Are you at your wits’ end?
Body slamming, mouthy behavior, nipping, jumping, chewing all the wrong things, relentlessly bugging other pets, barking continuously, lunging or just downright biting people – are some of the behaviors an out of control dog will do. Puppies and adolescent dogs are usually more mischievous but older dogs that are in a new home or are reacting to changes in their environment may act out as well. Even if you’ve been told to put your dog to sleep we may still be able to help.
Aggression, separation anxiety, and other complex problems call for expert help, such as the dog trainer on our team – and sometimes problems that look simple at first glance are anything but. However, if your dog’s doing something you don’t like, a great starting point is to think over what he gets out of the behavior, or what need it might meet. Often, the best response will be to find an alternative you can live with, and teach him that instead.
To diminish these unwanted behaviors you may believe you are doing everything possible, such as:
- Walking your dog. But are you really meeting his exercise requirements? Remember certain breeds like terriers and herding dogs are bred to work all day long!
- Teaching your dog commands but he doesn’t seem to really get it. Are you really consistently working with your dog and rewarding him with treats or toys he really likes?
- Punishing your dog frequently, because he should ‘know’ not to jumping, chew, nip, lunge, etc. by now. If the punishment was effective the dog would understand and not do this behavior. It’s important to catch your dog in the act, correct him (with a meaningful, not harsh, command) and give him alternative behaviors, e.g. don’t chew my hand, chew this toy instead.
- Not crating or containing him because he hates it and you don’t want to hear him bark or because you think it’s mean. Teaching your dog that the crate or his confined area is a positive place and you spend time with him there so he doesn’t feel abandoned, but reading a book hanging out next to your dog while he’s crated may help calm his nerves.
- Giving him a few toys not realizing that he needs more mental stimulation than these toys may provide. Instead, think of rotating toys every day or a few times a week to keep an easily bored dog more mentally engaged.
If you are at your wit’s end, have tried other Los Angeles trainers or training methods, it’s advisable to seek the help of a professional dog trainer who is experienced rehabilitating these types of problems. Many unwanted behaviors are complex, even at times dangerous.