How to Manage Roughhousing Behavior in Dogs

By May 30 | See Comments

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Dogs love roughhousing, whether it is by biting, nipping or lunging. If you engage in roughplay with your pet sometimes, and forbid him from the same during other times, then you will leave him confused. If your pet notices any cues that are similar to when you’re roughhousing, he’ll probably respond by playing rough; even if that is not what you intended to do. The bigger problem is if your pet responds the same way when he picks up similar cues from strangers or acquaintances. We take a look at how you can manage your pet’s roughhousing problem.

How to get roughhousing under control

If your puppy shows biting or nipping behavior, try to redirect his attention to chewable toys. Your pet may usually try to nip or bite you when you’re petting her. Make sure you have a toy at hand so she bites it instead, while you pet her. If your pet does take a nip out of nowhere, you want to discourage the behavior instantly. Obedience training is a necessary part of raising your pet right. Look at her and respond with a loud ‘ow’ or ‘ouch’, and then do not give her any attention for a while. This way she knows that a bite or nip is not acceptable behavior, and it could mean end of play time. You can get your puppy to stop lunging at people or pets, using the same technique. You do not want to use your hands to move your pet away, as he she will just assume that you are playing with her. Of course, if you have children playing with pets, it gets a lot more difficult to train your pet the same way. You can either train your pet so she does not engage in roughhousing, or tell your kids how to react to such situations. Once your pet exhibits the desired behavior, reward her with

treats

.

When should roughhousing be allowed?

Roughhousing is not always a bad thing, in fact it is necessary in some cases. For instance, if your dog is being trained to work with the law enforcement wing, then your dog will have to develop rough play instincts and drives. Of course, you want to train your dog so he does that only when you give him the cue, and stops when asked to. Make sure you keep your dog’s excitement levels in check, so he doesn’t go overboard. You can take breaks from time to time to make sure your dog’s rough house play is under control.

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