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Is Your Dog on the Naughty List This Year?

Is Your Dog on the Naughty List This Year?

Every dog is a precious little (or big!) angel, though sometimes they can be just a little naughty! We’ve all had our fair share of chewed-up pillows, solo excursions through the suburbs, and surprises on the carpet where we really weren’t expecting them. Dogs, big or small, old or young, really like to act up and have fun in ways we’d prefer they wouldn’t.

But when your pooch is making trouble, do you love them any less? Of course not! 

We still love treating our pets with love and affection even when they’re not in the good books. So, we have a few tips to encourage good behaviour, even when they’ve just acted up. But first, let’s look at how dogs can misbehave and understand what they’re saying.

Is my dog naughty or nice?

Some dogs are just special little gems who are never naughty and are always just so, so sweet, but most dogs can have a bad day or two. Sometimes a generally well-behaved dog will go through a phase of acting up, and it’s not uncommon for them to act out like mischievous kids. We do, of course, love them anyway, and there are plenty of ways to encourage good behaviour, we just need to pinpoint what they’re telling us. 

So, how and why do dogs act up?

Barking and making a nuisance of themselves

Dogs communicate with their barks and woofs for a whole host of reasons, and sometimes for almost no reason at all. But if your dog is barking far more than usual, then you may have an issue. The best way to handle an avid barker is to understand just why it’s happening and deal with the issue at the source. Your dog may be barking because he's hungry, bored, excited, scared or territorial, or just because they're trying to tell you something important.

Just remember that barking isn't always naughty - a woof here or there is expected for most dogs!

Chewing on things that aren't there to be eaten 

Dental hygiene is no joke for your pet - they take it very seriously! Dogs love to chew, it feels great, and it’s fantastic for their teeth. But sometimes, a little nibble goes too far and becomes a big issue. 

A good way to prevent your dogs from eating the couch, table, door frame, and dog bed (honestly, it’s probably easier to list what they won’t chew on!) is to make sure they have the right chewy snack to munch on. A bully stick or pig ear can help them maintain their teeth in the same way that we meticulously care for our own pearly whites. 

Getting a little full-on for attention time 

We all love playing with an excited dog or waltzing around the kitchen with a furry dance partner. But we also, sometimes, need to focus on something that isn’t an excitable furry rocket zooming around the house. When you’re working from home, busy cooking dinner, or just trying to relax and watch your show, a bopping, bouncing ball of joy isn’t what you’re looking for. Doggy downtime is a necessity. 

Keep your pooch busy with a long chew like a big Roo Roll, and reward them for relaxing. Just be sure to squeeze in those precious moments of fun and play when you can! 

Digging holes and running a mock 

Dogs get bored when they have nothing to do, and they’ll let you know it! We all know that guilty puppy-dog-eyed look when your pooch knows they’ve done the wrong thing, but the next day they’ll be at it again. It’s important to keep up with your dog enrichment training so your pet doesn’t get too frustrated with a lack of stimulus. 

And when you’re enriching with your dog, what better than a few tasty treats to drive them to success?

How to treat your naughty dog

When your pooch is acting up, breaking your furniture, chewing your shoes, or bouncing and bopping through quiet time, you don’t really want to enforce bad behaviours. Ideally, you want to treat your pup and encourage good behaviour at the same time, but how can you manage that when they’ve just torn up a pillow? Withholding treats and training when they’re naughty can mean missing a valuable opportunity for a lesson, you just need to give them in the right way. 

There’s a lot of conventional wisdom telling us the do’s and don’ts of pet training, but there are few key, consistent points. 

- Don’t yell or raise your voice, most dogs don’t understand right or wrong, they just know which behaviours they’re rewarded for. 

- Take responsibility for their mistakes, dogs react to your cues and you provide the environment for them to succeed or fail at training. 

- Give them easy wins - starting small and adequately rewarding good behaviour really helps your pet build good habits. 

- Treat them with kindness - angry or abusive behaviour doesn’t tell your pet what is or isn’t right, simple kind words like “good girl” or “oops!” are nicer for your pet and work far better in training.

It’s also really important that the treats you use are as tasty as they are timely - the yummiest snacks like some super sticks or dried chicken fillet give the best impression and will have your dog behaving better in no time at all!

No matter how naughty they can be, we treat them because we love them 

Sure, it can be frustrating when your dog misbehaves, but it can also make for a great little story to laugh about too. If your pet has been acting up, post about it and tag us on Instagram or Facebook - we’d love to join in on the laughs!

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