Just as humans exhibit some unpleasant habits, dogs tend to do the same. And trust us when we say it may be easier to break our own bad habits than a dog's. Most dogs repeat their behaviors because they find them rewarding. So, the key to breaking most habits is to make them realize they will not be getting rewards when exhibiting certain behaviors.
While some habits may be harmless – others tend to have detrimental effects on their health. In this article, we will be discussing some of your canine's bad habits and how you can break them.
For every dog owner, it can get inconvenient to constantly have to groom and bathe their dog due to foul odors and dirt sticking to their coat from rolling around in the grass for long periods of time. This habit is inherited from their ancestor as they rolled in smelly grass to mask their scent so they could divert their predator's attention and find their prey easily without their smell giving it away.
A good trick to avoid your dog from rolling in the grass would be to distract them and keep them busy whenever they’re playing in the grass. This could be done by making them jog or play a game of fetch or tug-of-war, so they do not think about rolling around!
Moreover, another important point to note – dogs often roll in the grass if they don't like their scent. For example, the fragrance of their dog shampoo may be unfamiliar to them. In this case, replace his shampoo with another good-smelling dog shampoo.
If your dog is prone to begging for food or treats, chances are you've reinforced this type of behavior in the past by giving in to his requests which we totally get! It's not easy to resist your favorite canine's puppy dog eyes. But this type of behavior can be bothersome for you as a pet parent in the future.
To curb your pup's begging behavior, you will need to learn to never feed your dog from your plate. Once your dog learns that their begging is not earning them the expected reward, they will eventually learn to stop this behavior.
Consider training your dog to go to their own space whenever you're having your meals. This behavior can be easily reinforced by offering him a dog toy. Moreover, try to keep your and your pup's mealtimes the same. So, he eats from his plate while you eat from yours. Win-win situation, right?
Digging is a bothersome habit for many dog parents. But to curb this behavior, it is essential to first understand the reason behind it. There are several reasons why your dog is digging in the backyard every time you let them out. They could be digging to find themselves a cool place to rest on a hot summer day or to find themselves a warm and cozy place on a cold day.
Additionally, dogs dig into the ground to hunt for their prey, such as squirrels, lizards, or any other prey whose scent they have managed to track. And believe it or not, digging may be normal behavior for many dogs.
However, if you want to curb this behavior, try to fix the root cause. For instance, provide them with a comfortable space to rest on hot and cold days, respectively, or if they are digging to hunt for prey, try to distract them and offer them alternative games such as fetch.
Although if this behavior continues still, it may just be their favorite activity to try when they are bored. In this case, consider providing them with a designated area of the yard where digging may be acceptable for you, for example, in a sandbox.
It can get quite bothersome if your dog chews on everything around the house like your shoes, clothes, furniture, decorations, walls, and more.
Although all dogs tend to chew, and this behavior is somewhat expected in canines as it releases their pent-up energy, provides mental stimulation, and also keeps teeth and gums in good shape – it can become irritating if they chew on materials around the house.
To curb this habit – do not punish your dog. Instead, keep several chew toys or treats on hand and redirect them to these as soon as they try to chew on a forbidden object. The best trick to make curbing this habit successful is to reinforce them chewing on appropriate materials like chew toys or treats.
Another idea you can try, especially for adult dogs, is to increase their exercise and playtime. If your dog is chewing due to being hyperactive, release their pent-up energy through mental stimulation by increasing their playtime, and exercise will curb this behavior.
Excessive barking is one of the most common complaints among dog owners. If your dog barks excessively at every knock on your door, at guests, or even barks at every other dog that walks past them, it can get bothersome for a dog parent regardless of how much you may adore your four-legged BFF.
To stop this habit, you will need to devote some time to training your dog to follow two of your commands – bark and quiet. If you can train them to only bark at your command and also stay quiet when you tell them to, you can easily curb this habit.
If this task proves more challenging on your own, consider hiring a professional dog trainer.
While we all adore our canine friends, they can possess some unwanted habits or behaviors. But don’t worry – with time and dedication, all your pup's habits can be reformed.
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