Tips for annoying dog behaviours
Understand annoying behaviours
Most dogs are simply excited to be going on a walk. Most lead pullers have never been taught to walk by the owner's side.
Dogs who escape tend to be bored at home. They venture outside the home for stimulation. Some may also suffer from separation anxiety and would rather be with people.
Dogs who jump are often enthusiastic greeters of people. They jump p to get as close to your face as possible. Most of these dogs have not been taught that foud paws on the floor gets rewards like attention.
Mounting is a controlling behaviour performed by some dogs, during play, fights or sexual activity. Some dogs also mount human legs, soft toys or cushion, as a release for energy build up.
Solutions for annoying behaviours
Specific problems & their solutions
These are explained below but it helps to look at changes that you can implement to help prevent these annoying behaviours from happening.
Many annoying behaviours are a result of your dog's energy needing an outlet. Provide your dog with appropriate energy outlets and their annoying behaviours should decrease. Vary their walks or make them more regular. Provide training for mental stimulation and feed them with food-releasing toys.
Many owners wait on their dog learning new behaviours and it simply never happens. Your dog will not learn to stop jumping up or pulling on a lead until you train them that there is a better alternative. Reward your dog for behaving well. Introduce commands as they sit or walk nicely and praise them or give a treat.
Boredom and Anxiety
Ensure your dog is not bored or anxious, two common causes of annoying behaviours.
Specific behaviour and training issues
Pulling on the Lead
Find other ways of exercising your dog, such as the off leash park, if your dog is sociable.
Use devices such as head halters or harnesses, as dogs are less likely to pull when these are in use.
The best solution to walking your dog comfortably is to train them. Walk your dog in your backyard, around your home or in uninteresting areas until they learn to walk without pulling. Give a walk command and praise them.
With time, take them out into the streets. This may result in pulling on the lead again, so remember to issue a command. Or try this on your way home from the park, when your dog is tired.
Jumping Up Behaviour
Do not allow your dog to jump up. Put them on a lead. If your dog is excitable and you are arriving home, try throwing a ball or a toy for them, to use up some energy. Set up agility courses in your garden to give your dog opportunity to jump.
If your dog does jump, try to ignore them by not giving physical, verbal or eye contact.
Teach your dog that it is beneficial to sit, by rewarding them when they do and putting 'Sit' on command. Practice the sit at all times, building up to when people arrive at the door.
Set up some practice situations, with family or friends coming to your home. Keep your dog on a lead when you greet them until they have mastered the sit.
You may also like to teach your dog an alternative behaviour such as shaking a paw, to jump up on command or to wait on a mat.
To prevent unwanted mounting behaviour, you need to take charge of your dog's behaviour. Keep them on a lead, even within your home. Then they cannot mount. If they have already started to mount another dog and you cannot safely intervene, you will need to distract your dog and call them to you.
If your dog mounts cushions or other inanimate objects, you may just like to ignore this behaviour. Generally, it's your dog's way of releasing pent-up energy or it could be a comforting behaviour, a habit that has formed. If it disturbs you, step in with a distracting activity prior to the mounting behaviour beginning.
Often dogs use this behaviour as a way of getting their owners attention. Be sure you do not give it any attention, including shouting, laughing, physically handling your dog or even looking at them. Instead, distract them before they begin.
To prevent your dog escaping, adequate fencing is the best solution. Build it high and underground, if necessary. Double fences, floppy tops and ensuring no climbing spots or furniture nearby will help.
Prevent boredom by giving your dog exercise and mental games to play. Use food-releasing toys to occupy your dog. Rotate toys around to keep your dog interested. Hire a dog walker, use doggy day care or have a friend visit.
If your dog dislikes being left alone, follow the tips for separation anxiety here. You dog needs to find your backyard fun with stimulating activities that vary every day.