Dealing With Misbehaving Dogs
Dealing with a dog that’s showing bad behavior can be difficult, especially if they’re usually well-behaved. There could be different things causing them to misbehave, but it’s important that you either identify the cause or address the issue before it becomes a habit. The tips below should help if you need to deal with your misbehaving pooch.
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Find out what’s changed
Has there been anything happening at home that may have caused this change in your dog’s behavior? Have you moved home, changed working hours or brought something new into the home (another pet or a baby)? Work out if anything has changed that may have triggered the dog’s change in behavior. If it has, and it’s something you can change (different food, different walk schedule), but if it’s something that cannot be changed then you’ll need to think about what you can do to help your dog adapt.
Reward good behavior
If there’s anything that pet experts will tell you, it’s that scolding or yelling at your dog for bad behavior doesn’t work. Instead, you should look at other ways of breaking bad dog habits such as finding alternatives for them to chew on if they start chewing your shoes, clothing or furniture. Rewarding good behavior instead is an effective tool for helping to train your dog. This can be done with treats to help them associate good behavior with a reward, and sometimes the best natural dog treats are better (and healthier) for dogs than store bought ones. Try not to overdo it on the treats though as, like people, they could lead to weight gain.
Are they getting enough exercise?
Some dogs start to show bad behavior if they’re bored or they’re not getting enough exercise. A dog that’s left on its own all day may take to destroying furniture or carpets which can cause endless problems for owners. If you can, make sure they have enough to keep them entertained throughout the day – toys, access to the yard, or perhaps even another dog or pet to keep them company and stop the bad dog behavior they may be expressing. Another suggestion would be to hire a dog walker who can take the dog out during lunchtime to help wear them out a bit and limit bad behavior around the home.
Check that health isn’t to blame
A sudden change in behavior could be down to your dog’s health. It may not be something serious, but even the slightest health issue could cause them to act out and break away from their normal behavior. As the saying goes, a healthy dog is a happy dog, so anything that’s causing them misery could change the behavior of even the most well-behaved dogs. Take them to the vet as soon as you can to get them checked over, and if you notice any other changes like weight loss/weight gain, you should head to the vet immediately.
Don’t be disheartened if your dog does start behaving badly. Just as you would with a child, it’s important that you work through it to get the happiest outcome possible so that you can both enjoy a happy home again. Hopefully, it will just be a phase, and things will go back to normal soon.