10 "Bad" Dog Behaviors and Their Solutions

As a dog owner, it's important to understand that dogs are social animals and have natural instincts and behaviors that are hard-wired into their genes. However, some of these behaviors can be considered "bad" from a human perspective, such as excessive barking, digging, jumping, and chewing. These behaviors can lead to frustration, stress, and even harm to both the dog and the owner. The good news is that with proper training and guidance, these behaviors can be corrected, leading to a happier and more harmonious relationship between you and your furry companion. In this blog, we will explore the top 10 common dog behaviors that are considered bad and their evidence-based solutions. By understanding these behaviors and their causes, we can provide our dogs with the training and guidance they need to become well-behaved and obedient members of our households.

"Bad" dog behaviors and their solutions:
  1. Excessive Barking: Excessive barking can be a real headache, particularly for people residing in close proximity to others, such as in apartments. It is crucial to comprehend that barking is a regular form of communication for dogs, but it can become a hindrance when it is carried out in excess. This type of behavior can stem from a variety of causes, such as boredom, anxiety, or even hunger. To diminish excessive barking, positive reinforcement training methods can be employed in conjunction with providing your dog with ample mental stimulation and physical exercise. For instance, if your dog barks excessively when someone comes to the door, you can teach them the "quiet" command and reinforce it with treats whenever they obey it. Rewarding your dog for good behavior is an effective way to train them and reduce excessive barking. You can start by teaching them basic commands like "quiet" or "no bark" and rewarding them with treats when they comply. In addition, providing mental stimulation and physical activity can help your dog to stay entertained and avoid boredom, which is one of the most common causes of excessive barking. It is important to understand that excessive barking is not a natural behavior for dogs and it can cause distress to those living nearby. By using positive reinforcement techniques, providing mental stimulation and exercise, and teaching your dog basic commands, you can help your dog overcome excessive barking and maintain a peaceful environment.
  2. Destructive Chewing: Destructive chewing is a common issue among both puppies and adult dogs, and it can be caused by various factors such as boredom, anxiety, or teething. To minimize this type of behavior, it is important to take proactive measures to ensure your dog has plenty of chew toys available and to supervise them when they have access to items that they should not chew on. One effective way to reduce destructive chewing is to use positive reinforcement training techniques. You can train your dog to only chew on designated toys by rewarding them with treats or praise when they comply. This will help to reinforce the desired behavior and discourage them from chewing on objects that they should not. Another strategy to minimize destructive chewing is to use deterrent sprays, such as bitter apple spray. For example, if your dog has a tendency to chew on furniture, you can spray the bitter apple spray on the surface to discourage them. This type of spray has a bitter taste that is unpleasant to dogs and will help to discourage them from chewing on the item. In addition to providing chew toys and using positive reinforcement techniques, it is important to provide plenty of mental stimulation and exercise for your dog. This will help to reduce boredom and anxiety, which can lead to destructive chewing. By taking these steps, you can help your dog overcome destructive chewing and maintain a safe and peaceful home environment.
  3. Jumping Up: Jumping up is a prevalent behavior among dogs and can be the result of various factors such as excitement, eagerness, or a lack of proper training. To reduce this behavior, it is crucial to provide basic obedience training to your dog and teach them to obey commands such as "sit" and "stay." One effective way to reduce jumping up is to ignore the behavior and not reward it with attention. This means avoiding eye contact, petting, or speaking to your dog when they jump up. Over time, your dog will learn that jumping up does not result in positive attention and will start to reduce the behavior. Additionally, you can reward your dog when they are calm and not jumping up. For example, if your dog jumps up when you come home, try ignoring them until they calm down and then reward them with attention and treats. This will reinforce calm behavior and help to discourage jumping up. It is also important to provide plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise for your dog to help reduce their overall energy levels and reduce jumping up. By taking these steps, you can help your dog overcome jumping up and maintain a safe and controlled environment.
