Prevention & Problem Behaviors

Rebecca Mason | February 1, 2018

by Rebecca Mason, CPDT-KA

Does your pup jump up on strangers, potty on the carpet, and get into things he shouldn’t chew on? When dealing with problem behaviors, prevention is everything!

When it comes to potty training, monitor how much space you give your puppy. Until he is fully potty trained, do not leave him loose in the house when you’re gone, nor let him have the full run of the place when you’re home. Only give him access to the room you’re in. First, this will keep Fido from getting into expensive (or toxic) things that aren’t his. Second, if he starts sniffing and pacing, you’ll know he needs to go out. But you can’t see his signals if you’re in the bedroom and he’s in the den!

Has your puppy ever failed to potty outside, only to come indoors and immediately urinate? This can easily be prevented by taking your dog to potty on leash… even if you have a fenced yard. Follow these steps for a successful trip to the grass:
● Monitor when your pup eats, drinks, sleeps, and plays. He will need to go out after all of these things!
● Take your pup out on leash and go to the same area of the yard each time. This will become his “potty spot,” enabling him to know what’s expected of him when you take him out.
● Stand still, giving your pup no more than 5-6 feet of leash. If he tries to pull away, hold your ground. Your pup will sniff the area around you a couple of the times, and when he realizes he’s sniffed all that there is to sniff in that spot, he will get bored and realize he has to potty! Bingo!
● If your dog doesn’t potty after following these steps, place him in his crate for about 10 minutes. This will give him time to process his food or drink and realize he needs to go. Then simply repeat the process!

For dogs who love to jump up for attention, this is easily prevented by teaching your pup some obedience skills. In our classes, we teach dogs to sit or lay down for petting. This is especially important when greeting small children who are easily knocked off balance. Kids love to pet dogs and this is great for their socialization, so set your dog up for success!

Any time you have a problem behavior, it isn’t enough to just correct your dog – you have to teach him what you want him to do. You can’t extinguish a behavior unless you replace it with something else! Only then does your dog know what’s expected of him, and all it takes is a little prevention.