Socializing Your Dog

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Tips on socializing your dog to interact with other dogs and people
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Tips to Avoid Dog Bites

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Almost on a daily basis, a news story pertaining to a dog bite victim is noticed on the night time tv news. City and state governments struggle with how to implement aggressive dog laws. Wouldn’t it be much easier if we can understand how to stop dog bites totally?

According to the Centers for Disease Control almost five million dog bites are documented every single year and much more than 800,000 of those bites needed medical attention. Estimates from insurance corporations and hospitals range as high as $250 million dollars spent annually on the treatment of dog bites. Provided that the the vast majority of dogs are euthanized on account of behavior issues, this is definitely an issue that not only influences humans, but can, really certainly, have an effect on puppies in an extremely damaging way.

Should you read by means of the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, you may well be inclined to think that operating with pets can be a really harmful proposition. In the course of a six year study, a lot more than 18,000 injuries or illnesses were noted involving dogs or cats and 8 of those occurrences had been fatal. An remarkable truth though is veterinarians and veterinary staff accounted for less than 5% of the total, despite their apparent closeness with their patients. What secrets and techniques can this profession teach us about steering clear of these injuries as well as the associated costs?

Based on Dr. Kersti Seksel, a noted animal behaviorist and veterinarian from Australia, puppies will usually present a lot of warning signs before attempting to bite. “It is important to look at the whole dog, its body language as well as its facial expression,” says Dr. Seksel. “A dog may growl, bark menacingly, lift its lips and grimace. The body is often tense, the hackles along the back and neck may be raised indicating a heightened state of arousal, and the tail may be slowly wagging.”

Due to the substantial numbers of puppies seen on a everyday basis, veterinary staff members have discovered to monitor a dog’s body language, preparing for virtually any possible aggressive movement. And although that is essential information to understand, Dr. Seksel cautions everyone to remember that a lot of of these signs can be subtle and there are occasions when a puppy may not give the typical signals. A pertinent illustration might be the dog who has been previously punished for growling. As Pavlov along with other behaviorists have shown, puppies will learn avoidance if negative stimuli are used immediately after specific behaviors. Therefore, a dog owner who reprimands his puppy for growling may be unknowingly eliminating the dog’s only outward expression of emotion or displeasure.

Veterinary experts recommend that all puppies undergo an initial “puppy training class” and socialization exercises. Just like children, some puppies will instantly take to their new friends and some will take a little longer to overcome their shyness. Unless the dog is going to be used for police or military work, no puppy need to receive positive reinforcement for any kind of aggressive behavior. Owners have to seek veterinary assistance when considering buying a breed of puppy they may be unfamiliar with or in the event the description from the breed discusses “extreme loyalty”, “intolerant of children”, or “prefers single owner household”.

As a final point, an crucial component of keeping away from dog bites is the training of our youngsters. The substantial majority of puppy bites happen in young children 4-9 years of age along with a larger percentage happens in young boys. Educating your little ones some with the subsequent suggestions could enable to stop a painful lesson and possibly even save his or her life. When faced with an unknown dog, or perhaps a puppy whose behavior would seem to be odd, Dr. Seksel recommends the following:

# don’t approach the dog

# look at your feet or even the ground – do not make eye contact with the dog

# stand still – do not run in the event the dog approaches

# stay quiet- do not holler or yell at the dog

# please do not try pat any dog on the head

Youngsters need to be taught to under no circumstances run up on the dog, especially one who’s eating and that not every puppy could be as friendly as their own dog. Educating a child to check with the pet dog owner if it can be ok to approach the puppy after which if it’s ok to pet him can help to avoid many of the frequent mistakes made by dog bite victims.

As dog owners, we enjoy our pets and want the very best for them. Animal shelters and humane societies would like to see the number of puppies euthanized for behavior concerns decrease and our society, like a whole, includes a strong wish to see a reduction in the amount of pet dog bites every year. Using the recommendations of veterinary behaviorists and other animal experts may be the first excellent step to reaching these goals.

