How to Solve the 3 Biggest Problems Dog Owners Face Every Day!!!

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Numerous studies show these problems are prevalent among dog owners.

Imagine this scenario: you're basking in the sunshine at the park with your dog, enjoying the gentle breeze against your face. All seems tranquil and ordinary. Suddenly, without warning, your dog erupts into a frenzy of barking, pulling on the leash, and completely disregarding your attempts to control them. What was intended to be a leisurely stroll transforms into a chaotic ordeal. And to your dismay, this chaotic episode repeats every time you venture outdoors! How exasperating is that!!! 🤦‍♂️😩 Rest assured, you're not alone in grappling with this challenge. I, too, used to harbor a fear of dogs until we welcomed one into our family.

Yumi entered our lives as a beautiful and sweet Shi-Tzu, adding a delightful presence to our daily routines. Our mornings were filled with shared walks, covering two blocks and back in our neighborhood. Despite her small size, Yumi's encounters with other dogs in the neighborhood heightened her excitement, causing her to pull on the leash and bark persistently. Even after altering our route, the scenario remained the same. Yumi became an energetic and enthusiastic member of our family, greeting us with jumps and running back and forth upon our return from work. Her boundless energy seemed unstoppable, and she became less responsive to commands. Tragically, her health took a turn for the worse when her kidneys failed. Heartbreakingly, I was working abroad at the time and couldn't be there for her. Reflecting on this, I wish I had taken the time to understand Yumi better and address her needs. For my fellow dog owners, it's a reminder that it's never too late to invest time and effort in understanding and caring for your furry companions.

You won’t believe how many dog owners face common challenges every day and feel frustrated and helpless.

But don't worry, there is a solution. You can have your dog to behave better and enjoy a more peaceful and rewarding relationship with your furry friend.

In this page, you will learn:
        ✅ 3 Biggest Problems Dog Owners Face Everyday
        ✅ Statistics about dog owners having the same problem
        ✅ Root Causes and effects of these problems
        ✅ How to stop and deal with these

PROBLEM # 1 (BARKING)

Did you know?
In two scientific surveys of dog pet parents, approximately **1/3** of them reported their dogs barked excessively [1][2][3].
The surveys involved more than 2,000 dog pet parents from different countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Well we can't help it, barking is a natural way for dogs to communicate, but it can also be annoying and disruptive for you and your neighbors.

Some of the effects of dog barking problems to the dog owners are:

  • It can interfere with neighbors' enjoyment of their own property and affect the dog's and the owner's stress levels[4].
  • It can indicate that the dog is feeling anxious, frustrated, bored, or defensive and that their needs are not being met[5].
  • It can require behavior modification training or veterinary help to manage the barking[4][6].
  • It can lead to an inflammation of the dog's larynx if they bark all day long[7].
  • It can signal a health concern if the barking arises suddenly along with other signs of distress[8].

Your dog maybe barking excessively that it has an effect on you. But our dogs are more than just pets we treat them as family members. That being said, we must understand why they're doing it and address the root cause.

And some of the common causes of excessive barking in dogs are:

  • Territorial barking: when the dog perceives a threat to their territory or family[9].
  • Alert barking: when the dog responds to novel or unusual stimuli in their environment, such as sounds, sights, or odors[9][10].
  • Pain or illness: when the dog is suffering from a medical condition that causes discomfort or distress[9][11][13].
  • Boredom: when the dog lacks mental stimulation or physical exercise[9][12].
  • Seeking attention or separation anxiety: when the dog wants to get attention from their owner or is anxious about being left alone[9][10][12].
  • Frustration barking: when the dog is prevented from doing something they want to do or is confined to a small space[9][12].
  • Compulsive disorders: when the dog has developed a repetitive behavior that is difficult to interrupt or control[9].
  • Breed traits: when the dog belongs to a breed that is known for being vocal, such as terriers or poodles[10].

 So now that we have identified the Problem # 1 and it’s causes and effects here are some of the ways to stop excessive dog barking are:

  • Identify and remove the triggers of barking, such as visual or auditory stimuli, territorial threats, or boredom[14][15].
  • Use positive reinforcement to reward quiet and calm behavior and ignore or redirect unwanted barking[13][16].
  • Teach your dog a "quiet" command that signals them to stop barking on cue[13][15].
  • Provide your dog with enough physical and mental stimulation, such as exercise, playtime, puzzle toys, or treat-dispensing toys[14][16].
  • Keep a consistent daily schedule and meet your dog's basic needs for food, water, and temperature[16].
  • Consult a veterinarian or a professional trainer if your dog's barking is caused by pain, illness, anxiety, or compulsive disorders[14][15].

