Dog Training Tips and Links
Canine Information


Recommended pages
Recommended books
| Sitemap |
Gift Ideas
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
by James M. Giffin, Liisa D. Carlson
More information:
The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms
by Michael S. DVM GARVEY
More information:
UC Davis Book of Dogs :
The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies
by Mordecai Siegal
More information:
The information contained in this article expresses the opinions and views of the original author(s) of the article. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.
No responsibility or liability can be accepted for any loss or damage which results from using or misinterpreting any opinions uttered, products suggested or information mentioned in this article.
The Canine Information Library 2003-2006 © All rights reserved. Article on this page copyright © 2001-Present
Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. No part of may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission.
Ear Mites
Ear Scratching

Eye Care and Disease
Diarrhea and Vomiting
Many dogs are given up to rescue because of canine behavior problems that could be easily corrected without too much trouble if their owners just knew a couple of tricks and tips to help their dog understand what they expect from them.

Common problem behavior in dogs are: leash-pulling, excessive barking, housebreaking relapses, destructive chewing, dominance behavior, accepting a new dog into the family.


A common complaint of many dog owners is having a dog who pulls on the leash. Teaching leash manners can be challenging, but stopping your dog from leash pulling is possible if you are consistent and know a couple of basic principles. Leash training should start as soon as possible and must be consistent. As a dog trainer said: "Remember that if you continue to walk while your puppy is pulling, you are, in fact, teaching your dog to 'Mush'."[1]

The second part of this article provides a humane and effective method of controling leash pullers that you can apply using a regular collar and lead: Easy, no-pull solution.

The following article explains how you can teach your dog to stay as close as possible to you, by changing direction abruptly everytime your dog pulls on the leash.

Also see: Prevent puppy pulling

An alternative to teaching leash manners may be to teach your dog to 'heel', i.e. to watch you and walk precisely at your side.
More about teaching your dog to heel on the following page:

Teaching your dog to heel

Excessive barking

Barking is one of the most difficult canine behavior problems to modify, because it is a "self-reinforcing" activity for the dog. The act of barking is its own reward in many instances. However, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize barking. The first step is to understand why your dog is barking, determine for yourself in which instances the barking is acceptable and in which not, and then try some of the techniques outlined in the following article:

In a last resort you can try bark collars.  If all other techniques failed they may be a humane alternative to giving away your dog. More about bark collars in the following article:

Destructive chewing

Chewing itself is a normal and necessary behavior, especially in puppies. However, what began as something cute may soon become a problem as your puppy grows and starts chewing your furniture or valuable items. First, have your pet examined by your veterinarian to exclude an underlying medical or psychological cause. Provide plenty of safe chewing devices and redirect any other chewing back to the authorized chewing toys. Consistently reward appropriate chewing behaviors and booby-trap inappropriate items. More on the following page.

Accepting a new dog into the family

Dogs are pack animals which means that they need to establish a social structure called a dominance hierarchy. This social structure serves to maintain order, reduce conflict and promote cooperation among pack members. Most dogs also have strong territorial instincts, which means that they may defend territory against intruders or rivals. The need for social structure and territoriality will be most visible when a new dog is introduced to their household.

More about introducting a new dog into the family.

Dominance behavior

Some dogs will challenge their owners for dominance, which means that they will challenge them in
certain situations. Signs of dominance behavior are: not obeying well-known commands, insisting on being petted or played with, growling or baring teeth when you try to take their food or toys, etc.

To establish yourself as the leader of the pack:

- never feed your dog before yourself and your family. In nature, the right to eat first goes to the leader of the pack.
- never move out of the way for your dog.
- do not allow your dog to paw, bark or jump up for attention.
- Use a training technique called "Nothing In Life Is Free" to establish your leadership in a safe, non-confrontational way.

This training technique requires that your dog obeys at least one command (such as "sit") before you give him anything (dinner, treat, toy, putting on his leash). Make sure your dog knows the command well and understands what you want before you begin practicing "nothing in life is free.  Otherwise start by teaching him a couple of basic commands first, using positive reinforcement.

At the first signs of dominance aggression consult a behavior specialist. Avoid any form of physical punishment to prevent escalation, which could result in a bite or a severe attack.

Housebreaking problems

Medical causes, changes in diet and emotional upsets (moving to a new home, introducing a baby or a a new pet, etc.) can cause temporary lapses in housetraining. Also puppies which have spent the first weeks of their lives in (industrial) kennel conditions and smaller dog breeds, such as pugs, may take longer to housebreak.

If your adult dog starts going indoors, take him to the veterinarian to rule out an underlying health problem. Diabetes, worms and urinary infections may cause incontinence.

Read the following page about housebreaking the adult dog, for more information.