Dog Behavior Modification Is THE Answer

Dog behavior modification is a hot topic.  Some people think that dogs should be allowed to be dogs, others think you need to break the dog's spirit to keep them under control, and still others are on the fence about the whole thing.



With an untrained, mischievous dog under foot, correcting the behavior will make life at home with your furry friend much more enjoyable!  Dog ownership accounts for some of the most rewarding and also frustrating experiences in life.

It really does take serious commitment to have a dog, an understanding dog behavior, as well as time invested in turning him into the "perfect" pooch you've always wanted.  All those dogs in the movies and TV shows you see?  That's right... a TON of work went into training and preparing that dog for its role.

Enough with the downers!  Look at the bright side - you can have a dog that listens well to you and isn't destructive in the home.  Like I said, all it takes is a little training and a lot of practice.

Correcting dog behavior is sometimes as simple as understanding that something you are doing is causing the reaction in your dog.  For example, if you pet the dog when he has his paws anywhere on your legs (greeting you at the door), you are inadvertently praising him for jumping!

Reasons for Aggression

When it comes to aggressive dog behavior, you should seek out the help of a professional dog trainer to first of all understand the nature of the aggression, and then in correcting dog behavior like this.  While under-socialization as a young puppy is the most common reason for dog aggression, other reasons include:

  • rough housing or play-fighting as a puppy
  • history of abuse or trauma
  • dog has been bitten or traumatized by another dog

Common Types of Aggression

There are several other types of aggressive dog behavior:

  • Over-protective dog/people aggression - Your dog is overprotective of you, and very territorial.  He won't let anyone new near you, and will growl and attempt to bite anyone who does. Or perhaps he is only aggressive towards young children, or men.  Dog biting is a problem that can be prevented as well as solved!
  • Chasing and biting - Your dog chases people when they run or bike by, and tries to bite them. We would set up "real" scenarios so we can troubleshoot the problem. 
  • Dog aggression - Your dog is aggressive towards other dogs only.

Nuisance problems

Dog behavior modification doesn't just cover dog aggression issues, though.  It can help with "little" problems such as:

This list is by no means exhaustive, so chances are, if your dog behavior question isn't covered here, it might be in the Dog Behavior Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this page.

Find out what the underlying cause is of the dog behavior, and presto!  You're half way there to correcting bad dog behavior. 

Of course, you're problem wondering... how in the world am I supposed to know the underlying cause???

Lucky for you, we're here to give advice!  If your dog is driving you crazy, don't give up!  Even if your dog is aggressive, it doesn't necessarily mean that he has to be put down.

Dog Barking

Dog behavior modification can solve most nuisance problems.  (Courtesy of Brad K. via Flikr)

Perhaps you don't have the time or energy to figure it all out yourself, or maybe you're stumped with correcting dog behavior problems.  I always recommend working hands-on with a certified balanced dog trainer, especially in the case of aggression.

Read questions and answers that other visitors have shared about dog behavior problems.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Read below to see questions and contributions from other visitors to this page...

Biting and Car Rides 
From Alanah... Oliver is about 10 or 11 months old. I got him about 2 months ago from a shelter he was in for 3 WHOLE MONTHS! He was a stray before …

Dogs behaviour to visitors 
From Kerry... I have a 6 year old Staffy x. He is a lovely-natured dog with our 1 & 2 year olds, good with food etc. Our problem is with visitors. …

9 month old agressive pitbull/mastiff mix 
From Courtney... I have a 9 month old Pitbull/Mastiff mix and a 3 year old Chihuahua. We got the the puppy when he was 7 weeks old and the 2 have …

Aggressive Pitt  
Any time this big boy sees another dog (and sometimes a person as well), he reacts very strongly. I have used a choke collar, and he is getting very good …

Why did my dog just starting eating and playing with his poop?? 
My dog is 5 1/2 months old and up until now he never did this... One day I came home from work and found that he had rubbed his poop all over the carpet …

Too much time alone in home 
In this family, both the husband and wife are Air Force Military: she is out of the house up to 14 hours a day with work and school. The husband is currently …

Owner Possessive/Over Protective? 
From Zack... Thank you in advance for any response. Really, truly. I have a beautiful boy Lab mix named 'Doc'. He is a little over 4 months old …

Timid Boxer Not rated yet
From Jan... My boxer was typically friendly and exuberant around both people and other dogs until she was about a year old. She is now 21 months old …

Stranger Aggression and Separation Anxiety Not rated yet
From Anne... Meah is a 5 year old Pointer. We adopted her in October 2013 from a rescue centre. She had been used for breeding in Ireland and when …

Bad Dog on Walks! Not rated yet
From Pam... We adopted a 2 year old terrier/border collie mix about a month ago. She showed no signs of aggression at all when we met her - she happily …

My dog refuses to get in his crate Not rated yet
From Susan... My 9 year old Dachshund started chewing and tearing the carpet, so we decided to crate train him. The chewing and tearing of the …

Over-protective and Bit an Acquaintance  Not rated yet
From Tina... My dog, Jaxson (a Great Dane), is a little over one year old. He was 13 weeks old when I brought him home. When we arrived home I …

Aggressive Behavior, Golden Retriever Not rated yet
From Vanessa... I have a 2 year old Golden Retriever who has become aggressive in the past couple months. When she has found a piece of clothing …

Dog Growls and Barks at Strangers When At Home Not rated yet
From Christopher... My dog, Scout, is a Lab and Wirehaired Griffon mix and until recently is a very friendly and sweet dog. Recently I moved from …

