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1. CONSTANT barking, which means they’re bored, anxious, or need attention

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Okay, so we know all dogs bark now and then. They do this when they’re happy or excited, or want to alert their human to ‘dangers’. But some dogs bark CONSTANTLY. And this usually means they’re bored, anxious, or need a bit of attention. Take responsibility for your pet and get stuck into training.

2. Digging where they shouldn’t be

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Does your yard have a ton of holes in it? Digging can be a classic sign of boredom (or an attempt to escape!), so be sure to try and give your furry friend plenty of mental stimulation. Think about treating them to new toys and bones, and reward them for being the best floof around.

3. Chewing up the entire house shows they’re unsettled

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If your dog’s chewing is driving you insane, you need to think about WHY they’re chewing in the first place. Stress, teething, and separation anxiety all play their part, so be sure to investigate. You’ll also need to step up your game as an owner with some proper training.

4. Scratching, which needs to be addressed ASAP

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Scratching is a habit you need to get your dog to break ASAP.  They could end up hurting a child or an elderly person, so you should take the initiative to deal with this issue. If not, you’ll just look like yet another irresponsible dog owner. Speak to a dog trainer if you need some help.

5. Peeing and pooping all over the place

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This is a tell-tale sign that your dog isn’t doing okay – especially if they’re a senior pooch. Keep a close eye on what they’re eating, and look for signs of illness, nervousness or stress. If you’re struggling to find out what’s wrong or worried about your dog’s health, pop them down to the vet’s office.

6. Jumping on people, which is both annoying and dangerous

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Hands up – who’s ever had to deal with an annoying dog jumping all over them? Nip this behavior in the bud by teaching them to stay or sit when they meet people. It can take time, effort and a whole lot of treats, but your visitors will thank you for it.

7. Pulling on leash means you need to step up your training

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This is a classic bad habit. But there’s one key thing to bear in mind here; your dog will only do it if they can get away with it! So next time your dog starts to pull on their leash, stop walking and wait for your furry friend to calm down before you continue.

8. Biting shows a lack of boundaries

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This is a big no-no. You need to set some proper boundaries for your dog, and they need to know when they’ve crossed the line. So if they start biting when you’re playing with them, stop what you’re doing and withdraw your hands. Walk away from them if they’re still misbehaving.

9. You yell at them, which triggers their stress response

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Yelling at your dog really isn’t the way forward. It can actually trigger your pooch’s stress response, which means they’ll get really aggressive or super nervous. So if you don’t want your dog to become more reactive, start showing them a little more kindness!

10.  Not coming back to you when you let them off the leash

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Bad dog owners really struggle to recall their dogs. But there’s some good news; you can fix this habit with quality training. Start their training in a safe space without distractions, and practice recalling them while using their favorite treats and toys.

11. Aggression to humans, which shows gaps in your training

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This is a clear sign that all is not well with your dog. While owners can often blame their pets for their aggression, chances are, there will be gaps in your training. Monitor them to find out if they’re being aggressive in particular situations, and give them reassurances to help them calm down.

12. Aggression to other dogs because they’re not used to socializing

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If your pet has a problem with other dogs, it might be because they weren’t socialized very well as a puppy. While this isn’t something you can’t completely cure, you can improve the situation by keeping your dog on a leash and investing in reward-based training.

13. Rolling in mud

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There are some dogs out there that absolutely adore rolling in the mud. Most owners probably don’t though! While this is a completely normal behavior, it can become a bit of a bad habit for some dogs, so try to distract them with a toy and reward them with a treat or praise.

13. They don’t listen to your commands – ever

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If your dog won’t listen to your commands, it’s down to something you’re doing (or not doing) as an owner. Remember to speak clearly and calmly, and be assertive as you give commands. You should also be consistent with your behavior so your dog doesn’t get mixed messages.

14. You keep rewarding them for bad behavior

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This is one of the most common problems that dog handlers come across. You might not even realize you’re doing it (or just giving your dog treats so they be quiet) but giving your dog rewards for bad behavior is a habit that can be hard to break over time.

