Advice on Dealing With Dog Behavior Problems

August 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Dog Behavior

Dog behavior issues are common. Dogs are not humans and as such, they are not born with human capabilities to adapt to a civilized world. Their instincts are dog instincts – more suited to survival in harsher conditions. This makes dog training a very important aspect of pet ownership. Having said that, even dogs that have been relatively well-trained as a puppies can exhibit certain behaviors at some point, which may be problematic. Excessive barking, aggressive biting, digging, chewing and other potentially destructive behavior must be dealt with appropriately, immediately.

1. Sudden changes tell a story. Aggressive biting is a dangerous dog behavior problem. If left unchecked, you and your dog could get into big trouble. If playful nipping has suddenly turned into serious biting, it’s a cause for concern. If your dog barks excessively when he used to be a calm, playful presence, investigate.

Something has changed that has caused these behavioral manifestations.

2. Identify triggers or causes. Excessive barking, chewing, aggressive biting and all other behavioral issues are not always socio-psychological concerns. In some, although rare cases, these behavioral patterns have physiological causes. Hypothyroid problems, allergies and some internal conditions have been known to trigger excessive biting in canines. Especially if there are no obvious environmental causes that could trigger the behavior, or if you already have eliminated these possibilities and the behavior persists, bring the dog to a vets to check him up. The behavior could be a symptom of a more serious disorder.

3. Train with a clicker. This popular, scientific method for animal training that’s been proven to be effective.

It doesn’t only work with dogs, it works with cats, birds and other animals. The clicker is an effective communication link between animals and humans. Trainers love training with a clicker because it’s not a stand-alone technique. You can do leash training and use the principles of positive reinforcement with clicker training.

4. Keep your dog amused and entertained. Separation anxiety causes excessive barking, digging, chewing and other annoying behaviors. Often, playing with your dog, giving him toys or just keeping him in amiable companionship with other animals can correct many of the behaviors you’d like to change.

5. Don’t downplay the role of exercise. Dogs are working animals. Being domesticated does not necessarily diminish their natural tendencies. You need to allow your dog time for rigorous exercise everyday to expend their natural supply of energy. Being hyperactive can cause your dog to start digging or chewing on your furniture, besides the possibility of barking until the entire neighborhood is up. So make sure you give him at least an hour of exercise daily regardless of the weather.

Behavior modification is a tricky business. So, don’t be dismissive or apathetic. Pay attention. Dogs don’t acquire a new nasty behavior overnight. Lookout for clues. With patient dedication, you can have a well-behaved family pet or guard dog which you and your family can cherish and be proud of. Just remember that when dealing with dog behavior issues, nipping it at the bud is always the key.

You can find out more on dog behavior problems here Dog Behavior Problems

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