Thursday, January 10, 2013

Preventing Behavioural Problems in Your Puppy

It is important to prevent behavioural problems from occurring before the behaviour begins as trying to combat a behavioural issue is much harder to deal with. 

All puppies should be suitably socialised and habituated to as many different objects, people, other animals and the various locations they are likely to visit such as the vets and park as much as possible. This will help to reduce the chance of your puppy/dog becoming anxious in various situations. It will also increase their confidence and allow them to explore and carry out natural behaviours in these scenarios. 

Playful Puppy's Outdoor Fun  - Cute puppy playing football  Wallpaper4

The basic rule is that everything your dog is likely to experience and have to deal with throughout their whole life should be frequently introduced to them at various stages during puppyhood to actively reduce the chances of behavioural problems occurring. This should especially include fireworks which many dogs seem to be scared off. Desensitizing CDs can be brought which are played as background noise to get your dog used to the sound and help to ensure your dog isn’t scared of fireworks.

The most common behavioural problems that can occur that are easily prevented through proper training and habituation includes:

  • Separation issues which can cause them to chew furniture, display inappropriate toileting
  • Anxiety when visiting the vets
  • Anxiety or aggression around other animals especially dogs and cats
  • Anxiety when going for walks/ or of their lead
  • Aggression shown when grooming
To prevent any behavioural problem it is important to constantly introduce your puppy to potentially problematic stimuli and situations as the more your puppy experiences these things without anything bad happening then the more comfortable they will begin to feel.
Grooming is experienced by all dogs frequently throughout their lives therefore it is very important that you start getting your dog used to you touching them all over their body, including between their paws, around their ears and mouth. You can then begin to introduce a brush such as the Furminator which reduces shedding by up to 90%. Just use the brush in short strokes at first gradually increasing the time you take to groom them.

It is also important to get your puppy/dog used to walking on a lead and the outside environment. A reflectivedog harness is great to use as it gives you more control over your pup, prevents them from choking if they pull and allows you to be seen in the dark. The harness should first be shown to them and then put on and taken off gradually increasing the time the harness is left on so they get used to the feel of how the harness fits around their body. 

Finally dogtoys are a must have for all dogs as they provide mental and physical stimulation. They come in all shapes, sizes and different materials to meet your every need and your dog’s preference. Latex, rubber and rope toys are also great for helping to keep their teeth and gums healthy and provide comfort for teething dogs.

As I only recommend people obtaining rescue dogs, many dogs that are in the centres have passed their optimum time for habituation (although there are always puppies in the centres too if you would prefer to have a puppy) however it is not too late to train or re-train them. The process may take longer than it would a puppy but it can always be done and will be much more rewarding when achieved.

If your dog is displaying a behavioural problem that you cannot seem to deal with then contact a behavioural consultant who will be able to advise you further and help you deal with the issues.

Disclosure: This a sponsored post, in which I was compensated for in sharing.

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