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May 11

Dog Behavior Problems

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Dog Behavior Problems

 

If this is the first time you’re getting a dog or you’re a new owner, it is essential to know about common dog behavior problems. Irrespective of the breed, your canine will behave in a certain way you won’t like.


As a responsible pet owner, identifying canine behavior problems is the first step to addressing it.

Once you learn what is causing your furry friend to behave in this way, you can take the right course of action to correct these behaviors. 

Let’s learn about the most common dog behavior problems and what you can do to prevent them from becoming a habit:

Aggression


You should know there is always a chance every canine will show some form of aggression. This is common among breeds with aggressive traits and also those that have a history of abuse or violence.


Aggression can be in the form of showing its teeth, snapping, growling, snarling, or biting you or someone else repeatedly.

There are several reasons which contribute to these dog behavior issues. For example, your furry friend is being aggressive because someone is intruding its territory.


It can also show this behavior when it believes you or another loved one is in danger. Some are possessive, while others do it out of fear or as an act of defense.


How to solve aggression?

 

The first thing is to determine why your canine is exhibiting the most common dog behavior problems. Finding the root cause can help you understand why your dog is behaving in this way.

When it comes to aggression, you should always get in touch with a vet or canine behavioral expert.


If you don’t apply the right techniques, there is always the risk of this behavior getting worse with time. Professionals will use behavior modification techniques to solve these types of dog behavior issues.


Begging


A common dog behavior problems you will come across as a pet owner is begging. If you allow your canine to develop this habit, it can cause problems in the future.

When you give in to the begging, you can’t help it but give your dog what you’re eating.


In the long run, this can cause obesity and digestive issues in your canine. You may think it is okay to give your dog a treat this time, but not in the future.

 However, by rewarding your canine for begging, you are reinforcing this behavior.


How to solve begging?

 

It can be quite the challenge, but you must resist all attempts your dog makes to convince you to give it the food you are eating. The iconic ‘puppy face’ is a tactic your furry friend will use while begging.


In this case, you should ask your dog to go to another place in your house while you eat. Try getting it to go to a room where it can’t keep an eye on you.

Another option is to let your canine know you aren’t happy with this behavior and ignore its attempts to get your attention.


Once your dog starts to behave well, you should reward it with treats and praise. However, do this only after you finish eating your meal.


Chewing

 

Chewing on various things are common dog behavior issues you will come across.

Why? Well, it is quite natural for your canine to explore the world through its mouth, especially when it is a puppy.


At first, you might find this cute or adorable. However, if you don’t take steps to correct this type of canine behavior, it can become destructive in the future.

Over time, your furry friend will chew on your furniture, clothes, and shoes.


How to solve chewing?

When it comes to putting an end to chewing before it becomes a destructive canine behavior, there are several techniques you can use to tackle this problem. For starters, make sure you provide your dog with chew toys.


When you notice these types of dog behavior issues, you must distract your furry friend immediately. Once you have its attention give it a chew toy.

Another way you can solve this dog behavior is to give your canine ample amounts of exercise. After you tire it out, your dog won’t try to chew items in your house.


Excessive barking

 

It is quite normal for your dog to bark, as canines use this to communicate with each other. However, if it is excessive, it falls under the dog behavior problems category.

Not only will you find it irritating, but you can also receive complaints from your neighbors regarding the same.


How to solve excessive barking?

 

Before you address this type of canine behavior, you must find out what is making your furry friend react in this manner. Is it because it feels another person or dog is intruding in its territory?

Sometimes, your canine will also bark to get your attention. In other cases, it will start barking, after hearing other dogs in your neighborhood.


The best way to solve unnecessary or excessive barking is to teach it to be quiet with a command.

After you allow your dog to bark a couple of times, say the word you want your dog to associate with keeping quiet. 

After you say the command, hold your dog’s muzzle. Repeat the word to ensure your dog understands your message.


Every time you notice your dog barking unnecessarily, you should try this technique. After a couple of sessions, the moment you utter the command word, your canine will stop barking.



Other Dog behavior tips


Dog Behavior Tip 1: Control the dog

The most basic tip is to get control of your dog

If you can have control over your dog, you will be able to control the dog's problem behavior. You can control your dog by putting them on a training collar and showing them that you are boss.

But, you want to do this without physical punishment if you can.

Dog Behavior Tip 2: Stay positive

Too many pet owners focus on the negatives and verbally abuse their dog's with "NO" and "bad boy/girl."

 While you do want to get the point across that it is not OK for them to do what they did, you also want to give them encouragement for what to do right. Instead of saying "no" tell them to "sit" or "heal."

Not all dogs respond positively to negatives, so this is a point to note. If you don't know, it would be good to observe your dog first.

Dog Behavior Tip 3: Consistency

The number one rule to changing a dog's problem behavior is consistency. You have to get it across your dog's minds that it is never OK to do the bad behavior. Not once in awhile because you forgot.

It is unfair to a dog to change your rules or forget because this will simply confuse them.

Dog Behavior Tip 4: Have the dog earn it

There is a fine line between giving your dog love and handing out love freely.

You want to show your dog that you care about them, but make them earn your affection. If you can teach your dog to ask politely for things such as sitting or lying down, they will have much more respect for you as an owner.

For this, it usually works if your dog responds to dog food training, or toward toys.


Dog Behavior Tip 5: Exercise

Believe it or not, dogs can get bored just like humans. Boredom is one of the biggest causes of a dog's problem behavior because they have nothing else to do.

If you take your dog to the park, play with them and take them on walks they will not have this boredom bottled up.

Dog Behavior Tip 6: Learn your dog's heritage

Dogs are bred to do certain things in particular, whether you like it or not. Certain breeds are born to stay close while other breeds are born to be wild.

Some dogs are born to hunt while others are born to guard. Every breed has a different genetic heritage, and it is up to you as an owner to understand this and then go from there.


Dog Behavior Tip 7: Train

Every dog is different, but no dog is born with perfect manners. For you to get rid of your dog behavior problem you have to train them to be polite and act civil.

Dealing with a dog's behavior problem can be difficult since every dog is different and every situation is different. By incorporating a little of every tip listed above, you will be able to easier get rid of your Dog Behavior Problem.

dog separation anxiety separation anxiety in dogs


Dog Behavior Tip 8: Dog Health/Abuse

Sometimes your dog behavior problems (your dog barking, highly aggressive dog behavior or being in fear) could stem from issues like dental health or former abuse by previous owners.

In these cases its simpler - bring your dog to a vet. Usually the vet will be able to advise and give you more information about your dog's past as well.

Conclusion

These are some of the most common dog behavior problems you will face as a pet owner. If you observe behaviors you don’t agree with, you must address it before it becomes a habit. 

Be patient with your furry friend, while you are teaching it your household etiquette. Avoid negative reinforcement as this can increase the severity of the dog behavior issues.

While you should be firm with your commands, you can also provide a treat when it responds to you.

 

If you find other types of dog behavior problems, always understand the root cause, before you address it!


about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.


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