Digging around the fence and escaping! Not rated yet
From Martha... I got a miniature male Schnauzer puppy not long ago and he is now one year old. I have a real problem with him digging holes around …

Big Dog Needs to Learn to Play Nice with Little Dogs Not rated yet
From Alanah... This is about Oliver again, the 10-11 month old stray-rescue dog, shepherd/collie we believe. Sometimes we go home and visit my …

Destroying the House Not rated yet
From Melissa... My dog is one year old and he has been living in the county. He just moved to the city, and we are finding that he is good when me …

Biting cops! Not rated yet
Typhun is a year-old Malinois. He has a loving master but this is his first dog. They are my neighbors here in Mexico. Typhun lunges silently at …

Overly Adventurous Not rated yet
From Katrina... We have a beautiful natured male Staffy that is 2 years old - Tyson. He is wonderful... except that if we aren't home, he has to be …

Dog Licking - Dominance? Not rated yet
From a Reader... Why at times does our female pit-bull want to lick us excessively, then try to hump? Shannon Says... Dog licking is very natural. …

BAD DOG Not rated yet
From Suella... My dog is one of our two Chows. He is 3 years old and is out of control. I used to be able to let him out and he would come right …

4 month old Lab mix Not rated yet
From a Reader... Our family just got a 4 month old pup a week ago. She gets aggressive towards me every time she plays with me or when she wants to …

Lack of socializing, obedience training and fear Not rated yet
From Allen... Six weeks ago we brought home a Georgia, 4-year-old Boxer/Lab rescued male who badly needed socialization (going well), obedience training …

Fearful Rescue Dog Not rated yet
From Patrick... I have recently adopted a 14 month old rescue dog that is extremely fearful. She will hide under desks & refuse to walk. I often …

Barking at Fence & Windows Not rated yet
From Nathalie... I have a 5 year old Great Dane neutered male foster dog. Inside the house he is obedient, sweet & respectful, although a Velcro …

Puppy is over protective
of our older dog
 Not rated yet
From a Reader... Hello, About a year ago we adopted a 4 month old mixed breed puppy from a shelter. Since then, we've socialized him at every opportunity …

Aggressive Dashund Not rated yet
From Susan... Hi, I have a male Dachshund who is 3 years old. He is aggressive towards other dogs. Sometimes he says hello nicely, and other …

Barks at the cleaning lady Not rated yet
From a Reader... Hi! Our cleaning lady comes every week and has been for over 4 years. Missy, our dog, always barks aggressively at her and …

Too Protective and Jealous! Not rated yet
From R... Hello! We have a mutt at home. He is five years old and came from Spain when he was nine weeks. He was and still is not the easiest dog …

Jumping Not rated yet
From Natasha... My dog jumps on everyone! When we go to my mom's house he jumps on her and the young children. He jumps when he gets excited to …

Random Aggression Not rated yet
From Rob... I have a very loving and affectionate 3 yr old Jack. For reasons unknown he will suddenly snap and bite, sometimes with a snarl before …

Puppy Problems! Not rated yet
Hi, We are having a few problems. My 4 and a half month old puppy mouths me, jumps up even though I have repeatedly pushed him down and told no. …

Aggressive Shih-tzu towards visitors Not rated yet
We rescued a very affectionate and otherwise well behaved little dog from a shelter 19 days ago. She is a tiny 5 year old shih-tzu. However, when visitors …

Our 8month old puppy is suddenly a demon dog! Not rated yet
I work during the day but my husband is home with our 8 month old Havanese puppy all day. He is in a wheelchair but has an attendant who comes every day …

My puppy sits on my adult dog. What does that mean? Not rated yet
My husband rescued a puppy (APBT) while we already had an adult dog (3 year old Dachshund), both males (the adult is neutured and the pup will be too). …

Dog doesn't like doghouse! Not rated yet
A stray dog used to sleeping anywhere came to our yard. Feeling sorry for her, we built her a new dog house. Now she sleeps in the cold beside the dog …

Territory and Food Aggressive! Not rated yet
This is a unique problem because our Samoyed was diagnosed with glaucoma at 9 months old and has been progressively going blind since then. She is now …

Need More Training? Not rated yet
Hi, My almost 5 year old golden is the baby of 4 dogs in total. I lost one of my pups a year ago, and the other two are 14 and their health is deteriorating. …

Overly Protective Dog! Not rated yet
My dog is 8 months old Rottie/Shepherd. He has a behavorial problem of growling at strangers that come near me or try and pet him. I've taken him …

What Can We Do For Our Fearful Dog? Not rated yet
I have a one year old Lab and he is afraid of anything that makes a noise or has wheels, such as roller blades, bikes or skateboards (even his shadow in …

Disinterested Dog - How Do I Get His Attention On Me? Not rated yet
We just got an 8 month old Collie/Siberian Husky mix. It does not seem to want to pay any attention to people, at least not as much as it pays attention …

What about separation anxiety? Not rated yet
What do you suggest to do for a dog who, I feel anyway, is having bouts of separation anxiety? What are the best methods to use to overcome this? Answer: …

Barking at guests Not rated yet
We have a little dog who constantly barks at people who enter our home. Also, it is becoming increasingly difficult to answer the door for sales people …

Disobedient Dog Not rated yet
My dog is very smart, and knows a lot of commands such as sit, lay down, stay, leave it, drop it, and tricks like paw and play dead. He has also been to …


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