My dog has a behavior problem!
Okay, first of all, breathe. Don’t panic, we can give you some tips to get you started down the right path.
First, reach out to one of our AMPPP Behavior Professionals to get help for your specific needs. Our AMPPP Behavior Professionals have all shown an aptitude and experience for working with behavioral challenges. They will work to change the root cause of the behavior, not simply mask or suppress the behavior.
In the meantime, here are the first steps…
If this is or was a sudden or drastic change in behavior or you have seen other changes (in appetite, in sleeping, in energy level, mobility, eye sight/hearing, or your dog is older), schedule a visit with your veterinarian.
Avoid the situation that caused the problem. Do whatever you need to do, for the short term, to prevent the problem from happening again in the future.
My dog bit, nipped, barked at aggressively, or tried to bite a guest:
Do not invite guests over for the time being. If you cannot avoid the guests, give your dog a stuffed kong and keep your dog away from guests by using their crate in a separate area, a secure gate in a doorway, or put them in another room behind a latched door.
My dogs got into a fight:
Separate the dogs for a few days to let everyone settle down. If the fight resulted in injuries, was hard to break up, resulted in a human being bitten, or had no obvious trigger, continue to crate and rotate (one dog secured in a crate or in another room while the other has time with the family and then swap dogs) until a professional can come in and evaluate. If there were no injuries and it was easy to break up or there was an obvious trigger, you can try a gradual reintroduction starting with leashed walks and removing/avoiding triggers, but only if it is safe to do so.
My dog is barking and lunging at dogs or people on walks:
If you have a yard and don’t need to walk them, avoiding walks all together for the short term is okay. You can also walk very early (6am) or very late (10pm) or drive to a less busy location to avoid as many triggers as possible. Don’t let your pup greet people or dogs while on walks. Keep your dog on leash.
My dog growled, or snapped, or bit me while I was trying to take an item from him or around his food:
If it was a specific item, remove that item from the environment so he has nothing to guard. If it was around your dog’s food bowl, try removing the bowl from the picture and hand feed meals for the time being.
My dog has separation anxiety and has escaped the crate or caused major damage:
Definitely check in with your veterinarian, they may be able to provide some assistance while you contact our behavior professionals. If your dog escaped the crate, you might try leaving him in a puppy proofed area, for some dogs it’s an issue of confinement. If your dog was not crated and caused damage, you might try crating them to see if that prevents them from hurting themselves.