Category Archives: Behavior Problems

Why You Can’t Get Your Dog to Listen to You

“Pit bull. One year old,” the adoption card read. “Still has that puppy energy!” Jane looked down at the wiggly dog licking her fingers through the kennel bars. She figured she could use some puppy energy in her life. She took him home and named him Watson. The shelter staff warned he’d be a handful,Continue Reading

51 Ways to Have a Better-Behaved Dog by Next Week: a Cheat Sheet for When Your Dog is Driving You Nuts

1: Convince someone to trade their well-behaved dog for yours. I’m kidding. Don’t do that. No matter how tempting it might be. So you’ve got a dog with some irritating behavior problems. Maybe he’s hyperactive and destructive, maybe he never listens to you. Maybe it feels like he’s constantly getting into trouble. Bottom line, you’reContinue Reading

How to Live with a High Energy Dog Without Losing Your Mind

It’s almost dawn. I am rudely awoken when something slobbery and Frisbee-shaped is dropped on my head. I open one eye to find Merlin’s face inches from mine, his adorable fuzzy features set in a stern expression. “Hey jerkwad,” he says, “wake up. It’s an emergency!” “What kind of emergency?” “I’m bored.” “That’s not anContinue Reading

From Leash-Puller to Urban Musher: When Dog “Behavior Problems” Are Opportunities in Disguise

Once upon a time, there was a dog named Jonas. Jonas drove his owner (me) crazy with his problem of pulling on the leash. Ever since he was a pup, as soon as you put him on leash he’d run to the end and pull like his life depended on it. This was really annoying.Continue Reading

How to Solve Practically Any Annoying Dog Behavior Problem

What if I told you that there is a magic formula that can solve all your problems? And by “all your problems” I mean all your dog problems. And by “all your dog problems” I mean most of the really irritating ones. That’s still impressive, right? *removes wizard hat* Serious though, folks. Today I’m gonnaContinue Reading

What to do When Your Dog is being a Pain in the Ass and You Feel like Crap

Sometimes, I don’t like my dogs very much. They have issues. Jonas was a fearful, under-socialized mess when I met him, and some residual effects of that remain to this day. Merlin is a recovering fear-aggressive border collie. You don’t always notice the “recovering” part. Don’t get me wrong, I love these guys. I reallyContinue Reading

100 Mildly Useful Thoughts on Training & Living with Dogs

1. Leadership is about being someone worth following. 2. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. 3. Dogs have deadly weapons in their mouths. Most will go their entire lives without using them. Don’t take this for granted. 4. You have a lot of power over your dog. With great power… 5.Continue Reading

Thinking of Returning Your New Puppy to the Shelter/Breeder? Please Read This First

Dear puppy owner, So you’ve adopted a puppy who has turned out to be a little terror, and you’re thinking of finding her a new home. Despite your best efforts, some problem has come up: the puppy won’t stop biting, won’t stop pooping all over your house, or maybe she just requires a lot moreContinue Reading

The Real Solution to Resource Guarding and Food Aggression

It’s pretty unsettling when your beloved pet fiercely defends a bowl or toy from you. Doesn’t he know who you are? Doesn’t he know that you love him dearly? That you are his best pal? That you were the one to give him that treasured object in the first place? Doesn’t he know that YOUContinue Reading

Do You Recognize These 6 Signs of a Stressed-Out Dog?

The agility student was getting fed up with her Jack Russell Terrier. When it was their turn to perform a training exercise in class, the dog would start sniffing the ground like crazy and ignore everything his owner said. “He’s so stubborn!” said the student. “I don’t know what to do to get him toContinue Reading