How To Handle Puppy Behavior Problems

Guilty looking Pug in a pile of chewed up shoes - How to Handle Puppy Behavior Problems

Puppy behavior problems are often misunderstood and mishandled by puppy owners. Understanding these behavior problems is the first step to solving and preventing them.

1. Barking

Most puppies bark, howl, and whine to some degree. Excessive barking is considered a behavior problem and one should understand the reason behind it. Consider teaching the bark/quiet commands. Be consistent and patient.

2. Chewing

Chewing is a natural action for all puppies. However, it turns into a problem and it causes destruction. Encourage your puppy to chew on the right things by providing plenty of chew toys. Keep personal items away from your puppy. If you catch your puppy chewing the wrong thing, quickly correct him with a sharp noise. Then, replace the item with a chew toy.

3. Digging

If given the chance, most puppies will do some amount of digging – it’s a matter of instinct. Determine the cause of the digging then work to eliminate that source. If digging is unavoidable, set aside an area where your puppy can dig freely, like a sandbox.

4. Chasing

A puppy’s desire to chase moving things is simply a display of predatory instinct. Many puppies will chase other animals, people, and cars. All of these can lead to dangerous and devastating outcomes.  While you may not be able to stop your puppy from trying to chase you, you can take steps to prevent disaster.

5. Jumping Up

A jumping puppy can be annoying and even dangerous. Jumping up is often attention-seeking behavior, so any acknowledgment of your puppy’s actions provides a reward. The best method: is simply turn away and ignore your puppy. When he relaxes and remains still, calmly reward him.

6. Biting

Puppies bite and nip on other dogs and people as a means of exploring their environment and learning their place in the pack. Owners MUST teach their puppies that mouthing and biting are not acceptable. Owners can help decrease the tendency for any type of puppy to bite through proper training, socialization, and breeding practices.

7. Aggression

Puppy aggression is exhibited by growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging, and biting. Canine aggression can be a serious problem so consult your vet to see if there is an underlying health problem or seek the help of an experienced puppy trainer.

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