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postheadericon Your dog is really lovable, right

Your dog is really lovable, right? But even the most lovable dogs can sometimes have bad behaviors. If that’s true of yours, let’s find out what’s causing it. Then, you can do something about it.

Your dog digs

Some breeds of dogs love to dig holes, and if that’s true of yours, you may be lamenting the loss of your pristinely kept lawn. Why your dog digs holes, though, is going to depend on his breed and other factors. For example, if he’s bored, spend more time with him and give him some exercise. If your dog is a male and is trying to get under the fence to the female next door, have your dog neutered. If your dog just likes to dig and/or bury things, you may not be able to entirely nip this behavior altogether, but dogs are pretty trainable. Give your dog one “special place” all his own that he can dig in, and make it clear that the rest of the area is off limits. If you have to, spray dog repellent around areas you don’t want him to dig.

Your dog barks

Sometimes, dogs bark for a reason, such as when owners come home, when strange noises are heard, when loud voices are heard, and so on. Sometimes, though, your dog may bark for no apparent reason, and this can be an absolute nuisance to both you and your neighbors. Most often, dogs bark in these instances because they’re lonely. If your dog barks all day at night when you’re at work, give him some company. So-called “doggie day care” has sprung up to take care of this need so that your dog doesn’t have to be lonely during the day even if you have to be gone. Or, swap favors with a neighbor who has an alternate schedule to yours and “watch” each other’s dogs when each of you is gone. If you absolutely must keep your dog at home by himself, give him a lot to play with (leave lots of toys about) and leave on the radio or television so that your dog will feel less lonely.

Your dog chews on “everything”

Sometimes, chewing is self-explanatory. If your puppy is teething, for example, getting him some good sturdy chew bones and then training him to use them should take care of the problem. However, if your dog isn’t teething, he may be chewing simply to get your attention. In that case, the answer is pretty simple. Spend more time with him when he is NOT chewing. In other words, don’t make him think, “If I chew on mom’s favorite shoes, she’ll spend more time with me.” If he gets attention from you that’s positive and has nothing to do with negative behavior, he’ll probably stop chewing. In addition, make sure you always leave favorite chew toys around so that he does have something to chew on if he gets the urge.

Your dog jumps on you

Sometimes this is cute, but it can be bad behavior, such as if your dog is muddy or has been out in the wet. The best option for this behavior is not to invite jumping in the first place so that your dog doesn’t get confused, or only to have him jump on your signal. The only answer to keeping your dog from jumping at will is to train him not to. Start discouraging him from jumping (except upon your signal, as appropriate) when he is still a puppy. If you can’t seem to get him to stop jumping, consider putting him in obedience school to get the job done.

Your dog doesn’t obey you

Dogs are really subservient to humans for the most part, so if your dog isn’t obeying you, it may be because you’ve “trained” him not to. In other words, you haven’t been consistent with what you expect from him. So start obedience training early when he’s still a puppy, and be consistent. Reinforce continually and make sure he never “gets away” with any behavior you don’t want him to do without correction. If you can’t seem to get this under control yourself, putting your dog in obedience school (and enrolling yourself along with him so that you learn the proper training techniques) is a great way to take care of this problem.

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