Ok, so if you are a regular reader of my blogs, you know that I am not afraid to dig into some of the indelicate behaviors ok, downright nasty stuff that our pups do!  So today, I’m going to address some of the things that your pooch does that are well, insatiable at best, and what you can do to fix them!

Why does my dog greet everyone by sniffing their crotch?

In dog behavior this is actually very polite!  Dogs have scent glands in their anus.  And by sniffing another dog’s behind, he can quickly tell what age and sex that dog is, along with where he’s been that day and who else he’s run into along the way.  So it’s natural for your dog to do that to humans as well.  Stopping it is a chore. . . you’re best to teach a good sit-stay and redirect your pup when visitors come to the door.

Why is my dog social at the dog park or daycare, but goes crazy and growls at dogs on the leash?

In one word, frustration!  If you’ve got a normally social dog, but you notice him acting out of sorts only when he’s on leash, it may be that he’s upset or frustrated that he can’t go meet every new friend walking down the street.  What to do?  Bulk up on training!  Teach better leash skills through distraction by practicing your stay, focus, and heel commands while on walks.  Joining a group class might go a long way towards teaching Rover to control his impulses while distracted by other pups!

Why does my dog pee a little when people pet or greet him?

Oh, here’s another one of those behaviors that people find icky, but is very gracious if you are a dog!  You see, when a submissive dog meets another dog that he would like to befriend or show that he’s unthreatening to him, he dribbles a little bit of urine in front of the dog as a peace offering.  Great, but how do you stop your pup from dribbling on your expensive area run when people talk to him? Distraction is the best cure.  When addressing your dog, keep the contact calm and unemotional.  The more excited or upset you seem, the better chance of getting one of those ‘polite greetings’.  If your dog is food motivated, walk in the door with a handful of small treats, and before acknowledging the dog, throw the treats on the floor so that your dog forgets about you and scavenges to find the treats.  This may be enough distraction to calm your dog a little and set you up for a successful greeting or getting your dog outside to pee.  One word of advice though. . . yelling at or being stern with a dog who is doing excitement peeing will only make it worse!  If your dog was trying to be submissive before, think what would happen if he thought you were mad at him!!! Oy!

Why does my dog eat poo?

In the biz, this is known as coprophagia. . . but let’s call a spade a spade. . . your dog eats poo!  And vets have found that there’s no medical reason for it.  Behaviorally, there are several reasons that dogs may snack on poo, none of which make it any less icky; most commonly boredom, ‘cleaning up’ after themselves, or simply because they have a taste for it!.  The good news is that poo eating has not been shown to cause any serious medical problems in dogs (although there are several parasites that your dog may pick up if eating other dogs poo that have been affected by them), but that doesn’t make it any less gross.  You can alleviate poo-eating by staying on top of cleaning up after your dog or sprinkling a little meat tenderizer on their food.  The meat tenderizer may taste ok going in, but it makes the poo taste sour to dogs and may prevent them from eating it.

As always, if you’ve got questions about anything your dog does or just want some first-hand advice on animal behavior, don’t be afraid to email us directly!