Home Dog behavior How to Treat Common Dog Behavior Problems, According to Vets

How to Treat Common Dog Behavior Problems, According to Vets

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  • Insider asked vets for their top tips for solving common problems dog owners face.
  • Giving your dog a chew toy can prevent him from gnawing at your furniture and clothing.
  • You can make your dog stop jumping on people by rewarding them when they don’t.

Pets can make life more fun and active, but owning a dog often presents a unique set of challenges.

Insider asked vets to share their best solutions to common problems dog owners face.

If your dog wakes you up early in the morning, try changing his routine

Rebecca Greenstein, chief veterinarian and practice owner at Kleinburg Veterinary Hospital, told Insider that dogs who wake their owners too early in the morning might need to change their routine.

“If your healthy adult dog gets up hours before you wake up, he may be going to bed too early,” Greenstein said. “Try moving it to a later bedtime and increasing physical activity during the day.”

Keep in mind that young puppies with smaller bladders often need to go to the toilet overnight, and older dogs may have an underlying medical condition that makes them more restless than usual. .

By sharing leftovers, you may be teaching your dog to beg or steal food from the table.

dog eating

You shouldn’t give your dog any leftover food.

bohemian / shuttershock


Greenstein said owners who give their dogs leftover food can actually train them to beg.

“Dogs don’t know by nature what’s yours and what’s theirs,” Greenstein told Insider. “But if you give in to begging or whining for food, you are inadvertently teaching your dog that begging works.”

She said pet owners need to be clear from the start that only humans can eat at the table. They shouldn’t use leftovers as treats or as a response to whining.

You can teach dogs who pull on their leash to walk calmly with the right compliments

Dog on leash

You can also use a leash trainer.

Vasil Dakov / Shuttershock


Sarah Wooten, veterinarian and collaborator of Pumpkin Pet Insurance, told Insider that dogs who pull on their leashes can be trained to walk calmly.

“The dogs are doing this because they haven’t learned to walk nicely,” she said. “Try using a leash trainer that turns your dog’s nose towards you when he pulls.”

When your dog is walking calmly, praise him and give him a treat. Wooten said that eventually they will learn that shooting doesn’t work and that appropriate behavior earns them your affection.

If your dog hates going out in the rain, use compliments or treats to form a positive association

Some dogs seem to hate going out in wet weather, but handing out treats and affection can help.

“From an early age, try to use treats and compliments when you take your dog out in the rain,” Greenstein said. “Make sure they are bundled up and walk them under an umbrella or somewhere sheltered.”

Greenstein recommended rewarding your dog with a treat when dressing him for inclement weather to create a positive association with going out in the rain.

Dogs that howl and whine if left alone at home may experience separation anxiety

dog waiting at the door

You can discuss ways to reduce your pet’s anxiety with your veterinarian.

Lori Jaeski / Shuttershock


Leslie Brooks, Veterinarian and Consultant at best pet, told Insider that dogs that bark and whine when left alone typically show symptoms of separation anxiety.

Brooks said the best way to stop this behavior is to work with your vet to figure out what your pet is doing while you are away and how to reduce their anxiety.

“Consider using a camera to film their behavior when you are away,” she said. “You can also give them a toy filled with an extra treat to distract them, keep playing bass music, or leave the television on.”

Dogs with severe nerves may benefit from calming supplements or anti-anxiety medications, but these should only be used under the supervision of a veterinarian.

You can discourage your dog from jumping on people by rewarding them when they don’t.

Some dogs love to jump when excited, but this behavior can be dangerous for older people or smaller children.

Wooten said you can discourage jumps by grabbing a dog’s paws in your hands and giving them gentle pressure while lifting them up.

“When your dog walks away, let go and praise him,” she told Insider. “It will teach them that jumping is not fun and that staying on the ground is going to be a treat for them.”

Firm training can help prevent your dog from chewing on furniture or clothing

dog chew shoe

You shouldn’t let your dog chew on your clothes, even while playing.

iVangelos / Shuttershock


Consistent correction is the best way to protect your belongings from chewing.

“When your dog starts to chew something he shouldn’t, give him a firm ‘no’ and praise him when he stops and looks at you,” Wooten said.

It is important to never let your dog pull on his clothes during play sessions or give him old wardrobe items as toys, as allowing your pet to chew some pieces of fabric, but not others, can be confusing for him.

Instead, Wooten suggested giving your puppy a chew toy to play with.

Supervise limited periods of contact if your dog cannot get along with other pets in the house

Veterinarian Daniel Levin, owner of Embassy Lakes Veterinary Hospital, told Insider that some dogs in the same household don’t immediately get along due to fear or behavioral issues, such as aggression.

“Limited, supervised contact periods that gradually increase in duration can allow time to adjust,” Levin said. “However, owners should know that some dogs will never accept each other.”

If you are considering adopting or fostering a dog, it is a good idea to allow your current pets to meet their potential roommate so that you can observe how they behave with each other.

Regular toilet training and frequent bathroom breaks can keep your pet from having accidents around the house.

“Accidents in the house are either due to poor toilet training or a medical problem,” Levin said. “If a thorough examination does not reveal any problems, then additional training is required.”

Medical issues like kidney stones or urinary tract infections could be causing this problem, but if your dog is young, regular toilet training and frequent restroom breaks should eventually help him learn. that he’s not supposed to relieve himself inside.

Find ways to distract your dog if he eats things he finds on the floor outside

dog with treat

You can give your dog treats so that he does not eat other things on the floor.

Alexandr Jitarev / Shuttershock


Dogs are curious by nature and have a strong sense of smell, so Brooks told Insider that they lick and chew on things as a way to explore the world.

“To stop this behavior, you can use a basket muzzle so that they cannot physically eat things outside, or give them something else to hold in their mouth such as a toy or stick. they love it, ”Brooks said.

She added that it can also be helpful to take treats with you outside to distract your dog if he starts to eat something on the floor.


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