How to tackle common canine behavioural problems

Whether it's a chewed shoe, a hole dug in the garden or a piece of food stolen from the dinner table, all owners will admit that their pooch can be a little naughty from time to time.

However, if you find that your dog's behaviour is becoming less of a funny little quirk and more of a serious problem, then it might well be worth looking into some simple training techniques to help tackle the issue.

Dog training classes are often a good place to start, but there are also a few things you can do at home to tackle the most common behavioural problems and create a happy, relaxed family pooch.


Whether it's whenever the doorbell rings, when chasing the family cat or all night keeping the neighbours awake, barking is one of the most common - not to mention most irritating - canine behavioural problems.

The most common cause of barking incessantly is attention-seeking, and most dogs find that being noisy works very well as their owner will usually come to them or responds by shouting.

Therefore, although it may be difficult when your dog's making a real racket, it is really important to ignore this behaviour rather than rewarding it with your attention.

And then when your pup is calm and quiet, make sure you go over straight away and praise them with masses of fuss and a couple of premium dog food treats.

Jumping up

When their dog is a youngster some owners actively encourage their pets to hop on their knee or jump up at them.

However, as your pooch grows up and becomes bigger and stronger, having an over-enthusiastic pooch throw themselves at you as soon as you walk through the front door is not quite so appealing.

The simplest way to correct this behaviour is to walk backwards when your pup and jumps at you and refrain from giving them any attention at all, until they learn that there's no point leaping up.

It is also a good idea to ingrain in your dog's mind that calm, gentle behaviour gets treats and fuss, while overenthusiastic, excitable behaviour will not be rewarded.

This is best reinforced by insisting that you dog sits when a friend comes to the door and rewarding this behaviour. Practise this ten or even 20 times and your dog will soon get the hang of the idea.


The problem of your pooch gnawing at your clothes and furniture can be a slightly tougher one to address, as chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs especially when they are young and their teeth are developing.

It is important that owners recognise this and make sure that their pets have toys and chew sticks to gnaw on as this will discourage them from getting their teeth into household items instead.

Owners should also remember to keep any important bits and bobs or those that may harm their dog, out of their reach until they learn what is and what is not ok to chew on.

If you do find your pup gnawing on something they shouldn't the best course of action is to stay calm, say 'no' firmly and remove the item, ideally replacing it with something that your dog is allowed to chew, and they will soon get the right idea.

Written by: Hannah