Understanding why your canine friend does the things he does can often prove difficult for a new owner. As intuitive as dogs are, often their behaviors towards us or other dogs can seem positively alien.
As a dog owner it is important that you take the time to understand your dog's instincts and needs, and also to accept that some behaviour, no matter how inconvenient to you, are just 'a dog thing'. Barking is one dog behavior that proves troublesome for many owners. Dogs bark for all sorts of reasons, but normally because something in their environment has changed and confused or excited them.
For some dogs this could be as simple as a doorbell ringing or a car going past. If your dog is sensitive to small changes then it is important that you make sure they have a place they can go to that is reliable for them - warm, safe and relatively quiet. Another common troublesome dog behavior is biting and chewing.
Puppies need to chew for proper development of their teeth, however this can prove destructive around the house if not controlled. Make sure your dog has plenty of chew toys and use rewards to train your dog to use them. Use of a bitter anti-bite solution may also help to preserve especially valuable items, such as antique furniture.
Dogs are pack animals and as such some dogs can be aggressive toward other dogs or even humans. This is an especially complicated dog behaviour for an owner to deal with, as often the dominance mentality is deeply ingrained into the dog's personality. Prevention is always better than cure when dealing with dominance/aggression problems in dogs, so start obedience and social training while your puppy is still young.
He may be your best friend but it's important for him to remember that you are in charge! Always supervise all contact between your children and the dog and teach your children how to play with your dog so they don't torment him (or vice versa).
By taking the time to understand the ins and outs of dog behaviour you can ensure that you and your best friend have a truly wonderful life together.
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