Most people who visit our site need additional assistance and resources to work more effectively with their dog(s). While the information provided below is not a comprehensive list of behavior issues, the information provided should give you tools to understand the reasons for the behavior and some techniques to try on your own and when you should call in a professional.
Feel free to scroll down or choose from the behavior issues on the right to go directly to the section that applies to your dog.
At Canine Path our expert trainers can help teach your dog proper leash manners. We consider proper leash manners:
Your dog sitting nicely while the leash is being attached to his collar.
Your dog learning basic commands: sit, down, stay, watch me and other important commands while on leash.
Calm behavior while on leash while inside your home. Have control of the leash before you take your dog outside.
When you do take your dog outside – take your dog to a relatively quiet area such as a backyard, a patio, quiet neighborhood spot to start working with your dog.
Training your dog proper leash manners is one of the most important skills to teach your dog. Mastering leash manners is a key success factor when walking your dog.
In our experience, most owners haven’t been taught how to properly walk a dog or how to deal with stimulus or problematic situations such as other dogs, people or moving objects – skateboards, cars, loud noises etc., As a result when our dogs become reactive, we react often becoming frustrated and our walk with our dog becomes anything but pleasant.
A dog jumps up – you give him a hug, rub his ears, snuggly and cute right? Then one day your dog hurls his body at you, knocking you off balance, spilling the groceries in hand etc. This once ‘cute’ behavior has become an annoyance.
Favorite shoes chewed up?
Remote control crunched into pieces?
Dog just ate a hole in the couch?
Chewing is a very natural, normal and necessary activity for dogs. The problem is not that your dog chews, but what your dog chews. Puppies in particular chew to alleviate teething irritation, adult dogs engage in destructive chewing for a number of reasons such as anxiety, boredom, a dental problem, or a deficiency in diet. Without a doubt chewing problems are easier to prevent than correct.
Growling is good! Yes, really! Growling is your dogs way of telling you that they believe there is a problem that needs to be fixed.
Ideally, we want to prevent aggression from developing, however, once an incident involving aggression has occurred, it is vital that an honest assessment of the severity of the problem be made. To do so requires an awareness of the signs that a dog is becoming aggressive.
Many people tell us ‘the dog bit out of nowhere’ or they mistakenly assume aggression is only when a dog bites. In the vast majority of cases aggression is usually prefaced by early warning signals that went unrecognized or were punished so as to extinguish the dogs ability to warn with a growl or bark rather than biting.
Patience is key when it comes to housebreaking because every puppy or new dog will learn the process at his own pace. Unless a dog is taught where to eliminate, he’ll look for any spot that’s convenient and safe, which often ends up being the carpeting (nice and warm)! Even if a dog is already housebroken, he needs to learn where you want him to go in a new home or in new surroundings. Keep in mind that dogs aren’t born with the reasoning to understand that going to the bathroom inside the house is wrong.
Manners verses obedience – citing they are different may seem silly, and while they seem similar, they are not the same. Your dog knows a few things, for example ‘stay’. You taught him how to stay or reinforced the behavior – he didn’t just burst out of the womb knowing the ‘stay’ command.
Behavior Modification is the systematic approach to changing behavior. There are several ways to define behavior, but one definition is: the manner in which an animal or human reacts to a particular situation (or stimulus).
Obedience training teaches a dog to perform specific actions when requested. Ideally, behavior modification looks to change a dog’s reaction (increase or decrease it) toward a situation, a person, a thing, and/or animal, etc.
Is your dog digging holes in the yard the size of Kansas?
Counter surfing and scarfing down the leftover birthday cake?
Jumping up and down as if propelled by a pogo stick?
Using the couch as his favorite chew toy?
Just driving you crazy!?
Every household is different as is every dog. Dogs’ tolerance of children can vary greatly; Some dogs really like children, some dogs gradually warm up to having children around, some dogs are very uncomfortable around children (and may always be). You need to read your dog’s body language and make introductions slowly. Canine Path has a great deal of experience integrating dogs and children.
Sometimes dogs are afraid or fearful of a new baby. New smells, crying, hustling and bustling are all part of bringing a new baby home. While it’s a joyful event it’s also stressful for you and your dog. In a matter of a day or two a calm, scheduled household becomes a noisy, disruptive environment. Many dogs have a tough time adjusting to all these new stressors and may react in a negative manner.
At Canine Path we have worked with deaf, blind and other special needs dogs for years.
We own deaf dogs and have trained many owners to work with deaf, blind or other special needs dogs. For example, deaf dogs are very capable and other than hearing, can do everything other dogs can do including becoming a service dog!.
Special needs dogs process their environment differently. Because they have limited hearing or are completely deaf, they need to learn to visual cues and commands. We communicate with blind dogs primarily using voice commands.
Aggression, separation anxiety, and other complex problems call for expert help –And sometimes problems that look simple at first glance are anything but. However, if your dog’s doing something you don’t like, a great starting point is to think over what he gets out of the behavior, or what need it might meet. Often, the best response will be to find an alternative you can live with, and teach him that instead.
Regardless if a dog is a rescue or from a breeder, regardless if he is a big, brave looking Rottweiler, regardless of how loving an owner you are – your dog still may be a fearful or shy dog. Shy, nervous and fearful dogs come in every size, shape, breed, or mix. At Canine Path we are very experienced helping owners and their dogs work through anxiety and fear.
As dog owners and trainers, we have owned anxious, fearful and phobic dogs. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking as you want your dog to be at ease and be happy. When working with a dog that is stressed and anxious it’s important to determine whether a dog is suffering from fear, a phobia and/or anxiety. While related, fear, phobias and anxieties are different reactions. At the same time the net result in the same; an unhappy, stressed dog.
Isolation and separation anxiety are the most common specific anxieties we see in companion dogs. While similar, they are different. If you believe your dog is experiencing Isolation or Separation Anxiety – (even if the puppy is very young) – reach out for help immediately. These types of anxieties generally do not resolve themselves without help. They can be improved and be managed but isolation and separation anxieties are some of the tougher problems we see in the world of dog training.