Dogs can bring so much joy and happiness to people’s lives, but they also have the potential to wreak major havoc. Lack of training and socialization, pent up energy, and stress can all cause a dog to act out and engage in various nuisance behaviors.
From potty problems to chewing, and nipping, there are a myriad of ways that unwanted dog behavior can confuse and frustrate dog owners. Issues like overenthusiastic greeting of guests by jumping or barking are also some of the most frequently-cited reasons well-meaning dog owners relinquish otherwise perfect dogs to shelters – a solution that usually represents a tragic one-way ticket for those dogs.
To successfully address nuisance behaviors, it is important to remember that dogs need positive, constructive guidance from us to help them adapt and thrive in our strange, domestic world. Avoid punitive methods which simply suppress these undesired behaviors with 'punishments' or 'corrections.' Instead, employ positive methods get to the root of the problem and work to change the way the dog thinks and feels, gradually eliminating the negative behavior for good. Hiring a qualified positive trainer is usually a good first step towards this goal.
If your dog has a persistent behavior that drives you crazy, look at your dog’s level of exercise and mental enrichment. Once you've ruled out medical and stimulation-related causes, use the links in this section to begin positive training that will make the unwanted behavior a thing of the past.
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Articles from Victoria Stilwell
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- Becoming a Dog Trainer
- Social Bullying
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