Monday, December 11

Solving Common Dog Behavior Problems Part 2: Scavenging, Jumping on People, And Whining

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Garbage Scavenging

This problem happens when tempting tidbits are placed in the garbage.  We can’t expect dogs to simply ignore them.

Solution:  Seal the garbage bin or empty it immediately until the garbage collector arrives.  You may also want to keep the garbage out of the dog’s reach.

Jumping on People

The common reason why dogs jump on people is to get attention. As early as the puppy stage, dogs must be taught not to jump on people.  In order to prevent this behavior from developing, avoid giving the puppy or dog any positive form of reinforcement or appreciative attention when she jumps on you or on any person.  Do not show any signs of approval such as petting or praising when this behavior is exhibited.

Letting a dog jump on people may eventually backfire and get you into trouble.  The dog may have muddy paws and get someone’s clothes soiled.  The person may be carrying a bag full of groceries which may include eggs and breakable bottles.  The person may be handicapped or elderly.  Whatever the case, it is not a good behavior to permit.

Solution:  For young puppies, a stern voice saying “Off!” while taking its paws and placing them on the ground should work.  Don’t forget to praise the puppy when it obeys.  Every time you see the puppy coming to you with that “I want to jump on you” look, firmly say “Off!” before it even jumps, making you a step ahead.  Again, don’t forget to praise your puppy when it sits down.  For a bigger dog you may take the step further by lifting one knee to block its full body contact from you while sternly saying “Off!”  as it approaches you.  The minute your dog sits down, praise it.

If the dog is resistant to the mild solutions suggested above, it is recommended that your dog be taught to learn the “Sit” command.  As your dog approaches you, give the “Sit” command and praise as soon as it obeys.

Whining

If not corrected at the onset, whining can become an irritating habit.  Spending too much time with your dog or puppy could cause it to become too dependent on you.  Your dog needs to learn to accept being alone, or without your attention, even if you are just at home or in the same room.   Dog may also whine when they feel the need to go out or are hungry.

Solution:  If the dog whines near the time it needs to relieve itself, take it to the potty area.  When she’s finished, return your dog to the same spot. If the dog is in its crate, make sure that there are some toys to keep it busy.  You won’t want your puppy to think that the crate is a punishment or detention area.

If your dog is not in the crate, watch its body language while whining. Maybe it’s trying to get your attention because  it needs your help.  Perhaps his toy was taken by another dog or is behind a closed door.

Whining for no reason

If you cannot find any reason for its whining, simply ignore it.  When the whining stops, you may take the puppy out of the crate and play with him.  Never take the puppy out of its crate when its whining, as it would only reinforce the bad behavior.  The whining will just continue, only louder next time.

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