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Posted on 01-08-2018

A new year is a time that many people decide to start fresh. They do this by setting resolutions like eating healthier, working out more, or going to bed earlier. We do this as humans, but what if we helped our pets set their own resolutions? Leave your dog’s bad behavior behind in 2017 by turning bad habits into good ones in the new year. Teaching your dog new tricks or training them will help you start 2018 off the right way! Here are the top 5 bad habits we’re guilty of letting slide and the best way to break them.

Barking

Most of the time, when a dog is barking they are just trying to communicate something. However, it isn’t always necessary and can become inconvenient. Say at 3:30 in the morning while everyone is trying to sleep. To get your dog to stop barking, try these tips and tricks and break this habit once and for all:

  • Noise Sensitivity - If you have kids at home or the doorbell rings frequently, your dog might be barking out of fear due to noise sensitivity. A great way to combat this is by starting small and using YouTube videos to simulate noises they usually bark at. Start rewarding them with treats when they don’t bark at the noise.

  • Demand Barking - Simply don’t give in! It’s difficult to do because giving in means the barking will stop, but it’s the only way to tell your dog that it’s not the correct way to get your attention. Reward your dog with treats when he gets your attention without barking.

  • Stress Barking - This type of barking may need professional help to identify why your dog is experiencing stress. Once it’s identified, work with your vet or trainer to help your dog overcome this stress.

Jumping on Guests

This is a bad habit for many dogs, and it’s usually just pure excitement. However, a jumping dog could injure someone or knock someone over if they aren’t contained. Stop this bad habit by not acknowledging your pup when you arrive at home. Wait until their excitement subsides and then let the greeting begin. This will let them know that the moment someone walks in the door is not the time for greetings.

Chewing

Chewing on anything and everything is a natural instinct for dogs, and if they’ve got the right thing in their mouth it can be useful for good dental hygiene. Getting them to only chew on the right things is the habit to work on in 2018. More often than not, incessant chewing comes from boredom. To break this habit, you should try mental stimulation, like teaching new tricks or toys that involve some skills, and lots of exercise. Also, provide them with healthy toys or bones that they should chew on.

Begging

We’ve all been there before. We’re eating dinner only to look down and see our pooch staring adoringly back up at us just waiting for a little of whatever we’ve got on our plate. While this behavior isn’t necessarily harmful, it can be quite annoying. The best way to show your dog that this behavior isn’t okay is by completely ignoring them. Even a simple “no” will convey to them that you’re paying attention to their action. After a few meals of not getting through to you, this habit will break.

Leash Pulling

If you have a dog that pulls on their leash, it is typically because they are uncomfortable of feeling restrained due to their collar and leash tugging at their neck. One solution is to invest in a chest harness that fits comfortably on them. A proper harness will take all of the pressure off their neck and make walks much more comfortable.

2018 is a new year for new memories with your pup! Make it a great year by breaking old habits that can cause stress to you and your dog. Follow our tips to help break these habits and start fresh in the new year. If you have any questions about breaking bad habits with your dogs, please contact us! Happy New Year from all of us at Laveen Vet Center!

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