In case you are having difficulty with your dog and aggression, please see your veterinarian right away.story

Redirect Your Puppy’s Chewing Instinct

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Young puppies are natural chewing machines. Nearly anything within their range is fair game: your shoes, sofas, kid’s toys, electrical cords, sticks, TV controllers; if it’s loose and obtainable, it might be demolished.

Mainly because it is a natural behavioral instinct for your pup to chew, it’s your duty to direct the puppy to exactly what can be chewed as well as exactly what can not be chewed. Consequently your very first task would be to puppy proof your house by keeping the puppy kept in a pet crate while you are not home plus limiting his free range to the puppy proof parts when you are home.

I learned the hard way when our daughter left her bedroom door ajar and my Golden Retriever commenced to chew up my antique collectible dollhouse and also the hand made furniture and turned them into toothpicks. It seriously looked like a bomb was dropped on the dollhouse with bits and pieces of my miniature furniture dispersed all over the floor. Crayons and telephone books were also Chris’s most desired items to chew on and my Labrador, Jake, preferred books and magazines.

After you do find that an item has been wrecked by your puppy, your initial impulse is usually to reprimand your dog. Alas, your dog does not have any clue just what you’re punishing him for,even if you’re waving the treasured artifact in your hand, after all, anything within reach is fair game and their memory is extremely short. You simply have to ignore your dog and tidy up the mess.

Pups need to chew mainly because they’re teething. Gnawing on toys gives them some relief to their sensitive gums and also dislodges their baby teeth so their mature teeth can come in. As soon as their teeth are in, then they chew because they may be bored, trying to play or even in search of attention from you.

Furnish your dog with an abundance of safe chew toys, like Kong Toys, dental chews, Greenies, and also digestible rawhides. Do not ever offer your puppy real bones to chew on. Bones can easily crack their teeth, or perhaps splinter when ingested. A variety of chew toys keeps the dog interested. When presenting your puppy a brand new chew toy, keep an eye on him to be certain the item is not shredded and swallowed, especially latex chew toys or stuffed toys with squeakers. Air Kong squeakers are Jake’s favorite chew toy they usually have a tendency to stand up to his chewing much better than every other toy we have tested out.

Keep all objects picked up off the floor and out of reach from your puppy, such as books, magazines, remotes, telephone books and Harry Potter books, (these are just a few things that were destroyed by my puppies over the years).

Regarding more substantial items, for example sofas, recliners as well as kitchen tables, you could try utilizing non-toxic bitter sprays which can be sprayed on the larger sized pieces.

As soon as you spot your puppy chewing on anything he shouldn’t, say “No” or “Leave It”, and then replace the object with a chew toy. You have to be vigilant when watching your puppy so that you could direct him to what precisely may be chewed and what is off limits.

Supply your puppy with their own “toy box”. This can be a small box or even a basket to store his / her toys in. My dog thinks it is a great game whenever I vacuum the rug and set all his toys away in the basket. He then he commences to drag just about all his toys out and plays with them 1 by 1 immediately after the vacuuming is completed.

Some dogs chew a result of separation anxiety. This topic is covered more in depth in a separate article. Your veterinarian can also help with some prescription medication to help calm your dog while you are re-training your pet in order to be left alone. Crate training your puppy when they are younger can help avoid separation anxiety from developing when they are older.

Keep in mind, chewing incidents are generally your negligence for not observing your pup closely or allowing free roaming when you are absent. Give your puppy plenty of his own toys to chew on so he will leave other objects alone. Praise your pet whenever he is actually chewing on their toys and try not to scold or yell at your dog any time you observe a valuable item chewed on when you were not looking. They has absolutely no ability to remember just after the event in order to link the chewed item to your yelling and can easily result in more harm than good

As far as my dollhouse furniture, I was able to save a few pieces, and I purchased another Harry Potter book to replace the one that was demolished. We additionally learned to keep the bedroom doors closed, and we transferred all the books to a “no dogs allowed” bedroom. I suggest you study your home through the eyes of your dog and clear away tempting objects out of their reach. Puppies can be shown what exactly could be gnawed upon and exactly what is off limits, if the puppy parent is there to instruct them.

