Stop Your Dog From Begging

Stop Your Dog From Begging

One of the most annoying bad habits that your dog can have is begging for food at the table when your family sits down to eat.  Some dogs will sit there fairly quietly and just wait for scraps to fall while other dogs will bark at you until you give them some of your food.  While we love to spoil our dogs and we are the ones that give them treats this is bad behavior that should never be encouraged.  Feeding your pup from the table is never okay and it can confuse your dog, yes it is hard to say no to those cute little faces. Here are some tips for breaking this bad habit.

Never Feed From the Table

Feeding your dog from the table not only encourages bad behavior it is a sure fire way to ensure that you never again enjoy a meal in peace.  Your dog doesn’t take long to learn that there is food nearby and they want some of it, they will keep coming back to anywhere they have been fed.  Don’t do it yourself and make sure your kids don’t feed the dog from the table either.  Yes, that may be easier said than done.  Also some human food is very dangerous for your dog and your kids may give them some accidentally.  You can feed your dog leftovers just do it from a bowl.

Train Your Dog

You want to train your dog to go to their place when you are eating, that could be their crate or their dog bed.  Start by bringing them to their dog bed and saying bed, reinforce that with small treats. Once the dog gets up to leave say “No” very firmly and lead them back to their bed.  You need to work your way up so that the dog will spend your meal time in their bed.   Once they have this command down pat then they can stay there while your family enjoys your dinner.

Keep Them Amused

Have a toy handy that your dog loves to play with so that you can enjoy your meal.  Keep repeating this behavior and they will associate the toy with your mealtime and they can keep themselves amused while you and your family can enjoy your meal in peace.  Begging for food scraps is one of the most annoying dog behaviors but it is one that you can break with some discipline.

How to Know if Your Dog is Playing

How to Know if Your Dog is Playing

Your dog loves to play and sometimes that play can seem a bit rough.  This type of play is for the most part harmless and it is perfectly normal for dogs to nip, chase, bark and lunge, they really are being friendly.  However problems happen when play turns to growling and biting and someone or one of the dogs can end up injured.  How do know when your dog is playing and when they are being aggressive.

Aggressive Behavior

What causes aggressive behavior in dogs?  Most of the time it comes from a place of fear, dogs will get aggressive when they are scared.  If your dog wasn’t properly socialized when it was young then that can cause the behavior.  Male dogs can get aggressive when they are around a female dog in heat, that is a natural instinct for them.

Aggression can manifest in a number of different ways, a bit of bad behavior doesn’t mean you have a bad dog.  Sometimes aggressive behavior is appropriate, if you have two puppies playing then growling when one puppy gets their tail bit is normal.  When puppies or grown up dogs play growling and wrestling is normal but if it turns aggressive then you will need to intervene.  At the same time you need to remember that aggression can be re-directed at you especially if your dog feels frustrated.

Should You Intervene

You should intervene if the playing suddenly becomes fighting, here are some of the warning signs to look out for.

  • Stiffness: When the dog gets tense they will stand stiffly and rigid, look for tense muscles, it may appear like the dog is frozen
  • Staring Down: When your dog tries to stare down the other dog, it is a sign of dominance. They may also start stalking or getting extremely focused.
  • Snarling: Growling and snarling can happen during play but the body language doesn’t indicate aggression, that is just play.  But when a dog’s lip curls up and they start showing teeth and the growling is low then you need to intervene.

Preventing Aggression

Preventing aggressive behavior starts young.  Train your dog and make sure they are well socialized, let them play with other dogs that are well-behaved.  Get your dog fixed, it will reduce the aggression caused by hormones and make sure you don’t end up with unwanted puppies.  Use positive reinforcement when training your dog.  Treating your dog well goes a long way to giving you a well-behaved dog.

Socializing Your Puppy

Socializing Your Puppy

If you want a happy, healthy and well-behaved dog then you need to start socializing them as soon as possible.  The earlier your puppy is exposed to other dogs and people will help them cope with new situations as adult dogs.  Let’s take a look at how and when to go about socializing your puppy.

When to Start

You should start socializing your puppy as soon as possible and if you get your dog from a good breeder they understand the importance of socializing and have probably already started the process.  You need to gradually expose your pup to different people and situation will help you to have a confident dog who is friendly.  Puppies start approaching people from as early as three weeks if that becomes a positive experience it can help your pup learn to behave appropriately.

Why Do You Need to Socialize Your Puppy

Socializing your dog makes them well-adjusted and confident, they are used to being exposed to new people, sights, sounds and smells and will generally react in a positive manner.  If your dog is socialized then they tolerate children, friends or even car rides better.  You can ward off behavioral problems later like aggression.  If something happens and you can no longer look after your dog then you can easily re-home them.

