Owning a puppy is not for the weak willed. They are stubborn, energetic, and curious – a lethal combination. We recently adopted a chocolate Labrador puppy into our family, and it has been a very entertaining and taxing few weeks in our home. Many potential pet parents don’t realize the time, energy, and patience that a puppy will require, but the sooner you put the work in, the easier it will be.
Most puppy behavior issues are simply an outward symptom of healthy development. When a puppy comes to live with you he is like a little sponge just waiting to soak up everything that you have to teach him. Until he is trained, he won’t understand why he shouldn’t chew on your furniture or bite your ankles. Your role, as a puppy owner, is to teach him what is not allowed and what is expected from him.
Before you even bring a dog home, it is essential to educate yourself on common puppy behavior issues. This way you will have the information and knowledge that is crucial for training and raising a well-behaved pup. It is never too early to start the training process. The best tip I can give pet parents is to start training your puppy as soon as he comes home.
If you’re aware of common puppy behavior issues, you can make a plan to fix them before your new pet arrives. That way your entire family will be on the same page and your dog’s training will be consistent. Be a responsible pet guardian by being aware of the following puppy behavior problems and the effective solutions that are needed to correct them.
Chewing:Chewing is a natural instinct for most puppies, especially when they are teething. However, this can quickly become a behavior problem if they begin to destroy items around your home. If the chewing is caused by teething, provide your puppy with something that will soothe his gums, such as a frozen chew toy. There are also creams that can be purchased at pet stores to help appease your pup’s pain, which in turn should help reduce chewing.
If the behavior progresses past the stage of teething, encourage your puppy to chew on appropriate things by supplying him with plenty of chew toys. When you catch him chewing on the wrong things, instantly correct your puppy with a sharp noise. Then, replace the item with a chew toy so he knows the difference between right and wrong.
Barking:Most dogs will bark, whine and howl to some degree. However, excessive or nuisance barking is a behavior issue that needs to be corrected. Before doing so, you need to determine why your puppy is vocalizing himself. Some of the most common reasons include attention-seeking, excitement, warning and boredom.
The best way to train your puppy not to bark is by keeping him physically and mentally exercised. Take him on regular walks and provide him with multiple sources of entertainment. Another option would be to teach him a “quiet” command, which would be a word or phrase that signals to your puppy that it is time to be quiet.
Jumping:Whether your puppy is jumping on people or things like the counter, bed or couch, it is often caused by excitement or the basic desire for attention. If he is a large breed, this behavior problem may get progressively worse and even potentially dangerous over time as he grows in size. After all, the last thing that anyone wants is to be jumped on by an oversized dog when they walk into your home.
Correct this habit as soon as it occurs. Proper supervision, exercise and training are the best ways to train your puppy not to jump. Try teaching him how to sit on command and do your best to avoid play that may encourage him to jump on people. When he does jump, gain his attention with a sharp, loud noise to keep him from doing so again.
When attempting to train your puppy out of common behavior issues, be patient and understanding as they are young and still learning. Also, be sure to reward him when he does something right because he is more likely to repeat positive actions. The one piece of advice that I always pass on to puppy owners and new adoptive parents is that it is much easier to stop a bad habit from occurring than it is to break the bad habit after it has already started.
With proper training you’ll have a well behaved dog that your family and friends will love spending time with. Enjoy your new furry family member, and happy training!
Samantha is an ex-teacher and a professional writer based in Bradford, ME. She loves working with small children and pets, and even opened her own child care where she’s been happily teaching preschool since. One of Samantha’s biggest passions in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. Her favorite thing to do is go hiking and swimming with her canines, Maddie and Chloe.
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