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5 Bad Habits We Teach Our Dogs

There are things we do unknowingly that are extremely distressing to our pets

The old saying goes, “Don’t do what you don’t want to be done.” Although this term mainly refers to interpersonal relationships, it can also be applied to animals, especially pets. Despite the great love we have for dogs, we can often do things that our dogs can’t really stand. Although we do this unknowingly, these 5 situations are extremely disturbing for our furry friends. These are the most common reasons why they would send us to punishment.

Here are 5 bad habits we might unknowingly teach our dogs.

Begging
It might be cute to see your dog sit and beg for a bite of your food, but what starts as fun and entertaining can quickly become an annoying habit. Don’t start feeding a dog human food and have them develop a taste for it, then expect them to understand when they can’t have it. Keep the rewards limited to actual dog treats. Also, keep the treats you give as rewards away from your own food. Don’t sneak the dog bites of your food at the dinner table, even if they are sitting calmly and behaving. Don’t let others do it either.

Some dogs can become aggressive and insistent beggars over time. You’ll want to nip that in the bud as soon as possible. What dog wouldn’t want a tasty human treat if given the chance? No matter how tempting it is to give your dog “just a bite,” it’s best not to start what may become difficult to stop. It might be fine when your dog is a small puppy, but not so good when they get older and you have to retrain them to get rid of a bad habit.

Jumping Up
Dogs are very loving beings. To our pets, we are the center of their world. When we are gone, it’s natural for them to miss us and be excited to see us. They do not inherently know it is a bad habit to jump up on you. However, once you allow your dog to jump up to greet you, they may do it to everyone. It may not bother you, but it certainly can bother other people. Your dog can’t distinguish between who it’s okay to jump up and greet, and who it isn’t. A big dog can even knock someone down. A dog can also scratch the skin or rip clothing when they jump up on people. It is not a good habit to encourage.

If your dog is hyper when you arrive home, simply turn away. Don’t react until your dog settles down and you can greet each other in a calmer manner. Have them sit or simply stand before you bend to greet them. There is nothing wrong with both of you being thrilled to see each other, but you can still make sure your dog behaves appropriately when greeting you.

Climbing on Furniture
If you don’t want your dog to climb up on the couch, chairs or even your bed, don’t put them there, even as a puppy. Once you encourage your dog to join you up on the furniture, they will see it as an allowable behavior.

They can’t really distinguish between your antique chair they absolutely are not permitted on, and a comfy chair they are allowed on. With training, dogs can learn what may be allowable, but if you don’t want them to make it a habit once they are past the puppy phase, don’t allow it at all from the beginning.

Instead, provide a comfortable dog bed or special blanket near your favorite sitting spot and next to your bed if you do not want them on the furniture.

Chewing
Only give your dog items to chew that are appropriate for them. Besides being destructive, chewing other objects can be dangerous for your dog. The old shoe or sock you let your dog gnaw on is just like any other to them. It is hardly fair to get angry at your dog for stealing one of your good shoes if you taught them that another one was okay to chew. The same goes for old kid’s toys or your clothes.

If your dog is prone to chewing items you don’t want them to, keep these things picked up and put away. Offer an alternative and acceptable chew toy instead, and praise them for taking the right one. Reinforce good behavior, not a bad habit.

Overcrowded dog parks
It is perfectly normal and desirable for a dog to socialize. However, too many unfamiliar dogs in a small area will mean stress to him. Imagine yourself in a small space where there is a lot of crowds. It’s not pleasant, is it? That way, your dog will be able to socialize with about six or seven dogs, and more than that will upset him.

Resources: www.canidae.com

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