To learn more about training your puppy, pick up our free “90 Dog Training Tips” at my new puppy care and training website:  http://mypuppycare101.com

Crate Training Tips for Your New Puppy

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Your young puppy definitely should not have the run of your home. Just like toddlers, they are just learning right from wrong and can get in trouble, hurt or make an absolute mess when you are not watching.

By using a crate as part of your house training program, you are not only teaching them their potty skills, but also keeping them safe and secure. Crating your puppy is an excellent way to start developing good habits with your puppy.

Here are some great tips to help with crate training your puppy.

  1. The natural instinct for a puppy is to seek a den, preferably one that is partially enclosed in the back so they feel safe from a rear attack.
  2. Airline crates work great and can also be used for trips.
  3. It is also a natural instinct not to mess in their sleeping quarters, so try using a soft bed rather than newspaper, especially if you are planning to paper train.
  4. Make sure your crate is big enough to accommodate your puppy, yet small enough that they cannot mess in the corner.
  5. If you have a large breed dog, you may need to buy bigger crates as they grow or get expandable crates. My Labrador eventually outgrew his crate so he now sleeps on his orthopedic pillow in the same spot .
  6. Your puppy should start to sleep in their crate at night. Similar to babies, it teaches them to sleep on their own and not bark and whine all night long. So, at bedtime, place your puppy in the crate and leave them to cry it out.
  7. If you return to the crate when they are making noise, you are actually encouraging the crying and will make it worse. Each night, the crying episodes will shorten in length until they actually will seek out their den when they are tired.
  8. Do not allow your puppy to sleep with you. Your puppy may have accidents in your bed or may be injured when you roll over.
  9. Another reason not to let your puppy sleep with you is kinda gross, but it actually happened to me when I was in Vet school. My dog happened to become infected with tapeworms from eating a flea. These worms can crawl out of the puppy during the night and will then be deposited in your bed. Another good reason for regular worming and flea control. (Over the counter dewormers are not effective against tapeworms). The crate is the best place for your puppy to sleep at night.
  10. Keeping your puppy properly dewormed will also lessen the risk of diarrhea and accidents.
  11. Do not use the crate as punishment if your puppy has chewed up something valuable. It is your responsibility to make sure your home is puppy proofed and this is a good way to get your kids to pick up their toys.
  12. Scheduling your puppy also helps with the house training. Your puppy will need to go to his designated potty area:
    • first thing in the morning
    • right after they eat
    • when they are finished playing
    • when they wake up from a nap
    • before they go to bed
  13. Young puppies should be fed about 4 times a day and feeding them at the same time each day will help establish regular elimination habits.
  14. Feeding your puppy in the crate will also help him enjoy his crate more.
  15. Make sure your puppy has water in their den. If your puppy has a tendency to spill the water, they can be taught to use the water bottles like hamsters and ferrets, only bigger.
  16. A great tip is to set a timer for every 2 hours during the day so you can remember to let the puppy out.
  17. Never punish the puppy for accidents, but praise them lavishly for doing their deed at the designated location. If puppy is caught in the act somewhere other than the designated area, simply scoop them up and take them to the designated area to finish and praise them once there.
  18. If your puppy does have an accident, it is your fault for not watching him and letting him out on his regular schedule. Ignore the accident and be more vigilant next time.
  19. Do not rub their nose in the accident or reprimand them in any way.
  20. Use an odor neutralizer to clean the accident and never use ammonia.
  21. Give your puppy a safe chew toy to keep the occupied when they are in the crate, Kong toys work well because you can fill it with peanut butter or treats and it will keep them occupied once you leave them.

