Bad Dog! Curbing Your Pet’s Unwanted Behavior

Bad Dog! Curbing Your Pet’s Unwanted Behavior

While pets can be a joy, they sometimes come with behaviors that need correcting. Some behaviors are easier to fix than others, but they all take a certain amount of patience and perseverance. There are several bad habits that are common to many breeds, but with a little ingenuity and know-how, your dog will be as well-behaved as any pooch on the block.

dog-chicken-kitchen-stealingJumping Up

Many dogs jump on people and objects either out of excitement or to snatch food off the counter. When your dog jumps on you, fold your arms over your chest and turn your back.

When he stops jumping, turn back and praise him, but make sure he remains standing or sitting. If your dog steals food from your kitchen counters, make sure he doesn’t have access to the kitchen during mealtimes.


Healthy animals, particularly males, will mark their territory, even if they are housebroken. The best way to solve this problem is to have your dog neutered at a young age.

If your dog has seen a vet and there are no physical reasons for the markings, then crating is the best option. Your dog will never mark the place where he sleeps.

Praise him when he marks outside and never punish him for marking after the fact; dogs are unable to understand punishments for things they’ve done in the past.


Dogs bark for a variety of reasons: fear, anxiety, and excitement. The first step is to discover what triggers the barking. Once you know what causes him to bark, you can discourage the behavior.

For example, if your dog barks at people or sounds outside, you can teach him “Leave it!” or “Quiet!” and then reward him when he stops barking. Anxious dogs can be calmed with thunder jackets that ease their anxiety.


Many dogs chew because they’re bored and others learn it as puppies. Never allow your puppy to chew on anything that isn’t a toy, even if it looks cute. This will make it more difficult to break them of the habit later on.

When you catch your dog chewing take the object away and give him something appropriate to chew on.


Some dogs, such as terriers and dachshunds, were bred for digging. This behavior is instinctual and difficult to curb. In other dogs, the behavior may be because they are bored.

In order to discourage digging, make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and attention so that they dig less. Restrict access to parts of your yard where they might cause damage.


Begging is learned behavior, so your dog should be taught to lie down away from the table from the time they are puppies.

If you adopt an older dog with a begging habit, crate him during dinner and never offer him scraps. Never allow your dog to beg while you’re preparing food.

dog-foodFood Guarding

You should always be able to take food away from your dog without him growling or acting aggressive. Teach him to sit and wait for you to put his bowl down and then give the “leave it” command when you want him to back away from it.

Guarding food usually stems from an anxious or fearful dog, so you might want to hire a professional trainer in order to fix this bad behavior to lower the chances of being bitten.

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