5 Puppy Behaviours to Nip in the Bud Early
- by Rufus and Coco
You should consider training your pup as early as possible if you want your dog to behave later on in their life. But when it comes to what rules your puppy needs to abide by and what habits they are supposed to pick up, every household is different.
In some, jumping on and off of the furniture might be a no-go while in others, it’s perfectly acceptable. However, some behaviours are generally seen as negative, so it is important that you do not allow your pet to repeat them and wrongly think that they are perfectly fine with you.
Behaviour Issues You Need to Correct in Your Puppy
This is by far one of the most common behaviour issues that pet guardians have to deal with when it comes to puppies. The only way to circumvent the problem is to teach your dog to respond to the commands ‘leave it’ or ‘no!’.
If your puppy is teething, they will be in some amount of discomfort, that’s why they’ll try to chew on things and people. Using our Rufus Junior Chew Toy can help with this behaviour, especially if you fill it up with treats.
If you really have to protect your belongings from your puppy’s teeth, you can rely on our Chew Stopper - this bitter spray will deter your dog’s enthusiasm for shoes or any other household objects they might be interested in.
Every dog barks, and they do it for many different reasons. Some puppies might want to attract their owners’ attention, especially if they’re not feeling too playful at the end of a hard-working day.
At the park, they might bark because they’re communicating with other dogs. But there is a limit to all of this barking, and when it starts to cause problems, especially with your neighbours, you have to intervene firmly yet gently.
Let your dog know that they have to be quiet when they seem to be barking for no apparent reason. Try to organise several training sessions every day and reward good behaviour with some healthy treats like our Reel Fish Crunchers.
Do not shout or physically punish your dog. Using positive reinforcement and rewards is much more effective and humane, and your puppy is also not going to lose trust in you.
Aggression toward other pets or pet owners
Whether your puppy is looking to establish dominance or just testing your limits or those of people and animals around them, it doesn’t matter - aggression is not acceptable behaviour. Make sure you adequately restrain your dog and keep them from attacking other animals or individuals - using a Shock Ease Lead whenever you venture outdoors might help with this.
If your puppy grows up into an adult dog who thinks that biting everyone in sight is acceptable, you could end up having some serious legal problems.
Try to understand what is at the root of this behaviour before working on correcting it. If your puppy is easily triggered by other animals, they might not have socialised enough with other dogs before you got them. Enrolling your dog in puppy socialisation classes could be a solution to the problem.
This is something that every pet owner has to handle as best as possible. Teaching your puppy to go potty in the right place and at the right time can be a challenge and can take months and months as a process.
Your puppy might mark a specific spot in your home where they feel most at ease relieving themselves, which might make things difficult for you. Some products, such as the Pee Here attractant, might be of assistance and may convince your dog to go potty in the right place.
Poor leash manners
While your dog is still a puppy, it is paramount for you to teach them not to pull on the leash. Using the right tools for the purpose is also important and you need a good-quality lead, a harness, and a collar with your dog’s ID tag attached to it.
In the beginning, you might need a classic lead, but once your puppy learns how to walk with you, you can switch to a Retractable Lead.
Learning to walk on a leash is important not just for potentially dangerous situations, but also because they could develop leash anxiety when they are older if they’re not used to being walked while wearing one.
Like anything else, when it comes to teaching a dog any type of behaviour, training them takes time and a lot of commitment. Don’t give up on your dog no matter how difficult and long the journey might seem.
Stay consistent with your training sessions, as it is the best and only way to teach your puppy how to behave in accordance with your expectations.
Improving dog training methods: Efficacy and efficiency of reward and mixed training methods, Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro et al, 2021: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895348/Puppy socialisation classes, K. Seksel et al, 1997: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9170630/