3 Naughty Dog Behaviors You Can Fix Without a Trainer

DIY The List
By: Lindsey Granger | Jessica Robertson | Frenchie Aguilh Posted: 7:30 PM, Sep 20, 2017

Americans love having dogs at home, but no owner loves having to deal with naughty dog behavior. If you've got a dog that jumps, bolts, barks, or makes a mess when they're nervous, Lindsey Granger and trainer Karen Harrel from Dynamic Dog Training AZ are showing you how to break those bad habits, with the help of a sweet pup named Dexter.

1. Jumping and Barking Dogs

If your pup pulls on walks, jumps on visitors, and barks at other dogs on walks, they're letting their excitement get the best of them. In this case you've got to teach them some impulse control – let them know they can be excited, but only in approved ways.

Training Solution: Make sure your pup knows a "stay" or "place" command. When people come over or get your pup excited, you can teach Fido to channel that energy by going to a certain spot. This will show your pup that their calm, patient behavior is what gets them rewarded by visitors – not being unruly.

You can also keep your pup from jumping on visitors by training them to get a toy when someone knocks or rings your bell. Fido won't have time to jump on a family friend if he or she's getting a toy. And once pup has a toy, it tends to be more interested in holding onto that than jumping on a new friend.

2. Bolting Dogs

If you've got a pup that loves to bolt out any door that opens in front of them, you've also got a pup that thinks it decides when it gets to go whenever it wants. This seems harmless at home, but a dog that bolts out of the house might also bolt out of a car door and get seriously hurt.

Training Solution: Make sure your dog knows they've got to wait for the okay from you before heading out into the world. This starts with having them sit at the door. Make sure they are waiting patiently for their next command – if they try to go out the door, just give a firm "no" and make them sit again. Then, use a release word for them to associate with walking through the door.

3. Nervous Dogs

If you've got a pup that does a lot of barking when you leave for work or rips into a few shoes or couch pillows when you run to grab groceries, your pup might be a bit nervous and is channeling that energy in destructive ways.

Training Solution: Try giving your dog small tasks to keep it occupied when you're home so it uses up its energy before you go. Tasks could include practicing their "stay" commands, training other tricks, or even just going on a nice long walk. And when you do leave, give your pup a toy with treats hidden inside to keep its brain working – or try giving it bully sticks, which are longer lasting treats that might tire your pup out by the time its finished snacking.

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