It’s not easy for a dog to fit into our human world. Let’s face it, they often get mixed messages about what’s okay for them to do and what’s not, and the things they do naturally are often behaviours we really don’t like. Here are 4 common dog behaviours dogs that we see as problems for us.
The first one you have to deal with as soon as you bring a puppy into the house, is potty training. For dogs it’s a pretty natural behaviour to relieve themselves immediately whenever it’s necessary. Of course, that simply doesn’t work in a home where humans share the space too! So we have to teach them where it’s appropriate to go, and how to let us know when they have the need. It’s also important to remember that dogs’ bladders aren’t fully developed until after 16 weeks of age, so asking them to hold it before that time usually adds up to accidents, and sometimes some frustrated pooch parents. Once your dog does develop bladder control, it’s still important to make sure someone is around to let him use the bathroom at regular intervals throughout the day, just to make sure those accidents don’t happen. For tips on how to potty train your puppy, check out The dogma of House Training.
Jumping is one of those behaviours we are often okay with as a puppy, but get upset about as the dog gets older. This is very unfair, not to mention confusing for your dog when that very behaviour used to bring attention and love. Dogs love to jump because it’s fun! For the humans being jumped on, not so much. Especially little children. It can be quite scary for them. This is why it’s important to develop consistency with your puppy as he or she grows. You need to teach your dog from the start that jumping is an unacceptable behaviour and instead that the dog needs to sit politely before greeting a human. Check out our blog How to Teach Your Dog Self Control to get more tips to develop a well mannered dog.
Mouthing is also a perfectly natural behaviour when a puppy starts to explore the world. Just like human children explore with their hands, puppies explore with their mouths. It’s important to teach them that this is a behaviour that’s inappropriate. Consistent training will help you do that. We’ve written a great piece on it in The dogma of Mouthing. Just click the link to learn more.
Finally, chewing is another natural behaviour that dogs exhibit that isn’t necessarily a problem until it’s a favorite stuffed toy, a couch or an awesome pair of shoes that gets destroyed. It’s important to let your dog chew on appropriate items like a dog-safe toy, chew stick or real bone. Chewing helps to relieve stress for dogs, and when they’re puppies, it feels good to chew when they are teething. They key, as we said, is to give your dog a variety of things that are specifically theirs to chew on.
Dogs also display very specific behaviours when they’re under stress. It’s important for you to understand the stress symptoms your dog will exhibit, so you can help him or her to become more comfortable and confident. Take a look at this blog: Stress in Dogs: What it Looks Like and How it Affects Them to get a clearer picture of normal dog behaviours related specifically to stress.
All of our trainers are certified and can help you modify your dog’s behaviour in a safe, friendly and efficient way. Check out our training page to find the classes that are the right fit for you and your dog.