PROBLEM # 2 (LEASH PULLING)

Did you also know?

Leash pulling is also a common problem among dog owner.

A study which surveyed 3,897 dog owners in UK and Ireland found that 70% of the dogs reported leash pulling was the most commonly problem behavior [17].

It is a common problem in excited dogs who do not stop when they reach the end of the leash and even pull harder to reach something they are interested in.

Here are some of the effects of leash pulling of a dog to the dog owners are:

  • Being dangerously dragged by the dog and unable to control them[18][19].
  • Being unable to provide dogs with the leadership skills and guidance they crave[19].
  • Injuring others due to lack of control over the dog[19].
  • Having a dog that suffers from various health problems due to leash pulling, such as collar injuries, choking, strangulation, hypothyroidism, eye and ear issues, and nerve damage[19][20].

These effects are quite alarming so you need to know some of the causes why dogs pull on the leash. 

And they are:

  • They want to go in the direction of something that caught their attention, explore their surroundings, or get away from being restrained[21]
  • They are excited or anxious about something[22].
  • They tend to repeat actions that reward them, such as reaching their food bowl, toy, or another dog[21][23].
  • They are faster than humans and may pull to match their pace[21].
  • They have never been taught how to walk properly on a leash or they think that pulling is what you want them to do[22].
  • They feel pressure on their collar or harness as a sort of security in their anxiety[22].

Now that we have identified the causes, these causes can be addressed by using proper training techniques and tools.

Some of the detailed solutions to the problem of leash pulling are:

  • Massaging your dog’s neck and body before walks to relax the muscles and prepare them for exercise.[23]
  • Training your dog to stop on your command and to walk on a loose leash with a clicker, clear commands, and treats. You should avoid punishing or reinforcing the bad behavior, but use positive reinforcement instead.[24]
  • Replacing the collar and leash combo with a no-pull harness that distributes the pressure evenly over the dog's body and gives you more control over the dog. You should choose a harness that doesn't go around the dog's neck and has a front-connection for the leash.[25]
  • Taking your dog to places where you can let them off the leash and run freely without restrictions, such as a safely fenced area or a nature spot. This will satisfy your dog's need for physical and mental stimulation and reduce their excitement on the leash.[26]
  • By using positive reinforcement and proper equipment. Pulling on the leash is a natural behavior for dogs who want to explore and get to their destination faster. However, it can be dangerous and uncomfortable for both you and your dog. To prevent pulling, you need to teach your dog that walking on a loose leash is more rewarding than pulling. You can do this by stopping and waiting for a loose leash every time your dog pulls, changing direction when the leash becomes taut, and rewarding your dog with treats and praise when he looks at you or walks next to you. You can also use a front-clip harness or a head halter that gently discourages pulling without causing pain or harm to your dog. According to Vetstreet[27], this method can help you gain control and foster a more relaxed walk with your dog.
  • By understanding their body language and socialization needs. Leash aggression is a common problem that occurs when dogs feel frustrated and tense on the leash and react by lunging, barking, and snapping at other dogs. This can be caused by a lack of social skills, fear, anxiety, or territoriality. To overcome leash aggression, you need to help your dog feel more relaxed and confident on the leash and around other dogs. You can do this by exposing your dog to other dogs in a controlled and positive way, using treats and toys to distract and reward your dog when he sees another dog, and reading your dog's body language to avoid situations that may trigger his aggression. You may also need the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to assess your dog's case and provide guidance. The American Kennel Club[28] suggests that off-leash interactions with other dogs can help improve your dog's social skills and reduce his frustration.

PROBLEM # 3 (NOT LISTENING TO COMMANDS)

Did you know?

There is also a study, should you wish to ask, about dogs by Lumontod (2022) which involves 1,278 dog owners which shows 25% of the reported that their dogs did not listen to their command.[29]

There are several effects of dogs not listening to commands to the dog owners.

Some of them are:

  • Frustration and annoyance: When your dog won't listen to your commands, it can be frustrating and annoying for you as an owner. You may feel like you are not being respected or that your dog is being disobedient on purpose[30].
  • Danger and risk: When your dog won't listen to your commands, it can also be dangerous and risky for both you and your dog. Your dog may run into a busy street, eat something harmful, or get into a fight with another animal if he doesn't obey your recall, stay, or leave it commands[30][31].
  • Difficulty in training: When your dog won't listen to your commands, it can make training more difficult and time-consuming. You may have to repeat the commands many times, use higher-value rewards, or increase the distance from distractions to get your dog's attention and response[30][31][32].
  • Poor socialization: When your dog won't listen to your commands, it can affect his socialization with other people and dogs. Your dog may not learn how to greet politely, play appropriately, or respect boundaries if he doesn't listen to your cues. This can lead to behavior problems such as jumping, barking, or aggression[31][33].
  • Stress and anxiety: When your dog won't listen to your commands, it can also cause stress and anxiety for both you and your dog. You may feel frustrated, angry, or embarrassed by your dog's behavior, which can affect your relationship with him. Your dog may sense your negative emotions and become more nervous, confused, or defiant[34].

