You will likely be stumped by a puppy behavior or dog behavior question at some point in your pooch's life. This is true whether you're the owner of the dog in question, or the neighbor!
These problems will range from something as harmless as a goofy "quirk" like licking the air when you scratch his back to something as dangerous as aggression.
Most (if not all) dog behaviors have a solution... the trick is finding it! And that's exactly what we hope to help you with. Find the underlying cause to the behavior, and PRESTO! You're half way there to fixing the problem.
Many dogs wind up at the SPCA or in the classified ads because of an owner who, at their wit's end, doesn't know what else to do with him. It really does take serious commitment to have a dog as well as time invested in turning him into the "perfect" pooch you've always wanted.
Let me just say that often, you are the problem. Gasp! That's right - I just heard your jaw hit the computer desk. You're probably thinking... the nerve! How in the world can she say that?
Don't get me wrong. You love your dog to bits, and would never do anything like that. But let me ask you - have you ever petted your dog when he put his paws on you at the front door to say hello? Well, you've inadvertently praised him for jumping!
While you don't mean to teach him improper behaviors, it happens frequently. And I really can't blame you for this. As a dog owner, you simply didn't know. Ahhh... but now the blindfold comes off, because our goal is to demystify dog behavior questions.
A few dog behaviors that tend to leave owners puzzled are:
Photo courtesy of Montecruz Foto via Flikr.
And of course, there are the more dangerous behavior problems such as:
Keep in mind - when faced with an aggression issue, you should always seek the advice and hands-on help of a certified professional in your area. We can't solve aggression online for you. You will need to hire a professional for one-on-one work with you and your dog.
Honestly, many of the above behavioral challenges can be dealt with by increasing the exercise your dog gets. I always say, a tired dog is a happy dog. He's also a good dog!
When a dog doesn't get sufficient mental and physical stimulation, the energy builds up and needs to be released somehow. Ergo, chewing... or barking... or digging. These "bad" behaviors are self-rewarding in nature, as the pup will feel more relaxed as he burns off that pent up energy.
So then the obvious solutions is exercise! And if you have a dog that has high energy needs and you're struggling to give him enough? Try one of these in addition to his regular walks:
lists aren't all-inclusive, so if you have a dog or puppy behavior question that isn't covered here, take a look at what other
people have said in our dog behaviour FAQ page.
Maybe your dog drives the neighbors nuts with his incessant barking, or is trying to re-create the Grand Canyon in your backyard. Perhaps he prefers baseboards and furniture to chew toys. Anyone every heard of Marley? You get the idea...