Once in a while you come across a dog that just seems downright crazy. And every so often, that dog is your dog. Barring any actual medical problems, here are 5 reasons why your dog might be a little crazy…and what you can do about it!
Too much excess energy
Like a toddler high on sugar, a dog with too much excess energy can be pretty disruptive and destructive. Burning off some of this energy will help your dog relax and be calm. Here are some ways to burn off that energy:
-Bring your dog to a reputable daycare! (See this post on how to pick a doggy daycare.)
-Take your dog for a walk! See this post on teaching a dog to walk nicely on leash.
-Don’t have the time or energy to walk your dog? Hire a dog walking service!
-Play some mind games! See point two for more information on this one.
Not enough mental stimulation
A bored dog is going to find ways to entertain himself. Typically, we don’t agree with their chosen activities! They might decide to redecorate your house. In their opinion, the dirt from your potted plant would look a whole lot better scattered over the living room carpet!
If you don’t give your dogs something CONstructive to do, they will find something DEstructive to do! Here are some ways to exercise your dog’s mind:
-Instead of feeding your dog out of a bowl, feed them from a Kong!
-Play a hide-and-seek game with some treats using something like this Seek-A-Treat game.
-Invest in some interactive toys that will make your dog think AND will create a bonding experience.
-Teach your dog some new tricks! See point three for more information on this one.
Lack of training
Dogs love to learn. Yes, even the old ones! Dogs of any age enjoy training because it lets them use their brains, expels energy, and lets them spend time with YOU! There are countless tricks to train your dog ranging from practical to silly to just downright helpful. Here’s an article I wrote on how I taught one of my dogs to close the back door!
Dogs fetching your slippers or the remote control isn’t just for the movies. This can be your real life with a little training investment.
Sometimes our dogs are acting crazy because they don’t know how else to behave! Sometimes being crazy gets them what they want and other times it just makes us mad. Making sure all the people in the household are on the same page will make your dog’s world make a whole lot more sense.
Everyone in the household should be using the same dictionary of commands. A command should mean one thing. For example, “down” can’t mean “lie down on the ground” AND “get off the couch.” Those are two different things! Instead, try using “off” to mean “get off the couch.” When you ensure that each command has one, and only one, definition, your dog is going to learn faster and be more clear on what is expected of them.
Craziness has been rewarded
Imagine this…you’re trying to read the Sunday paper and your dog is barking up a storm. You decide to give in and take them for a walk. You didn’t intend to reward the barking, but that is exactly what you did. From your dog’s perspective, she barked, you finally got off your butt and got the leash. So what’s your dog going to do the next time she wants a walk? She’s going to bark at you until you obey her commands!
It will take a little patience, but waiting for your dog to be quiet and then taking her for a walk will generate a much quieter and calmer dog in the long run!
Ready to start some training? Group classes are starting soon and private lessons are always available! See current offerings here.
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