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Georgia SPCA: Dog Training and Behavior -- Part 9

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Information provided in these articles is intended to provide some guidance for you and your pet. Not all animals behave (or respond) in the same manner. Should you have questions or concerns about anything you see here, please consult your veterinarian. While we work with vets on a regular basis, we are not veterinarians. We feel the articles here provide useful but general guidelines and suggestions for working with your pet. Please note, some articles may be disturbing to young children. Please preview articles to make sure they are appropriate for your child.

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Solving Problem Digging

Is your dog's digging driving you to distraction? Digging is a natural behavior for dogs, but it can make us crazy if we let it. The first step in resolving your dog's problem digging is to figure out why it's happening.

Some of the solutions are the same no matter what the cause. For instance:

Jumping

Jumping up to greet us is a natural behavior for dogs. What we humans do is reinforce the jumping by giving the dog attention for it by either petting or praising, or by getting upset or excited when the dog jumps. Either way, the dog is learning that jumping gets him attention, and attention is just what your dog wants!

Inappropriate Chewing and Destructive Behavior

As humans, we often see chewing as a problem that needs to be fixed, or as something that dogs do to get back at us for something. And it's understandable: inappropriate chewing can be frustrating and expensive to us.

But all dogs use their mouths to explore and entertain themselves, and they don't think of chewing as sending us a message. The solution lies in teaching them what's acceptable and providing them with plenty of outlets for this behavior, along with enough exercise and time with you to prevent boredom and frustration.

Barking

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons:

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