Why Does My Dog Do That?

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Does your dog love to bark or chew your favorite shoes to shreds? How about lunging at cars or pulling your arm off when they see another dog? We get asked these questions a lot by new and experienced dog owners and there's no one good answer, but we do have a few books to recommend to resolve some, if not all, of these terribly annoying habits.

Pulling on the Leash

When we read this book, it was like a lightbulb went off. If you don't know who Turid Rugaas is, she's an incredible Norwegian dog trainer who has studied canine social language for over thirty years. She really knows her stuff and this book is just one of a handful that she's written. Is walking your dog a tug-of-war? Turid really loves the "be a tree" trick and she gives lots of troubleshooting tips if Fido is just not cooperating no matter what you try. This is a must-read!

Lunging at Other Dogs

Does your dog get excited or lunge at other dogs without any warning? It might be time to brush up on your dog communication skills. Like humans, dogs get stressed too! Dogs get stressed in situations of threat, of pain, or of discomfort. They get stressed when we are angry or afraid. Excitement and dogs running at full speed can stress them out too. Perhaps your dog is stressed and they react in ways like lunging, jumping, or barking. In her book, Turid guides us in learning about the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways that dogs communicate with each other and with us.

Sudden Aggression and Barking

Animal behaviorist and dog trainer Patricia B. McConnell makes the case that our behavior strongly dictates the behavior of our canine companions. Like Turid, Patricia also believes that most doggy disobedience is caused by our own subtle behavioral cues. When we walk our dog and tighten the leash as another dog approaches, how does that influence our pup on the other end of the leash? A lot, actually.

What are some of the best tips you've received on the topic of doggy obedience?

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