Stop Bad Behaviors From Forming and Exploding In Your Face!
When a dog has a bad habit or behavior, it usually doesn’t come out of the blue. Normally, there’s a slow buildup, and sometimes it’s easily spotted, and other times it’s very hard to detect at first. If it’s hyper behavior, destructive behavior, or even aggressive behavior, it stems back to some type of anxiety, and for most dogs, they show early signs of this anxiety way before it becomes a serious problem for the owner.
A great way to solve behavior issues, or to stop them from forming in the first place, is training. Some owners think training is unnecessary because their dog “isn’t THAT bad”, or don’t even recognize some of the underlying issues that might be causing some of their dog’s “minor” problems. For instance, my latest client was a Labrador mix named Gus. His owner called because Gus would not stop destroying things—he’d rip up blankets and his dog bed, chew up remotes, and he also furiously scratched up doors. His owner thought Gus was still young, hence why he behaved this way, and there also seemed to be some suspicions of attempted dominance over the owner and territory. After consulting with Gus’s owners and seeing Gus firsthand, it was clear that it wasn’t a dominance issue, but an issue of anxiety and boredom for Gus. As a young Lab mix, he needed much more exercise and mental engagement then what he was getting (his owner worked 10+ hours on weekdays). Gus also had no knowledge of commands, other than “Sit”, and did not fully realize that his owner was in charge because his owner wasn’t around enough to give Gus any direction or set expectations.
Training isn’t about being bossy with your dog, but about giving the dog that needed direction. Dogs need it, AND they want it! It’s no denying that dogs are willful animals, but they also want to know what is going on within their pack. If the owner does not take the role as pack leader, the dog will either pursue it themselves (and could take that leadership to inappropriate levels, as it is based on their instinct), or will be left in the dark, feeling isolated, directionless, and anxious over what is to come.
Your dog may not be a “red flag” dog or a “high risk”, but if your dog is showing some behavior issues, there is always the chance it can escalate to more severe proportions. Why wait for that to happen and make that the main motivator to train your dog? Why not instead, start training as early as possible, show your dog how to succeed and also what your boundaries are, and nip all current and any potential problems in the bud before they even arise? In a way, it’s like insurance…you’ll have a behaved pup, and both you and him/her will have peace of mind, with no worries over problematic behaviors or situations coming up.
Does your dog show signs of behavior issues? Is your dog already at the point where their behavior is driving you up the wall? Get help for your dog and (re)build your relationship together! Call us at 800-649-7297 and we’ll help you both address all your issues and reach all your training needs!