Your puppy is eager to please you and with a little help from your family and a crate, accidents and destructive tendencies will be kept at a minimum. Pick up more puppy training tips at my new puppy care and dog training website MyPuppyCare101.com

Tips to Curb Your Dog’s Barking

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Annoying barking is the most common complaint of dog owners and their neighbors. Barking is after all, a natural and instinctive behavior of dogs dating back to the wolf packs. Dogs communicate through their bark. There is barking to warn of territory encroachment. Dogs will bark to warn of danger. Some dogs will bark when there is unusual sounds, sights or even odors. During times of stress, frustration, anxiety or separation, some dogs will bark. Just about anything or anyone in some dogs will start the barking, wailing and howling.

So, what can you do to curb excessive barking?

The key to preventing your dog from barking is through socialization and habituation. In other words, get your puppy used to as many people, animals, situations, noises, thunder, raccoons, cats, kids, squirrels, etc. as possible when they are puppies. The more familiar a noise or an object is to your puppy, the less likely your dog will exhibit anxiety or stress induced barking as a dog. Socialization will also help to reduce the amount of alarm barking as well as the intensity. A socialized puppy should only be allowed to alert owners and then be controlled and stopped before the barking gets out of control. By learning how dogs communicate and understand their pack mentality, it will be much easier to control their barking. Here are a few scenarios we will discuss to help you curb the barking.

My dog barks constantly when I leave.

The common cause of this type of barking is from separation anxiety and your lack of leadership skills. A dog suffering from separation anxiety often thinks that he is the alpha leader and not you. As the alpha leader. when a member of his pack (you) walk out the door, the barking initiates because it is his job as the leader to worry about the pack members. To combat this type of barking, you will have to learn how to be the alpha leader of the pack. An excellent dog training system set up by Barkbusters.com can help you with this problem.

An excellent dog training program on line is the “Secrets to Dog Training” . They have a special edition that also covers dog barking.

To prevent this problem in grown dogs, effective crate training techniques when you first get your puppy will help to decrease the anxiety when he is left alone in the crate. The puppy will associate the crate as his den and will eventually be able to spend time in the crate without barking. The biggest mistake most people do when trying to crate the puppy is let the puppy out when he is barking. This actually reinforces the attention seeking behavior. You must ignore the puppy when he is barking, and then let him out either on a regular schedule or when he is calm and quiet. The ultrasonic sound emitter, BarkOff, works to interrupt the dog’s barking. When you follow that with praise when the dog stops barking, you are rewarding the good behavior (being quiet).

If your are experiencing separation anxiety in your dog, your veterinarian may be able to assist your with some treatment options such as DAP,(Dog Appeasing Pheromone) a synthetic pheromone, or medications (Clomipramine hydrochloride- sort of a doggy prozac) to help calm your dog while you initiate leadership control.

My dog is constantly barking.

Attention seeking barking can be very difficult to get a handle on as the dog receives attention whenever he barks and this actually reinforces the behavior. An example of inadvertent reinforcement includes letting the dog in when he barks. In this case the dog is training you rather than the other way around. Other examples of inadvertent reinforcement are feeding, patting, praising, playing with, giving a toy or even going to the dog to attempt to quiet it down. Never reward barking with any type of attention, even occasionally.

So, how do I get him to stop barking?

Training your dog to be “quiet” on command is an invaluable aid for curbing annoying barking. Many owners usually accept their dog’s barking as normal or even desirable in the beginning. However, the barking soon becomes a problem once it gets too loud, too often or just won’t stop when you tell him to. In order to train your dog to quiet down on cue, you must find a verbal command your dog will understand. Barkbusters uses a command “Bah” which is a sharp, guttural growl. If it does not embarrass you when you utter such sound, you are not doing it right.

Another method is with remote training with either a check chain or halter lead. In this case, I used the check chain and the “bah” command. To teach our dog to quit barking when someone came to the door, we had a friend go to the door and ring the bell. We drew a line a few feet away from the door and our dog could bark and approach to that line. Once he reached the line, he was given the command “bah” and slightly corrected with the check chain. He was then told to go kennel. After repeating this process for about 15 minutes a day, he has learned to alert us that some one is at the door, then he will go and lay down on his bed (kennel) where he stays until we tell him he can get up. This process also eliminates the jumping on visitors when they enter the door.

