Dogs are wonderful companions, but sometimes they exhibit problem behaviours that can frustrate dog parents. Excessive barking, digging, and chewing are among the most common behavioural issues that dog owners face. Various factors, including boredom, anxiety, and lack of training, can cause these behaviours.
Here are some tips for addressing these problem behaviours and helping your dog become a better companion.
Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs, but excessive barking can be a nuisance for dog parents and their neighbours. The first step in addressing excessive barking is to identify the underlying cause. Some dogs bark out of boredom or frustration, while others bark to alert their owners of potential threats.
According to the American Kennel Club, some breeds are more prone to excessive barking than others. Breeds such as Beagles, Terriers, and Schnauzers are known for their vocal tendencies.
However, excessive barking is not limited to these breeds.
If your dog is barking excessively, try to identify and address the cause. If your dog is bored, provide more exercise and mental stimulation through games and puzzles. If your dog is anxious or fearful, consider working with a trainer or behaviourist to develop a training plan.
Teaching your dog to be quiet on command can also be helpful. Use a verbal cue such as “quiet” or “enough” and reward your dog for stopping the barking. Be consistent with this training and be patient, as it may take some time for your dog to learn the new behaviour.
Digging is another common problem behaviour that can be frustrating for dog parents. Dogs may dig out of boredom or as a way to escape from a confined area. Give your dog plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to address this behaviour. Take your dog for regular walks and provide toys and games to keep them occupied.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), some breeds are more prone to digging than others. Breeds such as Dachshunds, Terriers, and Huskies are known for their digging tendencies. However, all breeds can exhibit this behaviour.
If your dog is digging in a particular area, try to make that area less appealing. Cover the area with rocks or other materials that will make it less comfortable for your dog to dig. You can also provide a designated digging area, such as a sandbox or a designated section of your yard.
Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs, but destructive chewing can be problematic. Dogs may chew out of boredom, anxiety, or teething. Give your dog plenty of appropriate chew toys and bones to address this behaviour. Make sure that the toys are durable and safe for your dog to chew on.
According to the ASPCA, some breeds are more prone to destructive chewing than others. Breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds are known for their chewing tendencies. However, all breeds can exhibit this behaviour.
If your dog is chewing on inappropriate items such as shoes or furniture, be sure to provide plenty of supervision and redirection. When you catch your dog chewing on something, interrupt the behaviour with a verbal cue such as “no” or “leave it,” and redirect them to an appropriate chew toy.
Consistency is key when addressing problem behaviours in dogs. Be patient and persistent in your training efforts, and seek the help of a professional trainer or behaviourist if needed. With time and effort, you can help your dog become a better companion and reduce problem behaviours such as excessive barking, digging, and chewing.