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Depending on the type of dog that you own or the age at which he/she became a part of your family, you may be dealing with behavioral problems resulting from a stubborn breed or a dog that lacked the proper dog training in its former home. Whatever the case, behavioral problems must be addressed immediately and not be permitted to continue. Common troubles include chewing or destructive actions, biting, showing aggression toward familiar people and other animals or simply refusing to obey commands.
In some cases, behavioral problems have been linked with illnesses that should be addressed by a veterinarian. If your dog continues to exhibit aggressive or disturbing behavior or if you feel as though your family may be in danger, consult a veterinarian immediately. If your dog is given a clean bill of health and he/she is not considered dangerous, obedience training should be continued either at home or by a professional dog trainer.
If your dog chews on furniture or other inappropriate household objects, try distracting his/her attention away with the use of a chew toy that squeaks or is otherwise appealing to your pet. Obedience training is all about teaching your dog right from wrong and how to respond to certain commands. If you see your dog chewing on an inappropriate object, say "no" in a firm voice before distracting him/her with a chew toy. When your dog begins playing with the toy, reward him/her with praise.
All dogs like to walk, but some are very strong and have a tendency to pull their owner. If this sounds familiar, your only recourse may be using a harness. These products are designed to gently dissuade your dog from running or pulling away from you. It may take some time for your dog to adjust to the change from a collar to a harness, but he/she will soon begin to walk beside of you instead of in front of you. During a walk, your dog should either walk next to you or behind you as a show of respect. Walking or running ahead shows that your dog believes he/she is superior and is a common display for dogs who need proper obedience training.
Constant barking or aggression is another common symptom of behavioral problems and must be dealt with quickly. Some people may choose to muzzle their dog, but this may be uncomfortable as dogs pant to cool themselves during the warm months of spring and summer. For some, muzzling their dog may be the only answer. For others, try instilling the type of obedience training that will prevent your dog from constantly barking by gently closing their mouth when they bark. If your dog is upset with your or seems especially troubled, this may not be a good idea. If he/she is just barking, however, this may be a good way to let them know that this type of recreational activity is not acceptable. When closing their mouth, say "no" in a firm voice.
For additional dog training techniques for those with behavioral problems, there are a number of terrific books, programs and videos currently available. The best way to learn which are the most effective is through reading product reviews and comparing prices to find the best product to get your pet on the road to obedience.
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