Bad behavior in puppies and dogs is more prevalent now than ever before.

I recently wrote an article on people now opting for dogs over kids.

This was based on a “Today Show” piece on the subject where couples and singles alike were going overboard on how they planned to spoil their new dogs “rotten.”  I suppose if they are going to do this, then they are going to do this. It’s at simple as that. Unless they read my blog!

You may now be experiencing dog behavior problems with your now “settled in and spoiled” puppy or dog that is acting totally different from when you first brought him home. That’s when he was cute and cuddly, right?

Bad Behavior in Puppies and Dogs


Is he how out of control and doing things that are totally unacceptable like:

Being aggressive towards friends and family members – especially the kids?

How about soiling in the house?

Or stealing things that don’t belong to him – like your valuable stuff?

How about out of control jumping?

These dog behavior problems can become serious unless you nip it in the bud now. Puppy aggression or dog aggression is not good either. And, it is not just limited to biting.

Your puppy or dog might also bark and lung to try to get at a family member or friend. In these cases it’s best to keep your puppy on a leash and redirect to a down – followed by a stuffed Kong toy while we sort things out.

Early Socialization is key to deterring bad dog and puppy behavior.

Know that the window of socialization for puppies closes between 3 ½ to 5 months of age so your job is to do some heavy duty socialization and desensitization to as many people – kids and adults – as possible. Pair things of high value like food treats with kids and adults alike. The higher the value of the food treats – the better. Message to the dog:  gee, when this person comes around good stuff happens!

And the earlier you socialize your puppy, the less likely aggression will occur in the first place.

Teach your puppy how to act around children and adults – he needs to learn to respect them by not jumping and biting.

Having a well-disciplined down/stay by your side on leash is a start.

Be prepared to redirect his misguided intentions to a well-stuffed Kong toy mentioned earlier.

If you get a rescue older dog, both adolescent and adult dogs also need socialization. You can enroll your dog in day camp or go to a “good” dog park.  If you don’t like dog parks or you can’t do day camp, you can also have play groups with your neighbors. Just like there are “moms day out” with kids, make a “dogs day out”.  Take your dog to a neighbor’s house that has a great dog and let them play while you go do errands.  Swap this off with your neighbor.  The adult/adolescent dogs need to stay socialized with other dogs to keep them balanced.

Be your puppy’s leader from the start.

This is not only critical for puppies – but for older dogs as well. They both need a road map that directs them through “life with humans.” It’s not really hard to do – you just have to remember to do it. Start by putting structure in your puppy or dog’s life that requires:

  • Rules to be followed
  • Boundaries to be respected and
  • Expectations of what to do and when to do it

If it sounds like raising kids, it is – or so I’ve been told.

Keeping your puppy or dog’s stress to a minimum means keeping your emotions in check as well.

It is a well known fact that most bad behavior in puppies and dogs is a result of stress and anxiety in their lives – which usually can be traced back to the emotional relationship with their owners.

What do I mean by this?

Puppies and dogs do not do well with emotional energy like yelling or screaming. That’s the part that makes them crazy. Simply decide what you would prefer your puppy or dog to do instead of the bad behavior and begin teaching him to do exactly that.

Bad puppy and dog behavior does not have to be a part of life with your dog.  You are the key to their good behavior

Remember, sharing is caring.  If you liked this article please comment below and be sure to LIKE and TWEET it.  Print off a copy if you like and discreetly place it on your co-worker’s desk – you know the one whose house you hate to go to because of their dog?

Together We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog!


Come chat with us on FACEBOOK, I’m happy to answer questions there.

Jim BurwellJim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.
One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

(c)Jim Burwell Inc.