What's the Problem?
These are some of the most common issues BFF Canine Obedience clients ask us to fix:
Jumping on people
Jumping can easily hurt people and can be a difficult behavior to correct.
If you have kids or older adults in the house and your dog is jumping on them, one way or another, they will get hurt. There are situations where a person will try to push the dog away and may get bitten. What do many people want to do when their dog bites? Either they give them up or, worst-case scenario, the dog will be put down.
During the pandemic, many people decided because they were home so often, it was a great time to welcome home a new dog! Which was great! But as restrictions are lifted and you return to work outside the home, your schedule is changing and so is your dog’s, which means it’s possible you might suddenly find them exhibiting problem behaviors that weren’t there before, like separation anxiety.
If you’re a parent of an older child, you might remember their first day of school: Maybe they cried and clung to your leg when you dropped them off. They were in a new environment and it was scary. Your dog might see your empty home as kind of a new, scary environment too.
Separation anxiety is stressful and can cause your dog to act out in different ways, like howling or destroying furniture. But we can show you how to teach your dog to soothe themselves and engage in positive behaviors while you’re gone!
It can be daunting helping a puppy or older dog to learn to feel safe in their crate, but our gentle approach never fails.
We have to show our dog that the crate is their happy place. It's their safe haven. Dogs in the wild, tigers, bears, they all have a den — a safe place — where they can put down their guard and sleep.
Think about it this way: What happens when you don't feel safe? You feel stress, and stressing out is real for both humans and animals.
When a dog is stressed, it can lead to many bad behaviors, such as boredom chewing, which can lead to destruction and even injury if your dog isn’t being crated or supervised.
This is often the first task new pet owners want to learn to tackle. We need to show our dog where it is acceptable to go potty, and since we can only control their potty schedule to a certain point, we have to learn their schedule and adapt to it.
Aggression with other pets
Do you fear taking walks or going to dog parks because your dog struggles with aggression? Or is the aggression in your own home with your other pets?
Oftentimes, it's our own actions that create the negative energy in the house. For example: Your mom has a favorite out of your three dogs. Dogs have jealousy issues too! They will fight amongst each other — to the final death if they have to — so they can get your love and attention.
Aggression with people
It's easy to see why some dogs are not friendly with people.
Like kids, if they are not well socialized when they are little, they are likely to be afraid and get frustrated when it comes to interacting with other people. They just don't understand how to do it.
To make things worse, an unsocialized dog can be given up and become even more aggressive because somebody adopted them and then abused them or trained them improperly. It will be hard for that dog to trust any other human being again.
Barking is a form of communication for our pups, but sometimes this can be hard to handle if they bark over the slightest disturbance.
It's helpful to first understand why they are barking. They want to warn us of the outside world, of an unknown person at the door, to give us a warning to not come closer, or to demand you give them what they want. Once we understand what they want, we can find ways to fix the issue.
Just like humans, dogs have good days and bad days too! You might have fixed the puppy issues, but keep in mind, other behavior issues often arise when things are changing around them. (Example: moving to a new place, pain or injury, a new pet arrival, a pack member is gone, etc.)
Lost one too many shoes to a heavy chewer? Feel like nothing is safe from potential carnage?
Your dog doesn't know which items in the house are and are not chew toys. If you don't set guidelines, everything could be a fun chew toy to your dog.
Biting and nipping
Biting can often be a concern, especially in homes with children or vulnerable individuals.
If you adopt your dog as a puppy, biting and nipping could develop to the extreme if you don't control it in the beginning. Mama Dog often corrects her puppies when they are out of line, but since you adopted your dog as a small puppy, you will have to take the role of a teacher and guide them.
If you adopt your dog from a shelter or a rescue, many times, your dog has been through so many different bad scenarios that make biting a way for them to defend themselves. Most of the time, the biting issue can be fixed. It's not simple, but it's manageable. These types of dogs need somebody who is determined enough to go through the hard times with them, understand their issues, and give them what they need instead of expecting them to just adapt to a new way of life.
Too many dogs have been returned to shelters and put down for this issue.
Pulling on the leash
While it probably is good cardio exercise, you should not have to wrestle your dog every time they are on the leash. Getting professional dog training help might be a good way to fix this issue. Otherwise, you might get hurt or lose your dog along the way!
Dogs are animals, after all.
They're curious when it comes to new smells and they have genetic drives that kick in, causing them to chase things when they are outdoors — or even indoor! But don't worry, you're not the only one who has this issue.
Introducing a new dog to the pack
So you got a new addition to the family! Now what? Let us help you make sure there are no hiccups with introductions and establish balance in your pack early.