Two Of The Most Common Puppy-Raising Problems And How To Fix Them

Becoming a puppy parent is a joyful, fun, and rewarding experience. But sometimes, puppies can get out of control or form poor habits if they’re not appropriately trained as soon as possible. Luckily puppies are pretty moldable at a young age; they have the intelligence to understand commands and proper behaviors if they’re guided in the right direction. Here are a few of the most common puppy problems and some possible solutions to get your furry friend back on the right track!

Biting

If your puppy is biting or nipping your hands, they are probably just overexcited and seeking play; they don’t truly mean to “hurt” you. However, if this behavior is not under control by the time your puppy is around six months old, it could lead to problems down the road. Don’t be discouraged if you’re at a loss on how to stop puppy biting behavior. Puppies are clever and resilient and will learn quickly if you’re firm and consistent in training them.

When your pup starts to get too rambunctious, offer him a toy to chew instead. This method redirects his focus from something he shouldn’t be biting (your hands, clothing, furniture, etc.) toward something he can munch on as much as he wants! If he switches easily to the toy, reward him with verbal praise, a pat, and a treat. This teaches your puppy that good things will happen when he chews the toy he is supposed to!

Sometimes the biting behavior is a little bit more persistent, so in this case, you must show your puppy that good things do not happen when he bites. As soon as his mouth makes contact with your skin, get up, walk away, and then ignore your pup for a few minutes. Never yell at or hit your dog; aside from being cruel, it also shows your puppy that he can get a reaction out of you by biting––albeit a negative one––and it could make the problem worse. If the behavior persists or your pup gets too aggressive, it’s best to reach out to a dog trainer to assist you in teaching your puppy to behave properly.

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Housebreaking

Imagine coming home to a special surprise left on your kitchen floor from your pup. If you’re a dog owner, you’ve most likely been there. Housebreaking your puppy is definitely hard work, but doing so efficiently and correctly can save you a lot of headaches (and mess) in the long run. Puppies have smaller bladders and arent able to hold their bowels as long as their adult counterparts, and accidents are pretty much inevitable. If your pup goes to the bathroom inside of the house, don’t scold him. Puppies have really limited short-term memories, so he won’t understand that you are disciplining him for misusing the bathroom. He will just think you are angry.

Start out by getting your puppy on a feeding and bathroom schedule. Feed him at the same time every day, and take him on bathroom breaks as frequently as possible. When the pup does his business outside as he should reward him with lots of praise and a treat. When you’re outside, use a command to signal to your puppy that this is bathroom time. Short commands like “hurry up” or “go potty” are good places to start. Your pup will begin to associate the command with potty time. It’ll take some time, but once your puppy is settled into a routine and appropriately rewarded, he will be much less likely to do his business inside the house.

Also when he does have an accident, be sure to clean up the mess immediately––if he smells his previous business, he will think that your kitchen floor is an appropriate place to go to the bathroom. Try to get a cleaner that breaks down enzymes; remember, a dog’s sense of smell is so much more powerful than a human’s, so he can still smell his bathroom spot even if you can’t!

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Raising your puppy to be a happy, healthy, and well-behaved companion is the goal of every pet parent. There will assuredly be bumps in the road during your training journey, but consistency, positive reinforcement, and a loving, positive attitude are all essential components for dog training success. Once your puppy learns what he should be doing, he will want to please you and he’ll be a happy and loving companion for years to come.

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