Most dog owners have complained about their dog’s behavior at least once. Dog behavior problems are common in dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes. While some mischief is normal, consistent bad behavior is a serious problem. Bad habits worsen your relationship with your pet, and certain behaviors — like aggression — may be dangerous. On the bright side, most unwanted behaviors can be rectified with some patience, care and training.
What Are the Most Common Dog Behavior Problems?
Before we review how to correct dog behavior problems, let’s go over some common issues.
One of the most concerning canine problems is aggression. Living with an aggressive dog can be stressful and dangerous, not just for the people around them, but also for the dog itself. You can usually detect aggressive behavior by looking for the following signs:
- Growling or snarling
- Stiff posture
- Snapping or nipping
Sometimes aggression is directed at a specific group (such as children or other animals). Other times, it’s directed toward anyone. There are many possible reasons behind aggression, from fear to possessiveness. No matter the cause, aggression shouldn’t be ignored. When left unaddressed, it can escalate and result in injuries.
Dogs are pack animals, which means they like being surrounded by others. As a result, some dogs may develop separation anxiety or extreme anxiety when left alone. To cope with anxiety, dogs might resort to the following:
- Excessive barking
- Destructive behavior
- Constant whining
Ultimately, separation anxiety is stressful for both you and your pet. While any canine can struggle with it, this dog behavior problem is especially common among rescue dogs. Treating separation anxiety involves addressing those fears and building your dog’s trust in you. Learning how to deal with a dog with separation anxiety can be challenging, but with patience, dedication, and the right training techniques, you can help your furry friend overcome this problem.
Just like people, dogs can get nervous in new environments. If your pet is unfamiliar with something, it might pull on its leash, whimper or even refuse to walk. The key to preparing your dog for new adventures is socialization. Here are a few things dogs should be introduced to:
- Different atmospheres (such as busy shopping centers or veterinarian offices)
- Other dogs
- Young children
Ideally, socialization should begin early in life, as young dogs are more open to new experiences. Unfortunately, many rescue dogs don’t have the opportunity to be socialized early on. In these cases, special training can help.
Does your dog lunge when you grab its favorite toy or growl if you take away food? If so, it’s probably resource guarding. This common canine behavior occurs when a dog is possessive over something valuable. To protect the desired item, it might do the following:
In worst-case scenarios, resource guarding can grow into full-fledged aggression and result in biting. Even seemingly minor cases can become serious. Thus, it’s important to address it as soon as possible.
Other Problem Behaviors
Here are a few other bad behaviors you might have noticed in your pet:
- Constant barking. When a dog barks incessantly, it’s usually a sign that it’s anxious, bored or wants attention.
- Chewing. While chewing is common among puppies, it should naturally decrease as your dog ages.
- Digging. Some dogs have a natural instinct for digging, which can damage your carpet or furniture.
Now that you’re familiar with some common dog behavior issues, you might be wondering what causes these problems in the first place.
Why Does My Dog Have Behavior Problems?
Here are a few reasons your dog may be exhibiting bad habits:
- Natural instincts. Certain dog breeds are more likely to have behavior problems. For example, some dogs have natural instincts for digging, chewing and chasing.
- Health problems. If a dog starts expressing strange or bad behaviors out of nowhere, it could be due to a health problem. In these cases, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian.
- Lack of training. Many dogs become calmer as they age. However, a lack of training may prevent dogs from maturing out of bad behaviors.
In most cases, proper training can help modify bad behaviors, including those caused by natural dog instincts. And it can even strengthen your relationship with your pet.
The Dog Wizard: Modify Bad Behaviors Today
Do you need support for a dog with behavior problems? Whether your pet is engaging in destructive behaviors or struggling with separation anxiety, The Dog Wizard is here to help.
We offer a team of passionate, dedicated trainers who are experienced in dealing with a wide range of issues. Our training techniques are designed to capture your dog’s attention, modify those unwanted behaviors and help you grow your bond with your beloved furry friend. Contact us today to learn more about our dog training services!