Got a new puppy at home? Is it just the sweetest little wiggly ball of love?  I’ll bet the answers to those questions are yes.  However, I’ll bet your little bundle is also doing things that you would rather it didn’t.  Things like chewing up your best shoes, peeing on random surfaces, scratching up your furniture, and so much more.   The good news is you can get rid of these bad habits and save your belongings from this cute little whirlwind.  Here is what you can do:

Train your Dog:  Experts say that the best way to train your dog is to reward them with treats.  When they do something good like follow your commands to sit, lie down, speak, etc. reward them with a treat that they love.  This will not only help you to connect with your dog, but it gives them the mental stimulation they need, and tires them out so they can get rid of all that excess energy.


Let them Exercise:  Lots of dogs depending on breed and age will have their own energy that they need to get rid of.  Sadly, this is usually the reason why they will have the behaviors that will cause you some problems.  If you are gone for a long period of time during the day and your dog only gets a quick dash outside, therein lies the problem with their surplus liveliness.  Make sure you schedule your dog in your day to let them out of the house whether it is in a yard or a park.  A dog who is tired will behave better.

“Good Dog”:  Dog’s are a lot like people in that they need recognition that they did something right.  When a dog is sitting quietly and not barking loudly make sure you pet them.  After that, say, “Good dog.”  Let them know that their behavior is appreciated.  It’s also important to note that your words need to be simple and easy to follow.  Words like “sit, heel, and no” are simple enough to follow as opposed to “Don’t do that!” for a dog.


Be Consistent:  Setting up a set of rules for your dog will make it easier for them to know what is right and what is wrong.  For example, the dog is not allowed to eat from the table but kids will slip them treats from their dinner plate.  So, what happens?  The training of the dog is no longer effective.  Make sure that everyone around the dog follows the same rules whether it is your family living there or friends coming to visit.

Puppy-proof your House:  Why are your shoes wrecked?  Why are the pillows on your sofa ripped apart?  Well, those questions are easy to answer.  You did not prepare your house to have a dog in it.  The best way to avoid house destruction is prevention.  Put away your shoes and toys, make sure there are not a lot of decorative items just laying around, and above all, supervise your dog.  With proper supervision, an unpleasant doggy disposition can immediately get remedied.

Redirection:  Some behaviors are harder to stop for a dog.  So what do you do instead?  You redirect the behavior to something more appropriate so the dog will not struggle and you can keep your sanity.  For example, to get a dog to stop chewing on things, make sure they have some chew toys available.  It will make you and your dog’s lives easier.


Stay Calm:  You will get nowhere when you lose your temper.  It’s true that we are all human and will shout now and again.  However, we also know that this does not get anywhere especially with creatures as sensitive as your dog.  It is also known that if you are shouting, the dog might see it as positive reinforcement.  So, make sure that your voice is low and tone even.  That way there will be no miscommunication.

Socialization:  The reason why a dog may be acting out is because they are not used to the new sounds and scents around them. The more they get used to their new atmosphere the more likely the dog will remain relaxed.  Exposure tends to help any pet get used to these sensations and therefore not overreact to it.  Any bad behavior will be minimized when their surroundings are familiar to them.

Dogs are labeled as “man’s best friend” for a reason.  They offer love, companionship, and even guide us when we can’t do it ourselves.  Dogs give us a lot, that is why when you adopt a dog (yes even with behaviors concerns) you are enriching not just your life but the dog’s as well.  Come see us at AARCS today to learn more.

Erika Ravnsborg

Erika Ravnsborg

Blog and Website Content Creator

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