When should you start obedience training with your dog?

As soon as possible! The phrase "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is simply untrue - every dog can be trained if you're willing to put in the time and effort! Training is easiest with puppies, since they're like sponges, soaking in the world around them, especially between 4 to 14 weeks of age.

Dog behaviors do not resolve on their own. It's best to catch any unwanted behaviors as early as possible, as this gives you a better chance of correcting them in the future.

Some breeds are predisposed to certain behaviors, so it's important that you make sure to do your research before bringing a dog into your household. Thorough research will give you an idea of what obedience training is essential for your pup prior to even meeting them - preparation is the key to success!

Golden Retriever holding red leash in mouth & shaking technician's hand.

What are the most common behavior problems in dogs? And how can they be addressed?

- Aggression

- Barking

- Chewing

- Crate training

- Digging

- Eating undesirables like poop

- Food guarding

- Howling

- Mounting

- Nipping, mouthing and play biting (puppies and adult dogs)

- Potty training

- Separation anxiety

- Whining

Can behavior issues in my dog ever indicate that they are sick?

Yes - your dog's behavior changing dramatically within a short amount of time can indicate a potential medical condition. A dog becoming fearful and cowering or aggressive when touched are two common signs that your pup is experiencing pain. Always give us a call if you see strange changes in your pup's behavior so that we can notify your veterinarian and get an appointment scheduled, if needed.

What are some behavior problems that may be associated with a medical condition?

- Bad breath

- Circling

- Head pressing

- Panting

- Urinating

- Scooting

- Yawning

How can a veterinarian help address my dog’s behavior problems?

By keeping your pet up to date on their annual exam, your vet will have an up-to-date idea of your pup's general temperament & behavior based on what you've shared in the past. This give your vet a better change to recognize behavioral issues as they arise and potentially determine what is causing said behavior. They can also help you to determine what kind of training would benefit your pup.

Tricolor long-coated dog looking at viewer.

What other dog behavior management options are available?

At La Cumbre, we carry some over-the-counter options for anxious dogs. The first is Thunder Ease, available in both a spray (we use this on our bandanas in office) and a plug-in diffuser. ThunderEase is a synthetic pheromone that mimics a pheromone that a mother dog produces to keep their litter of puppies calm. The spray is a great option for situational anxiety, while the diffuser is best for separation & other adjacent anxieties. We also carry Solloquin, which is a supplement your dog takes once daily to assist with behavior modification. This supplement does have a loading dose period, but is best used for ongoing management. Other options may be available, however they will need to be prescribed by your dog's veterinarian.

If you have questions regarding your dog’s behavior, give us a call. We’re always here for you!

Photo by Camylla Battani