Dog Behaviors: Top 5 Bad Habits to Stop Now

Written on April 26, 2024

Our canine companions are not just pets – they’re family. Even the most lovable dog can develop habits that test our patience and resolve. From excessive barking to chewing on your favorite pair of shoes, these behaviors can strain the bond between you and your dog. Understanding these behaviors and knowing how to guide your dog away from them is the first step towards a harmonious relationship and key to strengthening your bond. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 bad dog habits and how Specialty Dog Training’s (SDT) boot camp programs offer a solution to help you navigate them over the long term.

1. Excessive Barking

While barking is a natural form of communication for dogs, excessive barking can be a nuisance. It’s crucial to understand the cause of the barking, which can range from alerting you to a stranger’s presence to boredom or anxiety. Mitigating excessive barking is important for overall obedience, and often can help reduce your dog’s anxiety and help to develop their confidence. Our boot camp programs focus on identifying the root cause of excessive barking and teaching dogs alternative ways to communicate their needs or respond to their triggers, emphasizing obedience and calmness.

2. Chewing and Destruction

Chewing is a normal behavior for dogs but becomes problematic when it’s directed at inappropriate items. This behavior is often a result of anxiety, teething in puppies, boredom, or simply the lack of suitable chew toys. Setting your dog up for success by providing new and exciting, safe chew items on a rotation cycle keeps them engaged and makes your personal items less interesting. Of course, correcting inappropriate chewing remains important. At Specialty Dog Training’s boot camp, dogs are taught house manners, structure and boundaries and to differentiate between what is acceptable to chew on and what isn’t. Our program introduces positive reinforcement techniques, ensuring that your dog opts for fun, engaging toys instead of your belongings.

3. Jumping

We’ve all been there – a friend or family member arrives at your home, walks in the door, and is immediately greeted with paws all over them from your very excited pup. Dogs often jump up to greet people out of excitement or to gain attention. This can be dangerous and unwelcome behavior, especially with children or elderly individuals. Our training programs employ consistent, reinforcement strategies to teach dogs more appropriate greeting behaviors. Our team also teaches the “place” command which helps to provide your dog a conditioned place to rest until instructed to have free time for an appropriate greeting when guests walk in your home. By focusing on obedience training, dogs learn to remain calm and controlled, even in exciting situations and introductions to new people.

4. Ignoring Recall Commands

A dog that doesn’t come when called can be both frustrating and dangerous. This behavior is often due to a lack of engagement or understanding of the command’s importance. It can be the difference between life and death for your dog, for example, as they run into the street and ignore your command to “come.” Because this behavior can be very frustrating or frightening to the handler (especially if the dog is in a dangerous situation), we often naturally use firm or stern tones when shouting for our dog to recall. It is important to practice making recall a very happy and high-pitched command so that the dog always feels excited to return to you, and save the stern tone for the corrective “no”. Our bootcamp programs address this issue head-on by emphasizing the significance of recall commands through consistent training methods and positive reinforcement. An overall focus on obedience keeps the dog engaged with the handler at all times and ensures that he/she not only understands the command but also responds to it promptly, regardless of distractions. This training is crucial for the safety of the dog, especially in potentially hazardous situations.

5. Aggression

Aggression in dogs can manifest in many forms, including growling, snapping, or biting, and can be directed towards other animals, strangers, or even family members. This behavior is often rooted in fear, territoriality, or lack of proper socialization. At Specialty Dog Training’s boot camp, aggressive behavior is addressed with a comprehensive approach that includes behavior modification, obedience training, and controlled socialization exercises. The goal is to help dogs feel secure and confident, reducing their need to resort to aggression.

Why choose Specialty Dog Training Boot Camp Programs?

Specialty Dog Training’s boot camp programs are not just about correcting unwanted behaviors; they’re about laying a foundation for a lifetime of good habits. Here’s how our stands out:

  • Tailored Training: Every dog is unique, and our programs are designed to cater to the individual needs of your dog, whether it’s a new puppy needing basic obedience training or an older dog with behavioral issues.
  • Professional Expertise: With a team of experienced certified dog trainers, SDT offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise in canine behavior, ensuring that your dog receives the highest quality training.
  • Comprehensive Programs: Our boot camps cover everything from basic obedience to specific behavioral issues, providing a well rounded approach to dog training.
  • Positive Reinforcement: At the heart of our training philosophy is positive reinforcement, encouraging good behavior through rewards and praise, which strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
  • Lasting Results: The skills and behaviors learned at our boot camps are designed to last, providing you and your dog with the tools you need to maintain those good habits at home.

Good Behavior Is Possible

Dealing with unwanted dog behaviors can be challenging, but it’s not insurmountable. With understanding, patience, and the right training, you can guide your dog away from unwanted habits and towards a more harmonious relationship. Specialty Dog Training’s boot camp programs offer a comprehensive solution to common dog behavioral issues, emphasizing obedience, positive reinforcement, and individual, loving care. Whether you’re struggling with a new puppy or facing challenges with an older dog, we are here to help pave the way to a happier, healthier life together.