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Behavior

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If puppies are crying in the night because they’re bored and want some attention, giving it to them will only reinforce the behavior, and they’ll learn that crying gets them what they want.

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The moment your child re-engages in a cooperative manner, praise your child enthusiastically and specifically. For example, “Way to go on joining us at the dinner table respectfully! I am really proud of you.” If you start to hear pleading for a cookie again, go back to ignoring the dandelions. When the rose — your child — returns, provide more praise. You may feel silly bouncing back and forth, but it’s important to water the appropriate flower in the garden — that is, the behavior you want to see.

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Any behavior that gets attention will continue. Imagine a garden: your child is the rose that needs just the right amount of sunlight and water; the dandelions are the unhelpful behaviors, such as tantrums. If you so much as blink in a dandelion’s direction, you know that you will have a garden full of dandelions. This is why after validating once, the next step is to ignore.

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Dogs can also develop behavioral changes such as confusion, increased vocalization, anxiety, changes in sleep cycles and house soiling. Older people can develop what we term as “senility.” In dogs, we term that behavior as canine cognitive disorder. This disorder should only be considered when other medical conditions have been ruled out. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian for advice on caring for your senior dog.

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Pets can show signs of senility. Stimulating them through interactions can help keep them mentally active. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, consult your veterinarian.

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Boredom can create a list of undesirable behaviors, such as: digging, chewing, barking and jumping, so stimulating your dog's mind is equally important as stimulating his body. Indoor games of fetch and basic obedience commands will help keep your dog's mind and body from wandering off limits.

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Stimulate your dog's body and mind with consistent exercise. Regular exercise can be the key to solving a plethora of canine behavior issues, so don't sacrifice your dog's exercise because of a changing routine or weather conditions. Rain or shine, warm weather or cold, daily, physical exercise is a must.

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Another way to manage your dog during mealtimes is to teach basic skills such as a reliable down-stay.

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Do not give in when your dog begs you. You need to ignore the begging all the time, and make sure friends and family members do the same.

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While all hikers seem to think their dog "isn't aggressive," exploring a new trail can sometimes result in a dog displaying uncharacteristic behaviors, especially if they encounter a new situation that makes them feel threatened. When an unleashed dog on the trail displays aggressive or overly excited behavior, many hikers perceive this as a danger and respond accordingly, sometimes even shooting dogs that are off-leash.

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