We all love our pups, but sometimes, they have less than desirable habits. Training your dog is something to work on together, and remember, patience is key! For these five bad habits, we have some helpful tips for you.
Does your pup *love* to chew things that they're not supposed to? If they do, it's probably not a habit that you love, especially if they like to take stuffing out of your couch, chew your shoes, or even electronics. One of the best ways to get them out of this habit is to provide them an alternative in the form of a toy. If you notice that they love to chew toys with stuffing, then make sure you get them fluffy toys. Getting them toys with treats inside can also help distract them long enough to prevent them from chewing something else. If you catch them chewing, instead of scolding them, offer them the toy as an exchange.
Does your pup like to dig up your yard? You'd probably prefer them not to, especially if you're proud of your landscaping. Your dog might have a couple reasons to dig. In the summer, you might notice your pup digging and then laying in the dirt. This means they are trying to get cool. In this case, adding a shaded spot for your dog to lounge in can stop them from digging their own cooler spot. However, if your pup seems to dig all year round, it might just be a way for them to have fun or release energy. In this case, try adding a specific "digging" area for them, like a sandbox or specific section that has more dirt. Adding borders to this (much like the wood frames you can buy for a Fresh Patch) can help them to understand the parameters of the area.
Begging at the Table
If your dog loves food, then they also might love your food, and might beg for it at the table. While this action doesn't quite hurt anyone, you probably would prefer that your pup don't beg from scraps from guests. Ridding them of this habit can also ensure that they aren't given anything dangerous. To help them kick the habit, establish a "zone" that they can't enter. If you have a dining room, begin to establish an "out" zone. You can begin with a physical reminder, like a baby gate. Once they understand that they're supposed to be out, try removing the gate and giving them (doggy) treats when they stay where they're supposed to. You can also give them puzzle games to encourage them to keep themselves busy while you eat.
Barking at the Door
Well, you can't ever stop your dog from barking altogether, as I'm sure you wouldn't want to! Your dog can bark for many reasons, from happiness to excitement to anxiety. To help your dog stop their anxious barking, which is typically why they bark at the door, it's important to help them feel less anxious. If they bark at people walking by or at the doorbell, offer them a reward for doing something alternative, like sitting in a particular spot. If you train them to sit in this "no bark" spot by rewarding them with a treat, this will eventually teach them to sit there when they feel the urge to bark.
Potty Accidents Inside
Our biggest tip for this? Adding a Fresh Patch to your house! Typically, if your dog is potty-trained, this means that they won't have an accident unless it's really, well, an accident. If you add a Fresh Patch, however, then they will go potty on the Fresh Patch as opposed to the floor. Since your pup is naturally attracted to grass, there's not much training needed to get them used to it, either.
No matter what bad habits your dog has, we know you'll love them anyway!