The key to controlling barking is to reward the behavior we want (i.e. quiet and still) rather than to give any attention to the behavior we don’t want (barking). Each time you pay attention to the barking dog, you are actually inadvertently rewarding the barking behavior. If you yell or try to punish the dog when he is barking, you will make your dog more anxious and will aggravate the problem.

All right, I admit it. I was a bad puppy parent and my dog is now a barking menace. What can I do now?

Your chances are good that you will be able to resolve most barking problems with effective leadership training. But what if your current situation, such as a new baby or an irate neighbor, requires that the barking stops immediately and you do not have the time to implement the corrective behavior?

There are newer anti-bark treatments available to help you when you need to stop the barking now. But first let us cover an anti-barking program to initiate in your household.

1. Make sure that you and the other family members are not inadvertently rewarding the barking behavior. Avoid giving your dog any type of attention, play, toys, food or affection when he is barking. Only give your dog attention when he is quiet and calm. (This is tough, because it is our nature to yell at the dog when he is barking) By the way, as a mother,rewarding the good behavior while ignoring the bad behavior, works for children, too.

2. Make sure that your response to the barking is not aggravating the problem. When a dog is barking due to anxiety or as a territorial response to a squirrel or other such enemy, yelling at the dog or throwing something at him will only increase his anxiety and the barking.

3. Modify the home environment so that the dog is kept away from the stimuli (sounds and sights) that can cause the barking. A simple way is to confine the dog to a crate or a small room away from the windows so he cannot see outside to bark at the errant squirrel or cat. You can also try to mute or mask the sounds that stimulate the barking by playing music. There are actual doggy CD’s that claim can help calm your dog when you are away. Dogs that are outside may have to brought inside. Condition your dog to trigger sounds, such as doorbells, by practicing with a friend and reward him when he stops the barking on command. In cases of separation anxiety, your veterinarian can help with a prescription of Clomicalm while you are re-training your dog.

4. Consider enrolling your dog in a training class to help you with leadership training. Several pet stores and even community colleges hold training classes. It is important that you know how to control your dog, so sending him off to school without you will only teach your dog and he may revert to the old behaviors if you haven’t been re-trained as well. Barkbusters will come to your home and teach you how to be the pack leader and thus your dog will learn to follow you.

5. Once you have sufficient control and your dog responds to your commands and handling, it should be possible to stop your dog to bark on your command. Over time, your dog will remain quiet for longer periods of time. You can then start conditioning the dog to other stimulus that causes barking, such as the squirrel in the back yard or kids on the bikes riding by the window. Slowly introduce the dog to the stimulus and and give the command to stop barking and enforce it with either the check chain, halter or some other disruptive bark trainer. Over time, these barking stimuli will no longer initiate the barking.

What are anti-barking collars and other devices and do they actually work?

There are many products on the market today from anti-bark collars that spray citronella, to products that emit an ultrasonic sound that only the dog can hear. The most annoying one I came across was an anti-barking device that produced such a loud, shrill noise, that I thought it was worse than the barking. Many of the products will interrupt the barking, but if you have not implemented the concurrent retraining techniques, many dogs will soon begin to ignore the devices and commence their annoying barking once again.

The bark activated products are the most practical to help deter the inappropriate barking when use in conjunction with the environmental modification and training. Owner initiated anti-bark devices such as the ultrasonic sound emitter, Bark Off, work best when you are with your dog and are able to reward your dog for being quiet. Off collar devices are useful to stop barking in selected areas such as doorways or windows, or for dogs that continue to bark in their crate or kennel.

