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Dealing with Puppy Behavior the Right Way

The quality of time you’re going to have with your puppy depends upon you. Your dog will not be a puppy forever; it’s a pity to spend its puppyhood with shouting, resentment, and agony for you and your dog. But you should know that there are loving ways you can deal with normal puppy behavior that teaches the dog how to behave properly, and physical punishment is NOT one of them.

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Before anything else, knowing what to expect from a puppy should save you and your puppy some horrible time while it’s growing up. So take some time to learn normal puppy behavior that might come across as bad behavior for the wrong pet owner.

Barking Behavior

It’s normal for puppies to bark for an obvious reason: dogs can’t talk; barking is their first way of communicating to humans. If your puppy barks, don’t be too quick to judge that your puppy needs some straightening up in terms of behavior—don’t bring out the dog collar!

What you can do is to observe when and why your puppy barks. Maybe it’s hungry, thirsty, bored, in pain, or wants to go to the toilet. Prolong barking can be tiring for a puppy, so it wouldn’t bark for no reason. Remember you can’t leash a puppy or put it in dog crate for several hours without expecting it to bark. Note the time of the barking and the thing that can make it stop to help you find a compromise.

Biting Behavior

The second most common puppy behavior is biting or nipping. Either way, it hurts and it should be nipped in the bud. But bringing out the whip or shaking your puppy every time it bites is not the solution. A simple loud “ouch!” and shaming the puppy by a stern look and a firm “no” is enough to let the puppy know that it’s not okay to bite.

There will always come a time in your puppy’s life that it wants to practice its main weapon: its sharp teeth. Don’t use this opportunity to bring out the dog discipline collar, instead use this opportunity to teach the dog that biting is not good in a caring way.

Chewing Behavior

Chewing is another annoying, but definitely normal, puppy behavior you have to live with if you want a puppy. Chewing serves real purpose to your puppy aside from passing time: it strengthens your puppy’s jaws, exercises the mouth, and relieves the teething discomfort.

So don’t fight puppy chewing behavior. You can’t win. Instead, teach your puppy which stuff are okay to chew and which aren’t. Giving your puppy plenty of chew toys during this period should also help in saving your other stuff.

Jumping Behavior

Jumping behavior is bad behavior among dogs, and it starts as a puppy. The sad thing about it is that 99% of the time the pet owner (or his/her guests) caused the behavior to worsen by condoning it. When a puppy jumps, it’s almost always to get your attention. Bending down to scoop your puppy up or to pet just reinforces the behavior, which tells your puppy that it’s okay to jump. Sometimes even bending down to scold your puppy is also taken as a form of attention. So the best thing to do when you puppy jumps for attention is to never entertain it, not even to look your puppy in the eye to scold it.

Guarding Behavior

Guarding and possessiveness are natural dog behavior, which dogs practice as a puppy. It’s normal for puppies to respect their owners and growl at other people including the children in the house. To these puppies, the owner is their only master and the rest are their equal. Needless to say that guarding behavior should be curtailed at a very early age by a harmless reprimand such as putting the dog in the crate every time it growls at people. It’s also good to involve the entire member of the family in disciplining the puppy to teach it that all humans in the house are its master.

Dealing with Puppy Behavior

Basically there are only two ways to take care of normal puppy behavior: reward the acceptable behavior and discourage the unacceptable ones. Discouraging the undesirable behavior certainly doesn’t involved using the dog discipline collar or using the whip. A stern look and a firm “no” or simply completely ignoring some unacceptable puppy behavior is enough to discipline the dog. If the puppy is really at it, you can give it a time out by simply putting it in a dog crate until it calms down.

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