15. Begging for food with those classic puppy dog eyes

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Giving your dog a sneaky bit of food from the table can’t be that bad, right? Well, it can actually be worse than you think. It’s really common for dogs to be overfed these days, and they can end up with diabetes and other conditions. Plus, they’ll expect food every time you’re making dinner…

16. You repeat commands – over and over

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If you find yourself constantly repeating commands to your dog, you might want to think about how you speak to them. When your dog doesn’t respond the first time, repetition won’t make much difference; if anything, it teaches the dog that your command is meaningless.

17. They have FAR too much energy

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If your dog is racing around the house 24/7, it’s a clear sign that your life is pretty hectic. Dogs feed off energy from humans, so if you have a chaotic household, chances are, your dogs will be chaotic too. Make sure you’re walking them every single day to tire them out.

18. Growling ‘for no reason’

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Some dogs get into the habit of ‘growling at nothing’. But owners should pay attention, as this is a common way for your furry friend to tell you something important. Growling can be health-related, especially in senior dogs, so if you have any concerns, get them down to the vet.

19. They destroy EVERYTHING in the house

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If it seems like your dog is on a mission to destroy your entire house, you’ll need to take a look at what kind of owner you are. Dogs that act up in this way are usually stressed, anxious, or have pent-up energy, and are in serious need of mental and physical stimulation.

20. They can’t sit quietly – ever

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Dogs that can’t ever sit quietly will need some help from their owners to break the habit. You can also get some assistance from doggy daycare too. If they’re stressed or bored, they can benefit from more exercise, as well as some handy clicker-based training.

21. They always want to play when they see a passerby

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Does your dog love attention? A lot of dogs really do enjoy getting a scratch from a stranger – and it seems to be down to reinforcement. If you let your dog do it over and over again, then guess what; they’ll just keep doing it! Put your pooch on a leash or in a harness or start reward training.

22. They really don’t feel comfortable around other pets

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While lots of dogs are best friends with other pets, some are super unsettled – and it’s down to you to make the right changes. Let your pets interact in a calm, safe environment, and give your dogs encouragement and praise throughout. This should help them feel less stressed.

23. They’re scared of people because they didn’t get socialized as a puppy

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Stranger anxiety can be down to genetics, past abuse, or a lack of socialization as a puppy. This is why it’s a good idea to prep your visitors beforehand, and ask them to ignore your dog as they come in. They can then toss your dog a few treats now and then so they begin to associate strangers with rewards.

24. They bark at cars

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If your dog is bored, or thinks that cars pose a threat, you’ll need to get stuck into some training. Redirect their attention and distract them with a toy or a treat, and give them lots of praise when they make some progress. Remember – consistency is key!

25. They steal food – and get away with it

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If you’re noticing some sneaky food-stealing behavior from your pooch, it’s important to break this habit as quickly as possible. Set a strict and consistent feeding routine for your dog, and ensure you’ve fed them properly before you sit down for your own meal.

26. Severe separation anxiety

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Since the pandemic, separation anxiety has become a huge problem for dogs and owners. A lot of dogs aren’t used to being away from their owners, and can become super stressed. Be sure to give your pet lots of cool things to do when they’re on their own like chew toys and treat balls.

27. They’re scared of other dogs but you force them to interact

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Some dogs are absolutely terrified of other dogs. It’s important not to punish your pet for this, or force them to interact with others if they’re nervous. Step up your training skills with positive reinforcement, or seek some advice from a canine specialist.

28. Noise phobia, which develops from a lack of exposure to noise as a puppy

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If you’ve had your dog since they were teeny tiny puppy, you should have taken the time to expose them to noises. Dogs can struggle with noise in adult life if they haven’t had this training, so try and gently get them used to sounds at low levels. Reward them for their progress.

29. Random howling

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This can be a tricky one. While dogs can naturally howl to communicate, they might also be trying to alert you to something. Some dogs also tend to howl when they feel lonely, or if they’re sick. Keep an eye on the situation and consult a doctor if you have concerns.

30. Chasing other dogs

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If you’ve let your furry friend chase other dogs before, you’ve basically told your pet it’s okay for them to do so. So it’s down to you to break the habit! Instead of shouting at your dog, keep them on a leash while training them, and give them lots of praise and rewards for their hard work.


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