Bark activated collars can be used when the barking does not occur in any predictable location. Audible and ultrasonic training collars are occasionally effective, but they are usually not sufficient or unpleasant enough to be a reliable deterrent. The collars that emit a spray of citronella each time the dog barks may be effective when you are away, but without the concurrent re-training, the dogs will soon learn to bark over the spray. You also have to re-charge the batteries and the spray chamber or the dog soon learns that he can bark and it won’t spray.

If you opt for the citronella collar, begin to use it when you are present so that when the dog is startled by the spray and stops barking, you are there to reward the dog with an enjoyable activity, such as a belly rub or a toss of his favorite ball. This will help to reinforce the quiet behavior and the barking will gradually reduce.

What if it is not my dog, but the neighbors dog that is doing all the barking?

There are some ultrasonic anti-bark devices available that are disguised as birdhouses that you can put outside. These may be only a temporary fix because without the behavioral re-training and conditioning, the dog may soon learn to ignore the noise and start barking again.
If all else fails, you can print out this article and anonymously mail it to your neighbor.

Christmas Ornaments

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I ordered a variety of the different Dog Christmas Ornaments from my websites and I must say they were nicer than their pictures gave them credit for on the web sites. The ceramic ornaments from Calendars.com were really nice and I am thinking about collecting the rest of them. I have them at the clinic for your to look at. The ornaments are marked down and you can get them now at bargain prices.

In addition to ornaments, Calendars.com and DogBreedStore.com also have a great selection of dog breed gift items as well as calendars. They have figurines, bobble heads, leash hooks, pillows, blankets, caps, totes, salt and pepper shakers and a lot more. I can shop there all day. I also have more items from a variety of stores on my LuvUrDog.com web site.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday, and I wish you a Happy New Year!

Debra Garrison, DVM

Jake and his Christmas Tree

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Help Jake Decorate his Christmas Tree!

You can find dog ornaments, stockings, calendars, mugs, pillows and blankets at LuvUrDog.com

Christmas Stockings for Your Dog

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Ho, Ho, Ho, Christmas is on the way and don’t forget your best friend. Order your dog’s Christmas stocking soon. Personalized Dog Stockings are now available on LuvUrDog.com.
Don’t forget to fill it with new toys and treats,.

LuvUrDog.com also has personalized dog ornaments and Doggie Gift Baskets.

I am also ordering a new bed for Jake. He has chewed the corners and I do not think it will last another washing.

Also posted on LuvUrDog.com is a new video on Winter and Holiday hazards for your pet.

Housetraining your Puppy

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Congratulations on bringing home your new puppy! A new puppy can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, along with the fun, often come some challenges for the new owners. One such challenge is housetraining your new pet. However, with the positive tips in this handout, housetraining outside can be a quick and rewarding experience for both the new puppy and its owners.

In order to assist your puppy with learning housetraining quickly and easily, it is important that you recognize your pets cues that they need to eliminate. Most puppies need to use the restroom every three to four hours during the day and within thirty minutes of eating, drinking, exercise, play or sleep. Most puppies will also exhibit some outward signs that they need to eliminate such as, sniffing the floor, walking in circles, squatting, slinking, or trying to hide behind objects. Closely supervising your pet and being in tune to their body language will make the housetraining transition easier for everyone involved.

Puppies learn quickly and easily when a positive routine is established. When it is time to take your pet outdoors to eliminate, use the same path, door and elimination location each time. Speak to your pet in an upbeat and encouraging tone. When you have reached the elimination area, use a key phrase to encourage your pet to eliminate, such as “Go Potty”. This key phrase will become his cue to eliminate and will be helpful in times when you are not in a familiar location to give him permission to eliminate. Once your puppy has done his business reward him immediately with lavish praise and treats. It is important that you accompany your pet each time he eliminates; this allows you to make sure that he has done his business and to reward him immediately for his good efforts.[DFR::450515-10398130-cj|align_right_1]