How to Socialize Your Puppy

The breeder will likely start the socialize the dog early, they do this by gently handling the dog and letting them explore the world around them.  Once the puppy comes home with you then that is when you really need to make the effort, this is especially true if you live alone.  Introduce the pup to new sights and smells and when you do that make sure they are getting positive re-enforcement.  You can use small treats to reward them.

Take it slow and don’t try and overwhelm your dog.  Start with the members of your household first and gradually introduce strangers.  Take them for walks and gradually go to more crowded places, let them smell new things and explore their environment at their pace.  Make sure that they have had all of their vaccinations before introducing them to new dogs.

Puppy School

Taking your dog to puppy school is a great idea.  Not only can they interact with other dogs but you can teach them basic commands at the same time.  Instructors are used to dealing with a variety of dogs and know how to make them feel safe and happy.  When you have a well-behaved and confident dog then you have a great companion.

Housetraining Your Puppy

House Training Your Puppy

Housetraining your dog is a lot of work but for you and your dog to live in peace then it needs to be done.  Once the puppy is housetrained then half the work of getting associated with getting a puppy is done.  Let’s have a look at the when and how of house training your dog.

When do You Start Training Your Dog

If you bought your puppy from a breeder then chances are you got it between 8-12 weeks old and you should start training your dog as soon as you get it.  If you leave it too long the dog will continue to mess the same spot because they have established their scent there.  How long the whole caper will take depends on things like the method you use, the breed of dog, and the age of the dog.

Find Routine

The first thing you want to do is to feed your dog at regular times throughout the day, that will ensure they need to go to outside at the same time every day.  Remove any uneaten food after 10 minutes so the schedule doesn’t get altered.  Now you want to make sure that you take the dog for a walk at the same time every day.  When you have a puppy you will have to walk them every couple of hours and make sure it is the last thing you do at night.  Dogs will want to use the same spot all of the time.  Praise your puppy when he’s done his business right away so he understands what he is being praised for.

Training Your Puppy

You should keep your puppy contained at first that will help with the training.  You can either crate train them or use a leash to keep them in one spot.  Dogs are reluctant to urinate or defecate where they live.  However don’t leave them too long without a walk, it is not only cruel but it can make your dog sick.  Your puppies bladder control improves with time. As a general rule they can hold it for one hour for every month of their age.  A two month old puppy can hold their bladder for two months.

Sticking to the routine will help get your house trained quicker, but accidents will happen while you are training your dog.  When an accident happens just clean it up, shouting and punishing the puppy doesn’t work, they don’t know what they have done and they just get anxious.  Once your dog makes it two months without an accident in the house you have successfully house trained your dog.

Does Your Dog Suffer from Separation Anxiety

Does Your Dog Suffer from Separation Anxiety

Dogs are inherently social creatures they naturally congregate in packs and in your world you are their pack.  So if your dog spends a great deal of time home alone it could be stressing them out.  Separation anxiety is a common problem with dogs and it can result in behavior that is self-destructive, aggressive and excessive barking.  This is not a medical condition per so but you still need to deal with it.  Here are some indicators of separation anxiety and how to deal with it.


If your dog is extremely anxious then that can be dangerous, not only will they wreak havoc on your environment but they can become aggressive.  Stress causes changes in the body for dogs just like it does for humans and your dog can make themselves sick.  Medication can help but you will need to do more. There are anti-anxiety meds for dogs but you will also have to do some training with your dog too.

Giving Attention

This part will be hard for anyone who loves their dog but you will need to show a little tough love.  When you come home after work and your dog is excited to see you and is jumping all over the place to get your attention you are going to have to ignore them.  You’re first instinct will be to pet them and show affection but hold off until they calm down.  That reinforces good behavior.

Your Dog is Bored

Dogs with nothing to do are the ones that develop behavioral problems, when dogs have nothing to do they get anxious and stress out.  You’re going to have to walk them more often or hire someone to walk them if you can’t do it yourself.  As a pet owner the care of your dog is your responsibility no matter how demanding your life is, invest the time in getting someone to train your dog and you will have a much better dog when they are done.

Talk to the Vet

If you are having trouble controlling your dog’s behavior and the separation anxiety is getting out of hand then it is time to have a chat with your vet.  Your vet can recommend some training exercises to help along with medication that will help keep your dog calm throughout the day. There are things you can do to help control your dog’s stress and resolve the separation anxiety issues.