Perfect Puppy Problem Solving – Puppy Behavior (Part 2)
Puppy Behavior (Part 2)
Obsessive Behavior Is Not Healthy
Some puppies chase their tails over and over again, so much so that you have to physically stop them or they’ll spin until they drop. Some act like they’re snapping at bugs, but you can’t see any insects at all. Some puppies may chase reflections over and over. If your dog exhibits one of these behaviors consistently, it’s not a cute puppy antic. Please call your veterinarian for assistance. Your puppy may be ill and need professional help.
What Not to Do
So what if you decide that your puppy has a problem behavior? If you want to stop your puppy from doing something you don’t like, do not:
- Knee her in the chest
- Scruff shake her
- Spank her
- Flip her upside down or “alpha roll” her
- Yell at her
If you use physical means to try to change your puppy’s behavior, she may interpret your action as part of her game, so the behavior will actually get worse instead of better. (Have you ever seen two puppies or dogs playing together? They can play pretty roughly.) Or she won’t engage in the problem behavior anymore because you frightened her.
Sometimes, using harsh methods to discipline a puppy can seriously backfire. If you frighten your dog enough, she may feel that she has to defend herself. This doesn’t mean that she’s stubborn or defying you—she’s just frightened. For example, let’s say your puppy jumps up on you and you spank her. She doesn’t understand that you don’t want her to jump up—she just understands that you are scary. So she growls at you to tell you that she’s afraid and wants you to stop. You get really mad and spank her again. She figures that you didn’t understand her message the first time, so she has to be clearer. She bites you. Is she a stubborn, willful puppy? No. You’re both just communicating in very different ways. You’re spanking her, because you want her to stop jumping. She’s growling and biting, because she’s afraid of your anger.
What to Do
You do not need to use harsh methods to discipline your puppy. Instead of getting angry with her for a problem behavior, teach her what you’d rather her do instead. For every behavior that your puppy does that you don’t like, there are lots of preferable behaviors that you can teach her to engage in instead. For example, if you don’t like your puppy jumping, teach her to sit when she greets people. Instead of getting mad at her for chasing the cat, teach her the leave it cue so that she leaves the cat alone. This is a much more effective way of communicating with your puppy and solving problem behaviors.
Next Page >< Previous Page