  4. Digging: Digging is a natural behavior for many dogs, especially those with a strong prey drive or those that were bred for hunting. While this behavior can be enjoyable for the dog, it can become a problem when they start to dig up your yard or garden. To minimize this behavior, it is important to provide plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation for your dog. One effective way to reduce digging is to use positive reinforcement training techniques. You can train your dog to only dig in designated areas by setting up a designated digging area and rewarding them with treats or praise when they comply. This will help to reinforce the desired behavior and discourage them from digging in other areas. Another strategy to minimize digging is to provide plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation for your dog. This will help to reduce boredom and anxiety, which can lead to digging. You can provide physical activity through regular walks, runs, or playtime and mental stimulation through interactive toys, puzzles, or training sessions. In addition, it is important to supervise your dog when they are outside to ensure they are not digging in areas where they should not. By taking these steps, you can help your dog overcome digging and maintain a beautiful and well-maintained yard or garden.
  5. Chewing and Gnawing: Chewing and gnawing are natural behaviors for dogs, particularly those who are going through the teething process. However, this behavior can become problematic when the dog starts chewing on things that they should not, such as furniture or shoes. To minimize this behavior, it is essential to provide plenty of chew toys for the dog and supervise them when they have access to items that should not be chewed. One effective way to reduce chewing and gnawing is through positive reinforcement training techniques. You can train your dog to only chew on designated toys by rewarding them with treats or praise when they comply. This will help to reinforce the desired behavior and discourage them from chewing on other items. In addition to providing chew toys, you can also discourage your dog from chewing on certain items by using bitter apple spray on the items they should not chew. For example, if your dog has a tendency to chew on shoes, try spraying bitter apple spray on the shoes and providing plenty of chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior. It is important to remember that chewing and gnawing are natural behaviors for dogs, and it is up to the owner to provide adequate outlets for this behavior. By providing plenty of chew toys and using positive reinforcement training techniques, you can help your dog overcome chewing and gnawing and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for both the dog and their owners.
  6. Chasing: Chasing is a natural behavior for dogs, particularly those with a strong prey drive. This behavior can become a problem when the dog starts chasing other animals or even cars. To minimize this behavior, it is crucial to train the dog to obey basic commands such as "come" and "leave it." In addition to obedience training, providing plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation can also help to reduce the urge to chase. By giving the dog plenty of exercises and mental stimulation, they will be less likely to engage in this behavior. In some cases, positive reinforcement training techniques may be necessary to train the dog not to chase. For example, if your dog has a tendency to chase cars, you can use positive reinforcement techniques to train them to stay close to you when walking and not to chase moving objects. By using positive reinforcement techniques, you can help to reinforce the desired behavior and discourage the dog from chasing. It is important to understand that chasing is a natural behavior for dogs, but it can be managed and minimized through proper training and attention to their physical and mental needs. By providing the dog with adequate outlets for this behavior, you can help to ensure that the dog does not engage in harmful chasing behavior.
  7. Aggression: Aggression is a complex behavior in dogs that can have various underlying causes, including fear, dominance, or a lack of proper socialization. This behavior can be dangerous and can cause harm to other animals and people, so it's important to address it as soon as possible. To reduce aggression in dogs, it's essential to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. These professionals are trained to diagnose the root cause of the aggression and provide a tailored training plan to reduce it. They have the knowledge and experience to determine the underlying reasons for the aggression and can develop a customized plan to address the specific needs of the dog. For example, if your dog shows aggression towards other dogs, seeking the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide a tailored training plan to reduce this behavior. The professional will work with you and your dog to address the underlying cause of the aggression and provide a customized training plan to help reduce this behavior. It's important to understand that aggression is a complex behavior and addressing it requires a tailored approach. Seeking the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist is the best way to reduce aggression and help ensure the safety of others and your dog.
  8. Separation Anxiety: Separation anxiety is a common issue in dogs that can cause a great deal of stress and discomfort. This behavior is often rooted in fear and a fear of being left alone, which can lead to destructive behaviors and excessive barking. To help reduce separation anxiety in dogs, it is crucial to employ positive reinforcement training techniques and to slowly acclimate the dog to being alone. This can be done by gradually increasing the amount of time the dog is left alone, rewarding them when they are calm, and providing plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation. Additionally, seeking the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide a tailored training plan that addresses the root cause of the dog's anxiety and helps to reduce it effectively. For example, if your dog experiences separation anxiety, try gradually increasing the time they spend alone and rewarding them when they are calm.
