Here are some tips for the Top 4 Dog Behavior questions asked to dog trainers and pet behavior specialist:
What do I do if my dog barks like crazy when someone visits?
This is called “alarm barking”. This type of barking normally stops and the dog calms down after the person is inside your home.
Another type of barking is simply from excitement. Does your dog get excited when you get home from work? This is anticipation of fun things to come now that you’re home! However, the over the top barking can get out of hand and bother visitors or neighbors, and hurt your ears.
To reduce the noise, try to create calmer approach when guests are coming over. Keep the dog separated or in another room until the dog is calm, then allow them greet your visitor.
What do I do if my dog reacts to other dogs when we are out in public?
Your dog could be frustrated because they just want to play! This is why socialization at an early age is so important. To help with socialization, you can do the following:
- Set up play dates with the neighbors’ dogs
- Take your dog to a dog park
- Drop them off at doggy day care for a few hours
If you are in public, and your dog becomes aggressive, carry treats to distract your dog. As soon as your dog sees another dog, give your dog a treat so your dog will be focused on you and the treat, and not the other dog. This will create a positive association when he/she sees another dog.
What can I do if my dog is older and still not housebroken?
It’s back to the basics. Whether your dog is a puppy, 5 years old, or even older, you need to go back to the basics of potty training.
Don’t let your dog loose in the house without proper supervision. If you’re going to move around a lot while your home and have your dog inside with you, tether a leash so your dog can be near and with you at all times. Another option is to crate your dog. A few weeks of crate training can equal a lifetime of a housetrained and happy dog.
When your dog does do their business outside – REWARD them! People often punish their dogs for having an accident inside, but all the dog learns from that is not to have an accident in front of the person yelling at him/her.
What can I do if my dog seems to have excess energy?
Many breeds have “excess” energy. This simply means they want a job and if you don’t give them one, they will make one of their own. Digging holes in the yard, destroying the couch or barking all day long are some of the ways they will try to burn off this energy.
You need to stimulate your dog to wear them out. Here are some quick ideas:
- Take them to a park for 20 minutes
- Put their food in a puzzle bowl or in a Kong
- Game of fetch
These small things will help stimulate your dog’s body and mind, and help relieve their excess energy.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Danielle Salice is a pet lover, and Boxer dog aficionado— she has owned three boxers during her adult life (CarlySue, AbbySue and Capone). She also has a penchant for German Shepherds, which was her family’s breed of choice growing up. Danielle is active in the animal welfare industry and currently volunteers at Last Chance at Life, All Breed Rescue and Adoptions. Danielle became a PetFirst Pet Insurance policyholder in 2009 and has been a pet insurance advocate ever since.