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5 Tips on Dealing With All Types of Dog Behavior Problems

No matter what type of dog behavior problems you have, these tips will help! Most of these solutions revolve around dog training, because that’s often the root of dog behavior problems.

Before the tips, a quip:

“I talk to him when I’m lonesome; and I’m sure he understands,” said W. Dayton Wedgefarth. “When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes…the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.”

That was one of my issues with owning a dog – her wet nose and slobber all over my clothes, furniture, truck, and everything! But once I accepted it as part of dog ownership, I bonded with her much faster.

5 Tips on Dealing With All Types of Dog Behavior Problems

If you have a puppy, read Bringing Home a New Puppy? 6 Puppy Training Tips.

Know that solving dog behavior problems takes time

I regretted my decision to get a dog for almost a full month after we brought her home form the humane society. Our dog Jazz is a one-year old black lab/German Shepherd – she’s 75 pounds of puppy energy and eagerness (and dog behavior problems, too)! I’ve always been a cat lover, and never owned a dog as an adult. My first tip on how to deal with dog problems is to accept that it takes time to adjust and bond with your dog. Give your dog time to learn how to adjust his behavior, to learn what you expect and require.

Deal with your dog consistently

It’s physically and emotionally exhausting to constantly train your dog – especially for new dog owners! But, training and obedience is a crucial element to creating a strong bond with your dog (which will help solve behavior problems). Firm, consistent training solidifies your position as “pack leader”, and helps your dog respect you. I learned a lot about the best ways to train a puppy from 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog, the Dog Whisperer, and the dog trainer who did our home assessment. And, we’re taking dog obedience classes (not online, but in person) next month.

Keep trying different dog obedience toys

Part of knowing how to deal with dog behavior problems is giving the dog “work” to do. Our dog trainer recommended cow or buffalo thigh bones; dogs like to chew and lick the marrow inside. Plus, bone marrow is healthy! I’ve learned that our dog gets bored with the marrow bone everyday, so I kept experimenting with a Kong Wobbler Dog Toy until I found what works. That took time – I was making it too easy for her. And, I found a Rumble Ring, which she loves.

Combine training and play with your dog

From books like 101 Dog Tricks, I learned how important it is combine play with training your dog and dealing with dog behavior problems. We’re in the early stages of dog obedience training, so we’re still working on “sit”, “lay down”, “shake a paw”, and “fetch.” But our dog trainer encouraged us to have high expectations for Jazz. For instance, her husband hides her dog’s toys all over the house. The dog’s job in the evenings is to retrieve all her toys, one at a time. This is playful training, and it’s a fantastic way to bond with your dog – which will help you cope with the frustration of dog behavior problems.

Get a home assessment with a dog obedience trainer

It can be expensive – it cost us $160 for two hours – but a home assessment with a professional dog obedience trainer can make the difference between success and failure. Our trainer helped us with everything from our tone of voice when giving commands to what type of “work” to have our dog do. Plus, she’s now “on call” for us – her service includes unlimited phone calls if we have questions or concerns.

If you’re concerned about the cost of dog ownership (like I am!), read 8 Tips for Saving Money on Pet Care Costs.

I also watched all the Cesar Millan Dog Whisperer DVDs, which helped me learn about pack mentality and consistent, firm leadership. For more tips on how to deal with dogs, watch The Dog Whisperer: Beginning and Intermediate Dog Training.

What type of dog problems are you dealing with? You might find How to Stop Your Dog From Barking, Jumping Up, and Digging helpful.

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6 thoughts on “5 Tips on Dealing With All Types of Dog Behavior Problems”

  1. I can really recomment the dog whisperer videos too! I’ve learned a lot from them and now I believe I will never have any problems training my dogs! You have to let them know that you’re the pack leader. When you’ve done that, the rest is easy. Good blog b.t.w.

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Claudia,

    I think the best way to deal with this dog behavior problem – jumping up on the couch – is to kennel your dog when you’re not home. He shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely when you’re not around. He should be in his spot, whether it’s a kennel, the mud room, or even your bedroom if you live in an apartment.

    We’ve found that spraying our dog with water is a GREAT way to stop her dog behavior problems. She hates being sprayed; now all we have to do is show her the spray bottle, and she’ll stop whatever it is.

    Another tip for dealing with dogs who get up on furniture is bitter apple. They don’t like that scent, so if you put it on a quilt or afghan, and cover your couch with that quilt or afghan, your dog may not jump up.

    The trick is to find something that your dog dislikes more than the activity! Our dog likes to chase our cat a lot, but dislikes the water bottle more than chasing the cat…so it works. I don’t know what your dog dislikes, but you need to find out. Use that as a deterrent.

    You might also consider taking a puppy training or dog obedience class, depending on how old your dog is. Some dog owners say their dogs are perfectly obedient in class, but display different problems at home. It’s worth finding out if your dog will obey both in class and at home! And, the dog trainer or instructor of the obedience class may have some tips on dealing with dogs who jump up on couches.

    I hope this helps…


  3. My dog keeps jumping on our couches. He does this at night when we go to sleep, when we leave the house or whenever he feels like it. My husband gets so upset he wacks him with a newspaper. This is not working. Me, on the other hand, I stack books, stools, storage containers to avoid him jumping on. I don’y know what to do! please help!!!!

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments. Knowing how to bond with your dog is an important first step in training and obedience, and in loving him so you can keep him forever!

  5. I agree with what you say there. I believe that dogs are not just “dogs”
    They are friends and need some extra little attention. Bonding with them is a great way to grow closer to them and they love you more for it.

    Thanx for refreshing my ideas and dog bonding. 🙂

  6. Yes, bonding can take a while with your pet. But dogs are usually right up there, jumping up and saying hi right away. You should be able to form a good friendship rather quickly. Pets are so wonderful. Except when they do really yucky stuff…