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HomePets & WildlifeBad Habits Drive Their Owners Crazy

Bad Habits Drive Their Owners Crazy

Some behavior that seems bad to you, like digging or chewing, may be perfectly natural for your dog. He may be attempting to communicate something, such as a knock at the door, or seeking attention when he does it.

Jumping to greet guests entering your home is often a learned behavior. If you react with excitement by petting your pet, it reinforces the jumping.

Digging up the Lawn

Just like humans, dogs can exhibit strange habits out of boredom or anxiety. They may twirl their hair, chew their knuckles or dig up the yard. Some breeds bred to hunt, such as Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes or chow-chows, dig in an attempt to find their prey underground.

If the ground is moist or muddy, the dog can be discouraged from digging by covering the area with chicken wire. Spraying the soil with water or burying large rocks can also help stop the habit.

If your dog digs because of boredom, try to give him more attention by playing with him or spending more time together. If your dog digs because of stress, consult with a veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist to see what is bothering him. Generally, punishing the dog for digging will only make the problem worse. Instead, fence off the digging area or create a digging spot like a sandbox and train him that it is an acceptable place to dig.

Boredom

If your dog is pacing around the house, chewing up their favorite shoes or the couch, digging in the flower beds, or otherwise getting into troublesome behaviors, it’s likely they are bored. Just like people, dogs need mental and physical stimulation to avoid boredom and depression. This could mean training classes, interactive toys, crate training for young puppies, or having someone come to play and train them during the day while you are at work.

Often, pets that are bored develop behaviors such as excessive barking, begging for food, running away, digging in the yard, chewing on furniture or other objects, clawing carpets, and aggression toward their people. These are all behaviors that can be incredibly upsetting for pet parents and even dangerous to the animal, as in the case of digging up the garden or other property. These bad habits are usually an attempt to occupy the animal and get their needs met, so they are not really “bad” at all.

Stress

Some dogs have bad habits that drive their owners crazy. Whether your dog digs through your trash, chews on power cords, or nips at the feet of guests, you can teach them to be more well behaved. Many behaviors that seem to be bad, like chewing or digging, are normal for canines and provide them with a way to relieve pent-up energy, keep their teeth and gums healthy, and explore the environment around them.

Some of your pet’s bad behaviors may be caused by stress. For example, some nipping behavior is caused by your dog’s nervousness and excitement when you or a guest comes into the house. You can discourage this by avoiding joyful greetings and instead using a calm assertive “sit” or “stay” command until your dog is relaxed.

Urine marking in the home can also be caused by stress. Try interrupting your dog when they are about to urine mark and redirect them to a chew toy or treat.

Health Issues

Despite our best efforts to keep them in check, our pets can sometimes have bad habits that drive us crazy. Whether it’s digging in the garbage, chewing on furniture or putting their paws on your grandmother’s arm, some behaviors seem downright annoying. While it’s important to encourage good behavior and nip negative behaviors in the bud, you should also be aware that some seemingly bad behavior could be due to a health problem.

For example, if your dog is peeing on the furniture or other objects in the house, this could be an indicator of a urinary tract infection or even diabetes. If your pet is exhibiting aggressive behavior that has suddenly emerged, it may be due to thyroid issues or pain.

If your dog has a tendency to jump on people, do not greet them when they enter the home as this will heighten their excited energy and cause them to leap over things that are not safe to land on.Post navigation

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