Now, you may have already been going through this already so it would be best to understand how this can be prevented by identifying the causes.

There are many possible reasons why dogs may not listen to commands, such as:

  • Energy: Dogs that have a lot of energy may not listen because they are too excited or restless to focus on your commands. They may need more physical exercise to burn off their excess energy and calm down. You can try to provide your dog with at least two daily walks that are strenuous enough to leave them panting, as well as some interactive toys or games that challenge their mind and body[35].
  • Boredom: Dogs that are bored may not listen because they are looking for something more interesting or stimulating to do. They may need more mental exercise to keep them engaged and prevent frustration. You can try to provide your dog with some food puzzles, chew toys, or enrichment activities that make them use their nose, brain, and senses[35].
  • Distraction: Dogs that are distracted may not listen because they are overwhelmed by something more exciting or enticing in the environment, such as other dogs, squirrels, smells, sounds, or people. They may need more training and practice to learn how to ignore distractions and focus on you. You can try to start your training in a quiet and familiar place, and gradually increase the level of distraction as your dog improves. You can also use high-value rewards, such as tasty treats or a favorite toy, to keep your dog's attention on you[35][36].
  • Leadership: Dogs that do not see you as the leader of the pack may not listen because they do not respect your authority or trust your guidance. They may need more structure and consistency in their daily routine to learn their place in the hierarchy and follow your rules. You can try to establish yourself as the leader by controlling the resources, such as food, toys, access to furniture, and attention, and only giving them to your dog when they behave well. You can also teach your dog some basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come, and leave it, and make them perform them before getting anything they want[35].
  • Training: Dogs that have not been trained properly or consistently may not listen because they do not understand what you want from them or what the commands mean. They may need more clear and effective communication and positive reinforcement to learn and follow your commands. You can try to use simple and consistent words and gestures for each command, and avoid confusing or conflicting cues. You can also use praise, treats, or other rewards when your dog obeys your commands, and avoid punishing or scolding them when they don't[36][37].

So by now we have classified the causes, this does not go without a solution.

Solutions to improve the dog’s listening skills are:

  • Exercise: Providing your dog with enough physical exercise can help them calm down and focus better on your commands. You can try to give your dog at least two daily walks that are strenuous enough to leave them panting, as well as some interactive toys or games that challenge their mind and body[38].
  • Mental stimulation: Providing your dog with enough mental stimulation can help them stay engaged and prevent boredom and frustration. You can try to give your dog some food puzzles, chew toys, or enrichment activities that make them use their nose, brain, and senses[38].
  • High-value rewards: Using high-value rewards, such as tasty treats or a favorite toy, can help keep your dog's attention on you and motivate them to follow your commands. You can try to use rewards that are soft, smelly, and in small bite-sized pieces, so that your dog can quickly gobble them up and focus back on you. You can also vary the rewards to keep your dog interested[39][40].
  • Distance from distractions: Increasing the distance from distractions, such as other dogs, squirrels, smells, sounds, or people, can help your dog ignore them and focus on you. You can try to start your training in a quiet and familiar place, and gradually move closer to the distractions as your dog improves. You can also use a leash or a fence to prevent your dog from chasing or escaping[39][40].
  • Structure and consistency: Establishing structure and consistency in your dog's daily routine can help them learn their place in the hierarchy and follow your rules. You can try to control the resources, such as food, toys, access to furniture, and attention, and only give them to your dog when they behave well. You can also make your dog perform some basic obedience commands before getting anything they want[38].
  • Clear and effective communication: Using clear and effective communication can help your dog understand what you want from them and what the commands mean. You can try to use simple and consistent words and gestures for each command, and avoid confusing or conflicting cues. You can also use praise, treats, or other rewards when your dog obeys your commands, and avoid punishing or scolding them when they don't[40][41].

By following these simple solutions and tips, you will be able to solve the 3 biggest problems dog owners face every day and have a happier and healthier dog. But don't just take our word for it. Try it yourself and see the difference!

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