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Four Behaviors That Scare New Dog Owners

Dogs are America’s favorite pets. They are loyal, loveable, fun, affectionate, and humorous. On the other hand, there are people who don’t share the same love for dogs. They can be aggressive, messy, smelly, and scary. These feelings towards dogs can lead people in very different directions when talking about this favorite (for some) pet. It’s when people don’t know what to expect when they adopt their first dog or they don’t know how to train their dog, that this incredibly smart breed gets stuck in the middle. At S. Miley Dog Training and Rehabilitation, we want our clients to have a better understanding of their pooches.

House Training

House training, or housebreaking, can be different for each breed of dog, and it also depends on from where the dog came. Dogs that are under 16 weeks old will have a better understanding of potty training than older dogs. However, if a young puppy is in an animal shelter, it may be more difficult for them to be house trained because they were living in cages, as opposed to a young puppy who was born to a breeder and had frequent visits outside. When training any dog, use some treats as praise when things are done correctly and tools such as gates and a crate. Things that will help your dog in their house training journey is to keep him or her on a regular feeding schedule. Things that will hinder them is leaving them in a crate for too long or not having a consistent schedule.

Destructive Chewing

This is a common misunderstanding between new dog owners and untrained dogs. Just like babies who have teeth coming in, dogs want to teethe as well. Older dogs like to chew if they are bored. This is a behavior that scares dog owners because it can be frustrating and difficult to handle when the dog is chewing on things that aren’t theirs to chew.

To prevent chewing:

  • Use a crate when you are not at home.
  • Provide your dog a variety of chew toys, including a frozen carrot, bones or balls from a pet store.
  • When your pooch is in a chewing mood, give a toy to distract from the furniture or your shoes.
  • Products such as Bitter Apple will deter them from chewing on certain items.

Running Away

This is also a frustrating occurrence for dogs that have not taken part in a dog training class. Walking your dog frequently will help with the urge to run away. An obedience class is a great way to give your dog the training they need. Keep in mind that running is much easier to prevent from the beginning, rather than trying to go back to train your pet. Consider having your pet sit before opening the door so there will be less risk of bolting. Most importantly, even though it can be tempting, putting your dog on a tether could lead to aggression.


The hardest thing for new dog owners to overcome is aggression, especially when there are little ones present. Similarly to running away, preventing aggression is easier than dog rehabilitation. Aggression can stem from various reasons, such as fear, pain, being territorial, possessive, or maternal aggression. With this behavior, it is often difficult for the average dog owner to rehabilitate. A dog trainer may be the best option in these scenarios.

Dogs are beautiful creatures, but can easily be misunderstood. If you’re looking for puppy training, dog rehabilitation, or obedience classes, contact S.Miley today. With the right care and attention, your puppy or adult dog can soon become your best friend.