Making the decision to own a puppy or dog shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it comes with a lot of physical, emotional, and financial responsibility. Sadly, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year, about 670,000 of which are euthanized due to lack of space.
While there are many pros that come with owning a pooch (companionship, decrease in depression, having a sense of purpose, a reason to stay active), there are also some common mishaps because, well, a dog is an animal! But just like you wouldn’t disown your child for drawing on the wall, you shouldn’t give up on your canine just because you are displeased by its actions. Rather, make an effort to prevent — or quickly treat — the problem. Here are some of the most common scenarios to look out for.
Tearing Up Their Bed
It’s not uncommon for a dog to chew up its bed, but the reasoning depends on several factors. While little pups are figuring out their hunting instincts by tearing into things, destruction could also be a sign of anxiety (e.g. your pooch is afraid of a thunderstorm, your kids are screaming, or he/she has been left alone too long) or boredom. To prevent your dog from tearing up its bed, provide plenty of opportunities for activity. Teach Fido that the bed is off limits by providing positive reinforcement and redirecting destructive behavior to a toy — and rotate these items to retain interest. If all else fails, spray a taste deterrent from a pet store to discourage your pet from tearing into its bed. Lastly, consider whether you have the correct bed to meet your dog’s needs and size, as a good bed will contribute to their sense of safety and protection when sleeping.
There’s never been a faster way to lose sleep, your attention span, or a neighbor than by an excessively barking dog. History suggests that dogs bark because they’re intuitively wired to the past, a time when they protected their owners and home. Modern-day circumstances range from boredom to breed, both of which are attached to behavioral issues. Consider enrolling your pooch in an obedience class so that it can handle other pets and people with ease.
Indoor Bathroom Accidents
Housetraining is no easy feat, but it can be done. Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, set up a routine so that your pooch is going out frequently throughout the day — note that puppies need more frequent bathroom breaks due to their small bladders. A feeding schedule will also help you regulate potty times, so consider feeding them 20 to 30 minutes before you have availability to take them outside. Learn to interpret the signs that your dog has to go, which include holding its tail in an awkward manner, whimpering, looking for a place to go, etc. Senior dogs are more complicated in that it could be a health issue that’s prompting accidents, so take your elderly pooch to the vet if need be.
Digging Up The Yard
When it comes to your yard, a dog destroying the fruits of your labor can be frustrating, yet it’s an action built on instinct, breed, and activity level. Most dogs need a decent amount of attention, and while it’s unlikely that you are available to give your dog around-the-clock care, you can attempt to keep your pooch entertained by providing a sandbox for digging, dental chews for chewing, and toys for amusement.
Illness aside, one of the top reasons for dogs to act out is due to a behavioral issue. With that in mind, consider signing up for agility training with your pooch in order to assist with mastering the basics such as sit and stay, but also taking behavior to another level. As an added bonus, you’ll have a bonding experience with your pet while staying fit in the process.
Having a pet takes hard work, so don’t give up just because your furry friend can’t stop chewing on the sofa or messing up the carpet. By teaching yourself and your dog some new tricks, you can eliminate these issues and enjoy your time together!
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Article by Tyler Evans firstname.lastname@example.org