Compulsive Dog Behavior

Barking
Not all dog barking is compulsive; most of it is normal and natural. Dogs bark to greet us and other dogs. They also bark to alert, threaten and simply to communicate with other dogs in the neighborhood. The only kind of barking that is bad is the excessive one -- the one that can not be controlled.

If your dog is barking excessively, grab him by the neck, look at him in the eyes, shake him fast and firmly and order him to "shut up".

Licking
Obsessively licking the front paws can actually be a hygienic disorder. The veterinarian will be able to prescribe something specific for your dog so that he can reduce that unpleasant activity. This problem is especially common in the Labrador Retriever and the Doberman.

food Problems
Ever since the moment your dog arrives at your house, teach him to eat alone in his own bowl. If you feed your dog before people finish eating, you will teach him to obey the orders because he will learn that humans are more dominant than dogs.

Don't leave food in places that are at his access, neither feed him off the table. If your dog shows any sign of problem with the food, it will usually not be difficult to solve it.

Stealing food
Looking for food is a natural dog instinct and they don't necessarily do it because they are hungry.

If your dog is used to digging for food in the trash, provoke a situation thatwill make him want to steal food in your presence. When he starts stealing, give him the firm order to "leave it" so that the animal can understand that this activity is not allowed.

Cover the trash can and make the trash less attractive by spraying it with a non-toxic but bitter substance. Let the dog dig in it. In order for this method to be successful, the unpleasant flavor of the wastebasket should be more intense than the flavor of the food that is in the trash.

Begging for food
Dogs that approach the table asking for food can be a real nuisance. Actually, giving your dog some food every now and then is even worse than giving him food every time you sit down to eat. Regular habits are easier to change than the ones that occur every now and then.

Solution
1. Teach your dog to eat only when he is allowed to. Order him to "sit" while you prepare his food, away from the table.

2. Place his food on the floor, but make the wait until you give him the order to "eat", "good", or "ok".

Rejecting the food
Some dogs refuse to eat the food they are offered. This usually happens with toy breeds, but it can also occur with big, thin breeds. Compared to us humans, dogs can go for longer periods without eating.

Solution
A healthy dog will never starve to death with a bowl of food in front of him. With the veterinarian's permission, leave the food for your dog for only ten minutes and remove it after that. Repeat this everyday with small quantities until your dog eats it all.

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