There are several books, sites and documents on the subject. Here are some tips we took for you regarding inappropriate behavior. References are given to you at the end of this document. If you have any questions regarding your puppy’s behavior, don’t hesitate to talk to our team, we are here for you!
Most dogs don’t jump up at people for aggressive reasons. When a dog jumps up on us we usually push them down or talk to them. For dogs this is fun because they jump up in a way to say hello and than we touch them. Therefore, we are reinforcing this bad behavior. When your dog does this, simply cross your arms and ignore him, turn away and do not make eye contact. A dog is a social animal so they do not enjoy being ignored. When the dog is sitting say good dog and give him a treat. He will learn that when he is sitting and quiet, he will get a better reaction from us than jumping. This can be applied to everything, teaching the dog to sit as a polite way to ask for something is a very good practice. Even when offering his food, treats or even attention ask your dog to sit calmy first.
A pet that begs at the dinner table is very disturbing and tends for owners to give in as they feel guilty. Be sure to ignore your pet while eating at the dinner table. Prevent any food from falling of the table for this will reinforce the behavior. If the dog’s begging can’t be avoided, he might have to be in a different area during mealtime. Be sure this does not come across as punishment, try to offer a toy or treat (Kong) to keep him busy. If you choose to offer table scraps do so in another room not where you eat.
Puppies or dogs that nibble or bite playfully can be difficult to manage, especially with puppies. It is important to be cautious because if this bad behavior is reinforced it can turn into unacceptable and more intense biting. One important rule is to never play with a dog aggressively with just your hands. When these dogs become excited, they may nip at your hands when you are simply petting them. When this happens quietly end the play session or redirect their attention to an appropriate toy. Avoid yelling, raising your voice, punishing or hitting your dog, as this brings conflicting emotions to your pet and can make them frustrated and aggressive. This is valid for all bad behavior of your companion.
Bibliography and interesting web sites:
- Book: Dog Basics for Newbies: the complete Guide to living in harmony with your dog, Peter S. Jacobs
- demaindemaitre.ca offers good free guides and online information (in French only)
- https://www.aspcapro.org/ offers great tools and tips as well as webinars
- In order to choose the dog best suited for you: https://www.purina.com/dogs/dog-breed-selector
The Bellerive Veterinary Hospital Team