Got Pet Problems?

How to handle housebreaking, training and other behavioral problems for dogs and cats.

June 2018

Laura Emery, Field Editor

It’s those large, innocent, pleading eyes that pull on a pet owner’s heartstrings and so endear pet dogs and cats.

But, like most everything in life — with the good, comes the bad.

There are those other moments, too; the ones that aren’t quite so endearing, like when your dog chews up your favorite shoes, or your brand new sofa. Or, how about when your dog is unusually aggressive? Or when it won’t stop barking when you want to get some shuteye. Even cats have their moments, like when they suddenly refuse to use the litter box or scratch everything in sight and yowl the night away. These moments are all too familiar to pet owners.

Behavioral problems often cause an owner to feel they must give up their pet out of frustration. Problems can range from uncontrolled urination to dangerous aggression, from destructiveness to disobedience, from being too active and playful to ignoring you completely.

If you find yourself frustrated when it comes to dog training, housebreaking or dealing with other behavioral problems, we’ve got a few websites that can help make life with your “catty” companion or your petulant pooch a little less “ruff.”
This website is in a question-and-answer format, where pet owners write in their concerns and then pet experts post replies. Chances are pretty high that someone else has already written in and asked about a dog problem you may be dealing with.

There are interesting questions on such topics as a Great Dane’s excessive television-watching habits, puppy dominance over an older dog, the habit of eating rocks, aversion to walking on slick surfaces, canine car sickness, dirt-eating and shadow-chasing tendencies, and destructive anxiety behavior.

It may take a little time to scroll through the pages, but finding the answer to your dog’s not-so-common problem makes the extra effort worthwhile.
The name of the website says it all. is designed by veterinarians to help dogs, cats or birds with a variety of behavior problems for a fee (currently $250 for a dog consultation). While the expert’s information comes at a cost, this website can be quite handy for those pet owners who do not have access to animal-behavioral therapists.

By treating behavior problems, the site seeks to enhance the relationship between a person and his or her companion animal and prevent further damage. The site’s staff consists of animal-behavior consultants who are veterinarians or animal psychologists. The web-team members, who all have advanced degrees and years of experience working with all kinds of animal problems, work together to design unique behavioral therapy programs for each animal. Through this website, pet owners are directed to fill out a lengthy form detailing the behavior problem and medical history of the animal. Once the form is submitted, an animal-behavioral expert will respond with a treatment program or diagnosis. contains a load of tips and tricks on puppy-training techniques, dog-behavioral problems, training problems, as well as kitten and cat training. The website has information on such behavioral problems as separation anxiety; house training; car training; excessive barking, whining, chewing and digging; leash problems; and excitement and uncontrolled urination.
WebMD has a whole section dedicated to dogs, including information on their health, care, and behavior and training. There is information on basic training — everything the new owner needs to get started with common commands and training exercises and moving on to deal with frustrating behavior issues. On this site, you can also read articles on how to train your dog to greet visitors calmly, deal with separation anxiety, handle and train shy and fearful dogs or aggressive and hostile dogs, and how to survive the teething months and deal with canine possession, aggression and depression. Pet owners are sure to find the answers to their questions on canine behavioral problems.
The ASPCA website is a one-stop information shop for pretty much anything related to cats. Here, pet owners can find out almost everything about cat training and behavioral problems.
There is a ton of cat-related behavior and training information on this website — everything from whisker stress to litterbox problems. You can even find out how to train your cat to walk on a leash. 