5 Reasons Why Your Puppy Misbehaves | You return from a quick trip to the store, and no longer own a living room couch. You do, however, own a pile of shredded upholstery and ripped foam padding, for which you have no use.
You doze in front of the TV. Wake up 20 minutes later, and your kitchen trash is spread from the basement door to the guest room, including a used coffee filter, grease from last night’s chicken dinner, and an oh-so-smelly baby diaper. Lovely.
You get down in the floor to play with your adorable new pup, only to get gnawed, chewed, scratched, barked at (and not in the cute way), and nipped on the nose. That’s it! You say, as you retreat from your little monster and return your attention to Netflix.
If you have a puppy, chances are that more than one of these have happened to you, and recently. Unfortunately, these misbehaviors are the primary cause of puppies and dogs ending up in shelters. What can you do so that you can enjoy this (seemingly) sweet bundle of energy and enthusiasm? Most bad behavior in puppies can be attributed to one or more of the following causes:
5 Reasons Why Your Puppy Misbehaves
A Lack of Adequate Play & Exercise
If a 5-minute walk or play session is all you’re giving your pup, this just isn’t enough. This is even more true as they move from the “baby” stage into the “adolescent” stage, from around 5 months old to about 18 months old. Larger breeds need more exercise, as do “working” breeds, like collies, German shepherds, huskies, terriers, etc. Boost their daily walk and exercise sessions up to 30 minutes to an hour, whatever it takes to wear your active baby out, and you’ll likely see a decrease in aggressive play and misbehaviors. They get the excess energy out and calm down significantly, just like a toddler after a rigorous session on the playground.
Unknowingly Reinforcing Bad Puppy Behavior
When puppy yelps and barks, demanding attention, what do you do? If you’re like most pet owners, you immediately drop what you’re doing and give them the attention they’re asking for. Oops! You’re unknowingly rewarding, thereby reinforcing and encouraging, bad behavior. Instead of giving in to their demands, save the lovin’ and pettin’ for when your dog is behaving. Deny it when they are demanding or misbehaving. This isn’t cruel; it is exactly how a mother dog teaches her pups good behavior.
A Lack of Behavior & Obedience Training
A famous TV dog trainer often jokes that he, “rehabilitates dogs and trains humans.” Puppy and dog training is more than just teaching your new BFF how to behave. It also teaches you to be a better, more knowledgeable, well-informed dog owner. The investment you make early on in your relationship in behavior and obedience training will produce dividends throughout the life of the dog. Training is available for every stage of the dog’s life, from basic weekly sessions with their owner to doggie retreats that last several weeks and involve intensive training and nurturing for your dog. You can also take dog training seminars so that you and your furry friend can DIY it together at home.
A Lack of Adequate Socialization
Socialization of puppies is perhaps one of the easiest things to overlook for an owner. At first, you want to show your new pup to all your friends and family, but then you settle into your usual routine, and puppy begins to believe that only those living in the home are acceptable, viewing outsiders as intruders. It’s important that your puppy is regularly and consistently exposed to different people — men and women, different ethnic groups, people of all ages, people wearing uniforms, different sizes and breeds of dogs and other animals, etc. Socializing your puppy can easily be incorporated into your regular exercise routine. Make a point to exercise your dog in a puppy park, on city streets, and anywhere you can expose him or her to a wide variety of other people and animals, especially those different from the people living in your home. Better yet, use a doggie daycare that’s filled with all types of people and animals!
Playing Too Roughly with Your Puppy
Rough play encourages roughness. Tug-of-war is particularly bad, because it literally teaches your puppy to fight with you over things! Tired of puppy grabbing and running away with your socks while you’re trying to get ready in the mornings? It’s likely because you’re teaching him this behavior while roughhousing with his stuffed animals and rope toys in the evenings. He doesn’t know the difference! Encourage more loving, gentle play, and disengage from your puppy when he gets to rough, to show him that isn’t acceptable behavior. Continue playing again when he calms down and is ready to pet sweetly and snuggle.
5 Reasons Why Your Puppy Misbehaves | That’s a lot to remember, isn’t it? There are many tips like these that new puppy owners need to learn so that they can raise a great dog who is able to stay with the family forever. Reach out to us at Just Happy Hounds so that we can provide you with the training, tips, and services you need for your dog’s whole life.
Because we love em’ like you do!
Just Happy Hounds, LLC – Midtown – where we make sit happen!
We’re located at 2222 5th Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35233
your premiere dog fraternity providing doggie daycare, dog boarding, dog grooming and dog training.