Here at Puptown Houston, TX we understand that various behaviors can provide additional training challenges with your new puppy. Our puppy training specialist specialize in behavior-based, and positive reinforcement training. So, not only can we help identify these behaviors we can help your pup overcome them. It’s all about consistency and communication, and not just for the dogs. We also train a dog’s hooman to help them work with their canine companion when not at Puptown for optimal results. So, let’s talk about the factors that affect puppy behavior.
Here are three common behavioral issues that need to be addressed immediately in dogs and especially puppies:
Fears and Phobias
While fear is a normal response to an actual or perceived threatening situation or stimuli anxiety is a response to fear and agitation. Anxiety can also lead to apprehension when your dog anticipates a threat or fear-inducing situation. A phobia is an exaggerated fear response generally associated with loud noises and the stimuli generated from these events. Examples include thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots, backfiring cars, etc. Some fears might become extreme enough to be considered phobias such as going to the vet, going outdoors, or even entering certain rooms.
The most common fears include fear of other dogs, fear of unfamiliar people (especially those who look, act, or sound different), and unfamiliar noises like construction work. Fear of other dogs and people can be overcome with careful socialization. This also fits into training your dog to be a good citizen and “playing nicely” with others. Puptown, with owner’s permission, specializes in socialization training by taking your dog/puppy to several different places and exposing them to several different situations and elements. This helps a dog understand their surroundings thus helps to take fears away when a dog realizes that a sound won’t hurt them and (for the most part) neither will other people.
While this behavior is challenging to correct, it can be done. Please, note that some particular breeds of dogs are more prone to separation anxiety than others. Examples include German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and Cocker Spaniels. Please, note that some of these are among the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. In addition to that, it is estimated that 14% of dogs have separation anxiety, which is defined as the inability of a pet to find comfort when separated from its family members.
This behavior is easier to address in puppies by leaving them alone, in a safe place, regularly during the day. Not unsupervised but just giving the dog or puppy time to themselves. The best way to do this is to give them some alone time in a pleasant place like their crate or playpen with plenty of toys. This is also a terrific way to crate train your dog since a crate needs to be perceived as a safe place. Separation Anxiety is a critical behavior to address and overcome as it can lead to physical destruction, extreme vocalization, and restlessness.
Repetitive behaviors can actually be indicators of conditions such as compulsive disorders or other forms of abnormal behavioral pathologies. German Shepherds are known to spin around while chasing their own tails while Dobermans have a tendency to suck on their own flanks. The behavior might be a sign of the dog being frustrated or conflicted which is overcome by giving your dog a set daily routine. Once more, good training comes to the rescue in situations like this, but consistency is the key in treating repetitive behaviors. Once you have your dog on a set schedule, they know what to expect and when. This will help immensely as your pup is taught new and more positive repetitive behaviors that should override the less desirable ones.
When you get a dog, especially a puppy, please be aware of the responsibility you have taken up. You will need to teach your furbaby good manners, how to follow basic commands, potty train them, and just teach your dog how to be an overall good canine citizen.
Puptown Houston knows that sometimes even the most seasoned dog owners need some help, especially if a dog or puppy has behavioral issues that is making training even harder. If you are looking for the best professional dog trainers around, you will find them at Puptown.
We are fully aware that there is no “one size fits all” training approach because dogs differ in personalities and learning abilities every bit as much as people. Our trainers also know there is a very short window of time to praise or reprimand a dog for a behavior. If this behavior is not addressed within 1.3 of its occurrences, your dog will not understand why you are praising or punishing him/her for. This brief window is also critical when training a dog to abandon particular behaviors.