Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What To Do About Bad Behavior (Repost from Dr. Jon)

Is your dog driving you crazy with his bad behavior? Almost all dogs I know have at least one habit that drives their owner crazy - typically things like chewing up shoes, shredding books, and getting into the garbage. It's a frustrating situation that a lot of owners just don't know how to handle. Sometimes they even resort to ineffective or even damaging methods of punishment as a way to stop the behavior. Don't pull your hair out or punish the dog! Instead, you can figure out what's causing the destructive behavior and eliminate it.

This is easier than it sounds. Behaviors that are considered “bad” are most frequently caused by a small number of issues. Today I'd like to tell you about them, as well as some simple ways to deal with them.

Health issues

If your dog is urinating or defecating inside the house, don't scold him - he may be showing symptoms of a health problem. Excessive scratching and rubbing against furniture can be indicators that your dog has allergies. Persistent gnawing might be an indication of tooth pain or disease. Keep an eye on what your dog is doing, since he might be telling you that something is wrong!

The first thing you should do if your dog starts acting out - especially if he's never done it before - is take your dog in to see the vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose or rule out health problems.


Of course, your vet might find that there is nothing wrong physically with your dog. In that case, it's possible that your dog is simply bored! Does your dog have something to do when you're not at home? Do you give him plenty of play time and exercise? When a dog is bored, he might find ways of making his own fun. This can lead to destruction of your things, or even your dog getting into places that can be dangerous to him.

To prevent boredom, give your dog plenty of interactive toys to keep him busy when you aren't there to play with him. Try to take out your dog for runs or take him to a dog park once in a while to keep him active. Training sessions can also help reduce boredom, since they give your dog something to occupy his mind.

Stress and anxiety

Finally, your dog might be acting out because it's the way he expresses stress. Changes in your dog's environment or routine can make him anxious. If your dog starts urinating on ( “marking”) your furniture and home, he might be trying to mark your home as his territory. Think of marking as a billboard that says “This is mine.” A sudden increase in barking and whining can also indicate that your dog is feeling stressed.

To help your dog deal with stress, don't just treat the symptoms; you should aim to reduce or remove the stressor. Of course, this isn't always possible - like when you move to a new house or get a new pet.

In these cases, you can use Comfort Zone with D.A.P. Comfort Zone works by releasing dog pheromones (all-natural stress reducing compounds) into the air. Your dog smells these pheromones and they comfort him, making him feel secure in his environment - without needing to mark his territory or act out in other ways. Comfort Zone has been shown to reduce fear and stress-related destructive behavior by up to 65% according to studies. Your dog feels safe and secure, and you don't have to deal with his destructive behavior anymore - it's a solution that benefits everyone.

You see, if your dog starts displaying negative or “bad” behavior, don't punish him for it! Many times it's a symptom of one of the above causes. Consult with your vet, make sure your dog is getting enough activity and mental stimulation, and use Comfort Zone - and your dog will be back to his normal self in no time!

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

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