When dog's are puppies, they do the cutest things that make you awe for them. Those big puppy eyes are so hard to resist, so most pet owners give in to practically everything.
When our puppies' beg, we give them food. When they dig in the dirt, we smile. It's human nature. Puppies are so darn cute, that we can't resist the urge to give them anything and everything.
However, being that I used to struggle with this myself, some of these cute actions they partake in and we awe at, are bad behaviors that should be nipped in the butt when they're young.
Below I list five common dog bad habits and how to break them!
Begging for Food
When we see sitting below us is this adorable puppy, batting their eyes, secretly begging for the chicken on your plate. Almost every dog is born with the desire to eat, sleep, and go on walks. So, when you first get your dog and you see them feverishly begging for your food, don't give in! Once you do it once, they'll keep coming back knowing that you gave food to them once, so you'll do it again.
Dog's have a tendency to repeat behaviors that they have been rewarded from. So, when you don't give them food at all, over time they'll learn to stop begging and repeating this behavior.
Chewing on Everything
Chewing is a natural habit for dog's and their liking. It calms them down, strengthens their teeth and gums, and is a good energy outlet. However, when puppies are young they have a tendency to chew on everything in sight. From walls to shoes to table legs, everything is fair game for them! But, don't worry! There is a solution to nip this in the butt sooner rather than later.
Rather than punishing them or yelling at them, keep plenty of chew toys around and redirect them to a toy. When they listen, reward your dog with praise and a small treat. After this repeatedly occurs, they'll begin to learn that listening means treats!
Reminder! Puppies chew to relieve sore gums, so provide them with toys made for teething puppies.
Digging is a common action among dog's. However, it is a more common complaint among dog owners. Digging is a perfectly normal behavior among dogs. Your dog may be doing it to find a cool place on a hot day or they have caught a hold of a smell. He may also just be bored and digging gives him something to do.
Digging can be easily nipped in the butt. If your dog is trying to cool off, get him a cooling mat or provide him with a more comfortable place to rest. If they've caught a scent or are just bored, give them an alternative to distract them. But, if your dog just loves to dig, maybe create a special place in the yard where they can dig.
Besides eating, walks are usually a dog's favorite activity. The swarm of scents is breathtaking for them... so they pull. They drag you down the street to sniff a lamp post or a bush. Dog's continually do this because they are being rewarded for it. In many cases, dog's pull and owners pull back but continue to walk in the direction the dog pulls. This gives them the idea that pulling means they can go where they want.
The easiest way to end this bad habit is by not allowing your dog to continue walking until the leash is loose. When he relaxes, you can keep moving forward. But, if they continue to pull, turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Obviously, that's much easier said then done though. So, no-pull harnesses are highly recommended. No-pull harnesses make it so that each time a dog pulls, they're pulled away from where they want to go.
Most dog people do not mind when a dog jumps up on them. They like the kisses and the tail wagging. However, it becomes a struggle when dog's don't understand that they can only jump on certain people. What happens if they jump on an elderly person who can get hurt?
Dog's will have difficulty understanding that one person can be jumped on, while an other cannot. That being said, consistency is key. To avoid this issue, when arriving at home, do not immediately greet your pup. Stay calm and assertive until they calm down, and that's when you are free to give them all the love you desire. Moreover, over time they'll learn not to jump when you or others arrive.
Dog's are awesome and in the end all these bad habits can be resolved over time. Don't obsess about these problems, but just help them. Dog's are here to love and support you, so make sure your number one priority is to do just the same for them.