My puppy is misbehaving. Help! What can I do? | Village Vets

The time has come... you got yourself a little happy and cheerful puppy that is now growing into a young dog running around and ignoring social situations! And now your pup is starting to learn more about the world and … starts showing more personality to the world by barking, chewing and digging… Does this sound familiar? 


Once your puppy has grown into a young dog, it becomes much more apparent and often shows signs of misbehaviour. 


If your young rascal is barking at other dogs, jumping up to people, or not coming when called, it might not necessarily be something to do with their breed or gender. It might be that young dogs simply don't know what is expected of them! 


The number one reason is that – your pup hasn't been trained, and they are misbehaving naturally as they simply don't know what is expected of them…as well because nobody showed the example! Dogs need discipline, and some breeds are even faster to learn as, through centuries of selective breeding, your pups can quickly adapt to training!

Here is the deal… Dogs are born without a set of guidelines to follow in the human world. They understand the dog world, but now that we have them in our home, we have to teach them the rules of the human world.


How to stop a dog from misbehaving?

It's up to the human in charge to teach them what we want them to do, what we don't want them to do, and how to stop doing those unwanted behaviours in the first place. 


Recognise their behaviour 

Dogs display unwanted behaviours when they are full of energy, completely drained, and need naps and downtime. It is like with children, as soon as they wake up, they want to play, jump and get about. Now think of the kids at the end of the day at a playground; they become easily irritable and needy of attention. The same goes for your little furry friend, as they will be misbehaving precisely at these times. This means that you are going to evaluate where their energy level is. If their battery level is high, you will make sure you give them an outlet to release, play with them, spend time training, play in the yard or go for a walk. 


15 Minute training 

Recognising patterns of behaviour accompanied by training will help you change your young pup’s behaviour. Dog behaviourists suggest spending, on average, at least 15 minutes a day training your four-legged friend every day for their entire life. This means you must integrate this time into their daily routines and teach them tricks and tricksof the human world! Everyday training will serve you a lifetime friendship with your pooch!

It is also better to exercise your pup's energy before the training session, as they can focus better on what you are trying to teach them.  


Positive and Negative Reinforcements 

Frequently puppy owners accidentally reinforce behaviours that they don't want to see without realising it. If your pup is jumping on you, do not pet them on their head, as this will only positively reinforce the jumping. If we keep reinforcing the behaviour, it becomes more substantial because the dog is learning. Instead, we want to teach our pups how to sit politely to get attention from us. 

It is also our best advice not to use things like squirt bottles, shaker cans and even e- collars or resort to yelling and screaming at your dog. This does not get the best result in training your dog as it ruins the bond that you already innately started building! 


If you find this is not working out for you and your little rascal, it is best to consult with your local vet to refer you to a local puppy school or a dog trainer, as this would be an investment worth a lifetime of a good friendship with your dog!


Happy Barking!