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The Six Most Common Dog Training Problems

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The Six Most Common Dog Training Problems

Dog trainers see the same dog training problems—jumping, nipping, chewing, digging, barking and housebreaking. Fortunately, these common problems have simple solutions.

Problem One: Jumping

The common mistake owners make with jumping is punishing it. Don't yell at your dog or push him down because you are looking at him, touching him and talking to him. Ignore this behavior completely. Walk in the door past your dog and don't say hello to him unless he is on all four feet. If he starts to jump at any point, stand up and walk away.

With your guests, keep him on a leash until he is calm. If he jumps, pull him back and don't allow him to greet.

Problem Two: Nipping

This problem is solved the same way as jumping. Don't punish nipping. It often serves as encouragement. Instead, yell "ouch" and storm out of the room.

If you are playing with your dog, redirect his nipping to a toy. If he continues to nip at your skin, yell "ouch." If that doesn't stop it, storm out of the room again. Close the door and ignore him for a few minutes.

Problem Three: Chewing

Puppies often don't know what their appropriate chew toys are. If your dog is chewing while you are gone, he has too much house freedom. Keep him in a crate or X-pen.

When you are in the room with your puppy and he starts to chew on something, say leave it and redirect him to a proper toy. If he doesn't quit chewing, he needs to go in his confinement area to calm down. You must do this as soon as you catch him.

Problem Four: Digging

Digging is similar to chewing. If your dog is digging, he has too much yard freedom. You should be in the yard with him to catch him, tell him to leave it and redirect him to an appropriate activity.

Consider giving your dog a digging pit and burying toys and bones in it, sticking out for him to see. Praise when he goes to this area and use timeouts when he digs in the other areas.

Problem Five: Barking

Dogs usually bark out of frustration or arousal. When you are home, reduce this by calling your dog's name when he barks. If he listens, he gets a treat. If not, he gets a timeout until he calms down.

When you are not home, reduce the stimuli by keeping him in a quiet room in the back of the house. Don't give him access to the windows and doors where he likes to bark.

Problem Six: Housebreaking

Prevent your dog from making mistakes by never allowing him unsupervised in your house. If he has recently relieved himself, he can be in the room with you playing. If not, he should be in his crate until it's time to go outside again.

Keep him on a consistent feeding schedule. Some puppies can't hold it for more than an hour, so be aware of your dog's schedule.

All of these problems have simple solutions and can all be helped with more exercise and a proper diet. If your dog is exhibiting one of these problems, start your training now.

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