Until your new puppy is successfully housetrained, it is recommended that they be kept on a leash at all times. This allows you to carefully observe their body language, behaviors and cues that it may be time for a trip outside. If you cannot supervise your pet, then the dog should be confined in a puppy proofed area of your home. This area should have a warm bed, food, water and area for elimination. Before confining your pet, be sure that he has been allowed to relieve himself and has been exercised. If your puppy does have an accident while you are not supervising him, remember, that punishment after the fact only serves to scare and intimidate your puppy at a time when bonding is crucial. If your puppy does begin to have an accident while you are supervising him, then quickly startle the puppy by clapping or staying Stop. Then proceed to follow your routine and then reward the puppy when he finishes in the proper location. Remember that with proper supervision and practice housetraining will be a rewarding experience for both you and your new puppy.

Destructive Behavior in Puppies

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Destructive Behavior in Puppies

Congratulations on bringing home your new puppy! A new puppy can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, along with the fun, often come some challenges for the new owners. One such challenge is managing and controlling your puppys destructive behaviors. This handout will provide some tips, if your puppy tends to exhibit this type of behavior.

Puppies exhibit destructive behaviors for many different reasons. Most puppies are naturally curious about their surroundings and part of their exploration process is to touch, smell and, yes, taste their new environment. In fact, this exploration is normal and even necessary for proper puppy socialization and development. Problems occur, however, when your puppy takes these natural tendencies to the next level and becomes destructive in his behavior. These destructive behaviors may originate for many different reasons. Some small puppies may be trying to satisfy a natural urge to chew or teethe. Other puppies that tear up items, such as magazines, trash or carpets, may be simply playing. Puppies who become anxious when separated from their family members may also exhibit a wide variety of destructive behaviors.

The first step to eliminating destructive behaviors in your puppy is to determine the main cause of the behavior. If your pet destroys a wide variety of items throughout the house at different times of day, then the dog is probably exhibiting play behaviors. If the dog only destroys items when you are separated from him, then your pet is probably experiencing separation anxiety. If your puppy is between three to six months of age and is exhibiting new destructive chewing behaviors, then he is probably beginning to teethe and looking to soothe his sore teeth and gums. With each of these types of behaviors, it is important to analyze your behavior as well to determine if you are inadvertently rewarding the behavior in a way. For example, you catch your pet chewing on an inappropriate object and in order to distract him from the object you give him a treat. Repeating this action will solidify in your pets mind that chewing equals receiving a treat and, therefore, the pet will chew more frequently.[DFR::5032266-13565-ls|align_right_1]

After determining the cause of your pets destructive behavior, steps may then be taken to eliminate the behavior. The first steps should be ones that re-direct the pets attention to proper and appropriate chewing and play behaviors. For the pet exhibiting destructive play behaviors, this redirection may include more proper play times, exercise, training, and new appropriate toys. These new toys should have a variety of tastes, textures, sounds and odors in order to stimulate your pet and redirect their attention. One such example are the many good puzzle toys on the market today that allow you to stuff the toy with treats and allow your pet to work for its reward. If your pet is exhibiting teething behaviors, redirect its attention to appropriate outlets by providing toys with a variety of textures. It may also be good to offer toys that have been cooled in the freezer or toys that have frozen treats inside to ease the puppys gums. For the puppy that is experiencing separation anxiety it may be necessary to confine the animal in an area where it will not damage items while you are away. If the pup is confined, be sure to provide new and interesting toys and treats to distract the pup from your departure and separation.

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If directing your puppys attention away from destructive chewing and toward appropriate areas has not worked then it may be necessary to discipline your pet. Discipline should be swift, humane and should occur at the time of the offense. If possible, it is recommended to use a punishment that will not be associated with the punisher, for example, a spray bottle, noise gun, citronella spray collar or clap. If you cannot confine your pet away from the area while you are not present to supervise, then it may be necessary to deter your pet by placing a booby trap. One idea is to place items that will make a loud noise and movement on or near the area so that when your pet touches or chews he will be greeted with a loud crash and flourish of movement. This attack will frequently deter your pet from further chewing.