn't worry about it. If, however, mounting behavior in your dog is excessive, there are a few things you can do:
- Always distract your dog. Once you see what your canine is about to do, find something else for him to play with
- If your dog is intact, consider neutering him. Even though it doesn't stop from humping, it will reduce his motivation
- React appropriate to your dog's mounting: push away, ignore, sit him down and use commands to control your dog
How to fix it?
- Some breeds are very curious, and prone to wandering off in search of adventure. Make sure your yard is well-secured, and consider restricting yard time to when you are available to supervise.
- Some dogs may be afraid of something in the yard. In this case, figure out what is scaring them and resolve the issue.
- Other dogs may escape out of boredom or to seek social interactions. In this case, giving your dog more time to socialize with you, your family, and other people and dogs may reduce the problem.
- Finally, getting your dog spayed or neutered may help reduce the desire to wander off in search of potential mates.
2525 Eating poop
How to fix it? Stopping your dog from eating poop is another one of the most difficult dog behavior problems to correct. This is mostly because dogs sniff everything all the time, and teaching them that sniffing is okay but eating is not will be challenging. Best way to deal with coprophagia in dogs is to:
- Ensure an environment where there's no other animal's feces
- Clean up after your dog immediately
- Provide your pet with toys and games; play with them regularly
- Check with the vet for any medical conditions, and provide a good diet