Some of the most common problems people have with their dogs are listed here, along with straightforward prevention tactics. It’s far easier to prevent problems than to try to solve them once they’ve become habits, so start out early with your puppy to ensure they get it right from the start!
If you need more help, or if your dog has issues that aren’t listed here, please contact me via the link at the top of the page.
With a young puppy, it’s imperative you keep the dog on a strict potty break schedule. Every hour on the hour, run the puppy outside on leash to your designated potty area and tell him to “go potty.” Wait until he does, give him three tasty treats, and then he can go back inside.
When you bring your puppy home, be sure you also have several hollow rubber chew toys ready for him (Kongs are a good choice) in his crate. By stuffing the toys with food, the dog is learning what he is supposed to chew on (the toy) because he is consistently getting rewarded by excavating the food. If your pup ever does start to chew on something inappropriate, you can redirect him to his chew toys so that he understands what’s expected.
Crates can be wonderful for house training a puppy. See the information under “Inappropriate Chewing” about utilizing stuffed, hollow chew toys. When you first bring your puppy home, put the food-filled toys and any other safe chew toys he enjoys inside his crate. Leave the crate open and allow your pup to want to go inside to get the food and toys. You can also up the ante by putting the toys inside the crate and closing the door with your pup outside of it–he’ll likely want desperately to go inside! When he sits nicely, open the door and let him inside to have his food and toys. Until the dog is relaxed and comfortable, don’t close the door on him–you don’t want him to feel trapped. He should learn to enjoy spending time in his crate.
Download our FREE guides by Dr. Ian Dunbar: