15 May 2023
If you’re a new dog owner or want to help your furry friend overcome problematic behavior, understanding what they are is the first step to solving dog behavior problems; obedience training is often needed to prevent and control many of these issues.
Puppies bite and nip as part of their exploration process. However, this behavior can be trained away by teaching them bite inhibition. Adult dogs may bite due to fear, defensiveness, pain, or a predatory instinct. Owners and breeders can help prevent this by proper training, socialization, and breeding practices.
Growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging, and biting are signs of dog aggression. All dogs, regardless of breed or history, can exhibit aggression. However, dogs with violent or abusive backgrounds and those bred from aggressive dogs are more prone to this behavior. Seeking help from a veterinarian, dog trainer, or behaviorist is crucial in handling aggressive dogs.
Jumping up is a natural behavior in dogs but it can be dangerous and annoying. Lifting a knee, grabbing paws, or pushing the dog away may not be practical solutions. The best method is to ignore the dog by turning away and walking away if necessary. Reward your dog only when he remains still and relaxed.
Dogs vocalize in various ways, but excessive barking can be a problem. So first, determine why your dog is barking, such as warning, playfulness, anxiety, boredom, or responding to other dogs. Then, you can teach them bark/quiet commands and address the underlying causes of barking.
Due to their predatory instincts, dogs chase things, leading to dangerous situations. You can prevent this behavior by keeping your dog confined or on a leash, training your dog to come when called, and watching for potential triggers.
Dogs chew naturally, but excessive chewing can lead to destruction. This behavior can be handled by encouraging your dog to chew on appropriate chew toys, keeping personal items away from your dog, and providing enough exercise. Make sharp noise if your dog chews on the wrong thing, and replace it with an appropriate chew toy.
Most dogs dig due to boredom, anxiety, hunting instinct, or a desire to hide possessions. First, determine the cause of digging, then work to eliminate it by providing more exercise and setting aside an area where your dog can freely dig.
Begging (and getting people food because of it) is a bad habit that can cause digestive problems and obesity. Instead, you should teach your dog to go to his designated place before eating, confine your dog to another room if necessary, and give treats only after you and your family have eaten.
Separation anxiety is a common dog behavior problem requiring dedicated training, modification, and desensitization exercises. Signs of genuine separation anxiety include anxiety when the owner prepares to leave, misbehavior after the owner leaves, wanting to follow the owner constantly, and trying to touch the owner whenever possible. Medication may be recommended in severe cases.
Inappropriate urination and defecation are frustrating dog behaviors that can damage areas of your home. First, discuss this behavior with your veterinarian to rule out health problems. Then, if no medical cause is found, determine the reason for the conduct, such as submissive/excited urination, territorial marking, anxiety, or lack of proper housebreaking. When the habit becomes ingrained in older dogs, serious behavior modification may be necessary to break it.