How to Deal With an Unruly Puppy
Puppies come with their own unique set of behaviors that may be confusing or even frustrating for us humans. Among the most common puppy behavior issues are biting, chewing, barking, jumping up on people, and general disobedience.
So, basically, puppies make up their own rules as they go along. But what causes this type of behavior? Is it easy to discipline them if they get out of control?
Puppies and Various Behavior Issues
Puppy Biting and Chewing
Biting and chewing are quite normal for puppies as they have an instinctive need to explore the world around them, mainly through their mouths. Chewing and biting is a natural part of this exploration process as puppies discover new textures, tastes, and shapes. However, if left unchecked, this type of puppy behavior can become destructive and dangerous both for the little fuzzball and its owners.
The most effective way to stop chewing and biting is to provide your puppy with appropriate toys that encourage proper chewing habits. This can help redirect their attention away from inappropriate items…unless you want your shoes and furniture to be mangled. It’s important to keep anything in your home that could be destroyed by your pup’s chewing out of their reach. As puppies grow older they’ll learn what is acceptable to chew on and what isn’t.
Giving verbal commands such as “no” when a puppy bites, and providing positive reinforcement upon correct behavior can help teach the puppy what behaviors are acceptable. Provide praise whenever he or she chooses an appropriate toy, like a chew bone or plush toy. And always be sure to reward them with treats.
Teaching your puppy the “leave it” command is a great way to discourage inappropriate behavior such as biting and chewing. This command will allow you to quickly redirect their attention away from something they shouldn’t be playing with, allowing them to focus on the toys that are safe for them to chew on.
Puppies and Barking Behavior
Puppies love to bark, but, it can be distressing for owners and neighbors alike. What many people don’t realize is that this type of puppy behavior can actually be a sign of anxiety or distress. Puppies bark for various reasons such as to get attention, express excitement, alert you to danger, and even out of boredom. It’s important to understand why puppies bark so that you can provide the right kind of help in order to reduce it. Depending on the context, a puppy may bark to express dominance, fear, or excitement.
First off, defining your puppy’s triggers is essential in curbing its barking. If your puppy barks when it sees another dog, try taking different routes on walks or moving away from the source of stress. If the puppy barks at guests coming into your home, then introduce them gradually and keep the little guy away from them until he calms down.
Another way to help curb barking is to ensure your puppy gets enough exercise. By spending more time with your pup, you can get to know its behavior better and understand what may be causing it stress or anxiety. Physical activity is also important for reducing boredom which could lead to excessive barking. Being active together will also help strengthen the bond between you and your puppy.
Lastly, making sure your puppy has a safe place of its own where it can retreat when needed can help reduce barking as well. This could be a bed, crate, or corner in the house that belongs only to him/her – this provides security and helps create a sense of safety.
Puppies and Desensitization Training
It’s also very important to properly socialize puppies. If you believe your puppy’s barking is due to anxiety or fear, desensitization training can be effective in reducing their reactivity. This is a technique that helps your puppy get accustomed to different noises, such as home appliances (vacuum cleaners, blenders, etc.), noisy kids, traffic, other dogs barking, outside construction, thunderstorms, and many other sounds that may upset a puppy or dog. Desensitization training allows you to use basic obedience routines along with food as a reward to help your puppy understand many different and even scary sounds, while helping increase their overall level of comfort and confidence to help them feel safe in their home environment.
Those Jumping Puppies
Puppies have a lot of energy and their natural instinct is to jump up on people or other animals as a way to greet them. Unfortunately, this can be an issue for many reasons. Puppies jumping can cause injury, both to themselves and the person or animal they are jumping onto. Additionally, a jumping puppy can create a barrier between the pup and people due to fear of being jumped on again in the future.
This is why it’s important to train your puppy not to jump. The key to curbing unwanted behavior such as jumping is by providing an alternate activity for the puppy that is more socially acceptable, such as sitting and staying or playing with toys. This can help redirect their attention away from jumping and create healthier habits for the both of you. With proper training, puppies can learn how to interact appropriately with others without causing any harm.
It’s also important that puppies be trained from a young age to stay off of furniture and other surfaces. Teaching them basic commands such as “sit” or “down,” can actually help prevent this behavior.
Teaching a puppy to sit and stay when they’re excited will help calm them down considerably, and also assist in creating a better human-canine bond. It takes patience and consistency, but teaching your puppy good manners is not a lost cause.
Puppy Peeing Problems
Puppies are naturally curious creatures, so they may have difficulty learning potty training due to their inquisitive nature. Additionally, puppies may suffer from certain health issues that can contribute to difficulty in potty training. These ailments can range from digestive or bladder issues to physical disabilities or neurological conditions. In some cases, a puppy’s breed may also be a factor in potty training difficulty. Some small breeds may have a harder time learning due to limited bladder control and other physical limitations.
In instances like these, it’s important to speak with your Austin veterinarian to ensure that your puppy is healthy enough for potty training. Furthermore, providing an appropriate environment such as an indoor or outdoor area can help create positive reinforcement and make potty training easier. Patience and consistency are key when potty training a puppy, as it can be difficult to remember that they are still learning basic behaviors. The most important factor is to remain patient and consistent with your little guy during the process.
Puppy Behavior and Disobedience
As much as puppies are adorable and fun, they can also be extremely disobedient. To help prevent this, owners should make sure they’re consistent and clear in their approach when teaching commands. Puppies should also have regular exercise and playtime with their owners to keep them mentally stimulated.
Puppies can be prone to general disobedience for numerous reasons. It’s often due to lack of proper socialization or training. If puppies aren’t taught right from wrong from the start, they’ll continue to act out and disobey commands. To help stop this behavior, it’s important tho provide consistent and positive reinforcement when teaching obedience commands. Additionally, taking your little fella on regular walks and outings can also help them with socialization and keeping their energy levels in check.
Other Issues and Final Thoughts
No matter the cause of disobedience, it’s very important to always remain calm when correcting puppy behavior. Other issues may arise, such as leash manners, aggressiveness to other dogs, separation anxiety, and ignoring basic commands. Remaining calm, yet assertive, will ensure that your puppy understands what you want from them without feeling intimidated or scared. By following these tips, you’ll be able to help improve your puppy’s obedience and create a happy relationship between the two of you.
Certainly, these training techniques can be time consuming, and may also test your patience, but if you should notice that your puppy is not responding to these techniques, it may be caused by other issues. The best way to make sure that your puppy is in good health, is to bring them in to ATX Animal Clinic for regular checkups.