  9. Housetraining Issues: Housetraining can be a challenging task for many pet owners, especially for those who are dealing with puppies or adult dogs with no previous training. Housetraining issues can arise from a lack of routine, supervision, or proper training techniques. To address these problems, it is crucial to establish a consistent routine for potty breaks and to closely monitor the dog when they are indoors. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to effectively reducing housetraining issues. For example, if your puppy is struggling with housetraining, you should establish a set routine for taking them out for potty breaks at regular intervals. This can help them develop a sense of structure and predictability in their day-to-day activities. Additionally, you should reward them with treats and praise when they go potty in the designated area, as this reinforces the desired behavior. By using positive reinforcement techniques and providing a structured routine, you can help your puppy develop good potty habits and overcome housetraining issues.
  10. Leash Pulling: Leash pulling is a prevalent issue among dogs that can stem from a variety of reasons such as excitement, anxiety, or an absence of basic obedience training. To effectively curb this behavior, it is crucial to first teach your dog the basics of obedience, such as the commands "heel" and "come." These commands can help your dog understand what is expected of them when on a leash and reduce their tendency to pull. In addition to obedience training, positive reinforcement techniques can also play a crucial role in reducing leash pulling. This involves rewarding your dog when they exhibit the desired behavior, in this case, walking calmly on a leash. For instance, when your dog walks calmly on the leash, you can provide them with treats, praise, or affection. This reinforces the desired behavior and helps reduce the frequency of leash pulling over time. It's important to note that leash pulling is a common issue and can take time to resolve. Consistency, patience, and persistence are key in the training process. In some cases, seeking the advice of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can be beneficial in developing an effective training plan.
Overall, the above-listed common dog behaviors that are considered bad can pose a significant challenge to dog owners, but with the right training and guidance, these behaviors can be corrected. It's important to understand that these behaviors are natural to dogs and are often a result of a lack of training, boredom, or frustration. By providing dogs with plenty of physical and mental stimulation, as well as proper obedience training, these behaviors can be effectively corrected. It's also important to be patient, consistent, and positive in your training approach. If you're struggling with any of these behaviors, it's best to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance. Remember, a well-trained and well-behaved dog can lead to a happy and harmonious relationship between you and your furry companion.

We hope this blog has provided you with useful information and helpful solutions for correcting common dog behaviors that are considered bad. If you're interested in learning more about dogs and different dog breeds, be sure to check out the Doggy Zone YouTube Channel. Whether you're a first-time dog owner or an experienced dog parent, the Doggy Zone has something for everyone.




Reference:
[1] American Kennel Club. (2021). Solutions to Excessive Barking in Dogs. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/excessive-barking-what-it-means-and-how-to-stop-it
[2] American Kennel Club. (2021). Digging: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/digging-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[3] American Kennel Club. (2021). Chewing: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/chewing-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[4] American Kennel Club. (2021). Jumping: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/jumping-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[5] American Kennel Club. (2021). Whining: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/whining-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[6] American Kennel Club. (2021). Chasing: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/chasing-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[7] American Kennel Club. (2021). Aggression: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/aggression-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[8] American Kennel Club. (2021). Separation Anxiety: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/separation-anxiety-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[9] American Kennel Club. (2021). Housetraining: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/housetraining-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it
[10] American Kennel Club. (2021). Leash Pulling: Why Dogs Do It and How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/leash-pulling-why-dogs-do-it-and-how-to-stop-it

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