Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Preventing Dog and Puppy Behavior Problems from Day One

All too often, dog behavior problems stem from when they are first brought into our homes. This is especially true when bringing home a puppy or adopting a dog who has been through a traumatic experience. Because puppies are cute and young, new owners assume they should allow the puppy to do things that they would not allow an older dog to do. This can be the start of future behavior problems, and puppies should have the same rules, limitations, and boundaries as any adult dog would have.

When dogs are adopted after a traumatic experience, they are often given special treatment.`People generally tend to try to spare the feelings of the dog, not wanting to further the suffering that the dog has already been through. However, this can lead to unwanted behavior, and these owners are unknowingly enabling bad behavior.

Dogs and puppies, just like kids, actually want to know that you have everything under control. It prevents worry, and keeps stress at bay. But with dogs, they are especially in tune with our behavior, our emotions, and our expressions. By establishing yourself as the decision maker, you are becoming the leader of the pack. You must dominate the scene, such as passing through doors first, eating first, and choosing whether or not to allow the dog on the furniture. If you let your dog sleep on your bed, you can establish your role as the leader by first choosing your place on the bed, and then extending an invitation to your dog or puppy. If your dog makes the decision to do these things on its own, you may have a dominance problem, and you should work to correct the issue at hand.