Top Ten Most Annoying Dog Behaviors and How to Fix Them – Part One

If you have a dog, you likely have to deal with at least one annoying behavior from him. Read on for some tips on how to deal with the most common aggravations.

Jumping up on people

Yes, we all know that having guests come to the door is sooooooo exciting! However, most of them would prefer not to be bowled over by your dog as soon as they enter the house. The simple solution to this problem is to keep your dog away from the door. A simple baby gate across the entryway to the room where your primary door is located will do the trick. However, this may just delay the problem until your guest crosses the room and wants to go somewhere else in the house other than the living room or kitchen (depending on which door your guests use).

It’s far better to train your dog not to jump. The first step is to firmly tell your dog “no” when he jumps on someone. However, as you can see, this is too late, so you want to try to correct him before he jumps. Distracting him with something else as you answer the door may do the trick. Consider keeping a squeaky toy near your door and squeaking it as the guest comes in. This may provide enough of a diversion to keep him from jumping.

Slightly more aversive is to take an empty, rinsed-out soda pop can and put a few pennies in it. Shake the can near the dog when he looks like he is about to jump. Chances are, it will scare him a bit and keep him from jumping. No matter what you use to distract him, be sure to praise him if he keeps all four feet on the floor.

Another trick is to teach your dog that the proper response to a doorbell is to sit. You must overcome the dog’s natural tendency to get excited about the doorbell, but with patience, praise, and maybe a few treats, you should be able to teach him the desired behavior.

As a last resort, you may have to give your dog a firm knee to the chest when he jumps up. The goal is not to cause pain, but to show him that it is not acceptable to jump up. As your knee comes up, you should also be telling him, in no uncertain terms, to “sit!” It doesn’t take very many times before your dog will automatically sit when you enter the house.

With any of these measures, consistency is key. Make sure everyone in your home is committed to training the dog not to jump on guests. If you are teaching the dog to sit when a visitor knocks, and your son’s friends are patting their chests, encouraging the dog to jump up, your dog will have absolutely no idea which response is the correct one.

Drinking from the toilet

This is a tough behavior to extinguish, as your dog does not understand that the toilet is not just one big water dish. The easy answer is to shut the door and / or the toilet lid, but if you have kids who can’t remember to take these precautions, you may have to actually train your dog. This can be especially important if you use toilet cleaners and fresheners that remain in the water such as those that turn it blue.

dog drinking water
Providing your dog with fresh water keeps them out of the toilet

Vigilance and consistency are key in keeping your dog out of the toilet, as in all types of dog training. The dog must be told “no!” and removed from the bathroom every single time he drinks from the toilet. In addition, if you see the dog heading down the hall, you should try to distract him, then praise the living daylights out of him when he doesn’t complete his mission.

If your dog tends to drink from the toilet only when someone has forgotten to flush, there are automatic flushers such as those seen in airports that aren’t outrageously priced and can be retrofitted to your existing fixtures.

Finally, make sure you provide your dog with access to fresh, cool water from an appropriate source at all times.

Giving kisses

Many people don’t mind a dog who licks them in the face, but many, many, many people do mind. Particularly those who know that the same dog’s tongue has been in the toilet or in other unsavory places. Your dog sees nothing wrong with sharing the love he has found in these places, but you may not agree. Some dogs even have an uncanny ability to catch you just as you are yawning or have your mouth open for some other reason.

dog kissing girls face
Not everyone loves a dog kiss

You might consider allowing the dog to lick your hand, or you may want to extinguish the behavior completely. To completely stop the licking, whoever the dog chooses as the recipient of his kisses must firmly push the dog’s nose away from her face and tell him, “no!” A penny can or distraction with a toy may also help redirect the dog to a more appropriate behavior. If you are willing to meet the dog halfway by allowing hand licking, simply push the dog away from your face while putting your hand in front of his mouth, then praising him when he licks the expected target.


You will likely not want to totally extinguish barking behavior because it can have protective value for you and your home. Many security experts say that a barking dog is the most effective burglary preventative known to man. However, a dog who barks all of the time is not warning you of anything; he is simply annoying the neighbors.

Try to figure out what triggers your dog to bark. If he is chasing squirrels in the backyard, you may have to allow him to relieve himself elsewhere. If he is barking at the neighbor’s cat through your bedroom window, consider closing the bedroom door so he doesn’t see the cat. The tough one to overcome is the dog who barks at “no see ‘ems” such as random air molecules.

It is definitely NOT inhumane to muzzle your dog, particularly if the choice is between controlling the barking or giving the dog to the shelter because your landlord kicks him out. However, it is definitely preferable to try to find other means to keep the barking to a minimum.

dog barking
Find out what triggers your dogs barking

Another tactic is to keep the dog confined to areas of your home where he is least likely to be heard by your neighbors. For example, if your dog barks mostly at night, train him to sleep in his kennel and place the kennel in the basement or laundry room.

If your neighbors are complaining that the dog barks when you are not home, you may need to consider how your own behavior is affecting your dog. Is he suffering from separation anxiety? Perhaps you need to hire a dog walker or take the dog to a daycare facility to keep him from getting so lonely. Maybe you can consider adopting a friend to keep him occupied while you are away. Even simple things like making sure he has enough toys to keep his mind occupied may help.

Destroying your stuff / chewing on things

Let’s face it, when your dog is young and teething, he’s going to chew things. The question is whether he’s going to destroy your expensive furniture or his own toys. There are products such as bitter apple that can be sprayed on things you have caught your dog chewing. Its bitter taste will discourage your dog from returning to the scene of the crime, but he will likely find another target.

Before you bring your puppy home, crawl around your home and see what is at eye level when you’re the size of a puppy. Put away the things that look especially enticing. Block off the room where you have your grandmother’s priceless hutch or you may find it legless the first time your puppy is in that room unattended.

The easiest way to deter your dog from chewing your stuff is to provide plentiful and appropriate chew toys for your dog. Include a variety of textures such as ropes, plush stuffed toys, bones, and hard rubber toys. Some dogs appreciate toys that make noise such as those with squeakers or those that make a “crinkly” sound.

dog chewing shoe
Provide your puppy with toys so he doesn't destroy your favourite pair of shoes

If your dog craves mental stimulation as well as the chewing action, consider Kong brand toys, which allow you to put treats in the middle of the toy. The dog must use some brain power to figure out how to get the treat out.

Make sure the dog’s own toys are strategically placed throughout your home so he has access to them whenever he gets the urge to chew. Praise him when you see him chew his own stuff, and firmly tell him “no!” when he starts on something of yours. Redirect him to his own toys and praise him every time he gets it right.

The remaining five most annoying behaviors will be covered in part two of this series, including humping your leg, scooting and licking their hind ends, excessive aggression, using your living room as a bathroom, and counter surfing.

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Hello. Your dog Midnight is really a star. She's good in acintg especially when she started seriously searching for something in the snow at the beginning of the video. Then later on, she started rolling down the snow. Ha ha And you have a good quality of video. Someday, I'll buy one too so that I can start taking videos to funny things. Thanks for sharing.
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