Some common behavior problems in dogs:
Barking - Nuisance barking is the most common problem that pet owners (and their neighbours!) complain about. Usually dogs who bark while their owners are away are either bored or anxious. Relieve boredom by giving your dog interactive toys when they are going to be alone. A Kong or a puzzle toy stuffed with treats or peanut butter are good options. Bringing pets inside whenever possible can also help relieve anxiety and reduce barking. If you are unable to bring your dog inside, try providing them with a comfortable safe space where they don’t feel vulnerable, like a dog house or a covered area with a comfy bed.
House Soiling – Toilet training puppies can be a big challenge. The key is consistency and giving your puppy praise or treats when he or she does her business outside. Try to avoid punishment for accidents in the house, encourage the right behaviour instead. If your dog does soil in the house clean the area really well with an enzyme cleaner specific for urine. Even if you cannot smell the stain your pets still can unless an enzyme cleaner is used. If it smells like a toilet to them they will use it like a toilet.
House soiling in adult dogs can be a much bigger problem and it often means there could be an underlying health problem such as urinary tract infection, bladder stones, kidney problems, or other serious diseases. If your adult dog begins soiling in the house please bring him into us for a physical exam as soon as possible.
Chewing – Puppies chewing on inappropriate items can be very annoying (and costly!). Redirecting the chewing behaviour onto appropriate items is the first step. Keep in mind that puppies will be teething from around 4 to 6 months, give or take, and will need to chew. Providing your dog or puppy with sturdy chewable toys like a Kong or something similar can help. Make sure that all dog toys are appropriate for your size dog. Small toys, if swallowed can become lodged in your dog’s intestinal tract and lead to severe health problems. If this happens please bring your dog or puppy to see the vet right away.
Aggression toward other dogs – Aggressive behaviour toward other dogs can usually be prevented with early socialization. Puppy pre-school is the perfect place to ensure your puppy gets the early socialization it needs. Providing positive social experiences as your dog grows up is also very important. When your dog meets other dogs, introduce them slowly, go for a walk together, with both dogs on leads, and reward them for friendly behaviour.
Most dog fights happen when dogs are being fed together or when one dog becomes protective of food, toys, or bones. Be sure to train dogs to allow you to remove food or toys without them growling. When multiple dogs are playing be sure they are supervised and don’t give two dogs that don’t know each other well large bones or other coveted items that could potentially start a fight.
If your dog gets into a tussle with another dog seek veterinary attention immediately, even if the wounds don’t look severe. There can often be deep tissue wounds that you cannot see on the surface. Dog fight wounds often become infected and required immediate care.
If you have concerns about your dog’s behaviour please call us to book an appointment to discuss options for your pet.