Bad dog behaviors you unknowingly encourage

Bad dog behaviors you unknowingly encourage

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. And true enough, when we first get our new puppy, or adopt a shelter dog we bring them in a new environment. As we teach them new rules like potty training or not to chew things up around the house, we unwittingly implement some bad dog behaviors. So we listed some of the most common ones, and a few solutions on how to bread the bad cycle.

Demand barking

I think one of the worst of all the bad dog behaviors is demand barking, so it’s up first. Typically your dog would bark when she wants something from you. Maybe her ball rolled under the couch, or she wants attention, so she starts barking at you. Or perhaps she sees you preparing her food, or getting ready for a walk and she starts yapping at you. While it might be easy to stop this by giving her what she wants, it only encourages the behavior further. You want to stop things before they escalate, so what is the right solution? Punishing her would be just as bad, as giving in and in my personal experience ignoring the situation doesn’t help either.

So the goal here? You want to teach your dog that barking isn’t the solution here. So instead of giving in to her needs, try being the alfa here. Start off by distracting her from what caused the excessive barking. Give them their favorite toy, preferably in another room, so she has something else to focus on. If this doesn’t pan out, try taking her for a quick turn around the block. Crete training can also be a good solution. Give her time out for 10 minutes, until she finally stops. Whichever solution you opt for, remember no to encourage excessive barking any further by giving in to all her whims.

bad dog behaviors


You just walked through the door and your pup cannot stop jumping all over you. Or your friends and family comes over and your dog gets so crazy with excitement, she cannot stop zooming around the house. I’m sure you’re familiar with one of them. Being excited is not a bad thing, in fact it is cute being greeted with so much love. However, it can get out of hands, so here is how to control the crazy. Try having your pup sit down first, and wait until he is calm. Then you can give them attention or reward them for staying calm. Another great way is to just ignore them until they stop jumping, and only give them attention when they calm down.

If your pup jumps all over your guests, there is a simple routine you can try. When your guests approach the door, give your pup a ‘sit’ command. When he is seated then your friends can come in or approach you. If your dog jumps up, your friends should turn or walk away. Keep repeating this until your pup stays fully calm and seated during the greetings. If your pups remains calm you can reward them with a treat. It is difficult at first, so try taking small steps, or practice with people your friend is familiar with.

Leash pulling

It can be quite frustrating, especially with a big dog. They love to explore the outdoors and in an attempt to smell the bush or pee on the fire hydrant, he may pull on his leash. Rather than picking up the pace and running after your dog, the best thing you can do is to simply stop walking. Just stop and remain there until your dog is calm. If this isn’t working out, then try suddenly changing directions. This will give your pet the signal, that you are boss, and he should follow your lead. Once you got your pet all calm, give them a treat so he can associate a loose leash with getting a treat. Often times a good leash can sort your problem quite easily. The front range harness is quite the rage now, and what it does is that it will stop your dog from pulling on the front, as well as their back. You can attach your leash at both the front and back, this way you can relieve some of the pressure. If your dog pulls really hard, please switch to a harness instead of a collar. Using the wrong equipment can cause serious damage. Leash training can be demanding and time consuming, but it’s definitely worth giving a go.

bad dog behaviors

Begging for food

An unhealthy diet with pups can lead to serious health issues. It can result in an increase of bad cholesterol, heart issues and the list goes on. So feeding your pup human food scraps oof the table is a bad idea. It must be difficult to resist the big puppy eyes I know, but giving in to your pup only encourages bad behavior. So try resisting it, and instead schedule your pup’s meal time right around yours. If this doesn’t help, then distraction is the way to go. Make sure to give them a favorite chew toy, or perhaps a treat at the same time you eat. This will distract him begging for your meal. Again, the key is trying not go give in.

Licking you

There are several reasons why dogs lick your hands and face. The most obvious is that they love you. They lick your face and you unknowingly encourage this by laughing, baby talking to them or kissing them back. Another reason is that they need your attention. They wake you up in the morning by licking your hands, because then want your attention to go for a walk, or they need their breakfast. It is also a sign of submissive behavior. According to the AKC: “Wild puppies lick their mother’s mouth as a signal for her to regurgitate the meat she’s hunted and as a way of demonstrating subornation.” 

Now as cute as this may be, a lot of germs can be passed on through this, especially if your pup licks you on the mouth. This is one of the bad dog behaviors that should be discouraged, as it is not healthy. Imaging that you are raw feeding your pup, and she just finished a bowl of raw chicken with raw eggs. Now, would you want raw meat anywhere near your face? I don’t think so. So one way to put a stop to it is tell them off. I’m sure you have your go to off limits word, like ‘no’ or ‘stop it’. It is a good way to start and if it doesn’t work, you can try the distraction technique I mentioned before. But the surefire way to spot licking is to make your pup sit down and cool off. If she did well, then reward it, if not repeat.

Final words

I hope I managed to give you a few good reasons for discouraging bad dog behaviors, and you will try my recommendations to stop them. Remember, you should be firm and consistent but never aggressive when training your dog. If you start training at an early age, then your chances for success are much higher, but don’t ever give up. Good luck!


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