Advice on Handling Your Dog Before Giving Up!
Most dog behavior is a product of their environment. If a dog has been abused, neglected, or treated badly by humans in the past, they may have difficulties in adjusting to life with a loving owner and family. We have some advice on handling your dog before giving up.
Sometimes, people adopt dogs only to find out that a behavior becomes problematic in the new home. In many cases, the behavior is not necessarily dangerous, but more of a mild to extreme irritation for the family or the neighbors. Dogs that exhibit problem behaviors such as excessive barking, digging, escaping, chewing or that have separation anxiety may just need a bit of extra training or support to correct the problem.
There are many other reasons that people may see leaves the only option as giving up on the dog and trying to rehome the pet. Before that drastic step, consider the following possible options.
Let’s take the behavior issues one at a time. In most cases, dog behavior can be corrected. If the owner is willing to spend some time in learning about the problem and how to modify the environment, the situation can be reversed and problem resolved.
- Digging – providing more exercise for the dog or hiring a dog walker to come in during the day can help burn off all that extra energy. Building a dog sandbox where digging is encouraged with hidden treats and toys can manage the behavior and give your dog something fun to do. Landscaping edging placed around fencing can prevent dogs from digging under the fence.
- Escaping – building a larger, enclosed kennel for when you are gone or reinforcing your current fence and gate structure will eliminate dog escapes. Additional exercise and routine trips to the dog park to allow your pet to socialize and interact with other dogs can also be helpful in curbing this type of behavior.
- Separation anxiety – dogs can have mild to severe separation anxiety that can result in all the behaviors above as well as chewing. Dogs with this condition can be trained to gradually accepting owners gone for longer and longer periods of time. Medications prescribed by a vet can also help with anxiety and, when combined with training, can be highly effective. A trainer with experience in working with dogs with anxiety will be a great help.
Neutering and Spaying
A very important consideration is the possible hormonal issues with canine behavior. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, talk to your vet about the changes that will occur in the dog’s temperament and behavior after the procedure. This is often the root cause of escaping, barking, aggression and even urinating or defecating in the home.
Often, the problem behavior that is making the owner give up on the dog has been tolerated or sometimes even been encouraged. An obedience class and one-on-one work with a trainer to undo the incorrect learning and training practices and to create positive behaviors is an important step before making a decision to give up on any dog.