If you think the most important key to having a dog that behaves is obedience training, I have some news for you. It isn't. When a dog whines, barks, pees on the floor or does any other unwanted behavior, obedience training won't always fix the problem.

Sometimes your dog's behavior problem is much deeper. For example, a dog that chews on furniture may be doing it because they have a gum disease, causing their teeth to hurt. Or it could be a teething puppy. Some trainers may suggest teaching obedience training commands to stop them every time you see them chewing, but will that really solve the problem? No. To solve the problem you need to solve the actual issue, by taking them to the vet for the gum disease, or buying special teething toys for your puppy.

Another example is a dog that's aggressive toward other dogs. You could deal with it using obedience training methods, having your dog sit down when they're about to chase after or pick a fight with another dog. However, the problem isn't being solved, you're just treating the symptom. It's possible your dog has anxiety or other issues causing the aggression.

So how can this be fixed? Well, be sure to take your dog on regular visits to the veterinarian, because bad behavior can be caused by medical problems. Definitely take your dog in if they have a sudden change in behavior.

Read up on dog psychology. It'll really help. You'll have the ability to understand how your dog is communicating with you. Since stress and anxiety are major causes of behavior problems, it's very helpful to be able to read your dog's body language and know when there's something wrong.

Dog obedience training is still important, it's just not the only thing you need. Identify and solve the true cause of the problem. Don't always resort to punishment. Dogs need rewards and praise.

If you approach dog training armed with a good attitude and the right techniques, you'll succeed. Don't give up. Just in the US, more than 9 million dogs are put to sleep each year. 65% of those are being killed because of behavior problems. Your dog doesn't deserve to be one of them. If you don't think you can fix your dog problems on your own, get some help from a qualified dog behaviorist.

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