9 Common Dog Behavior Problems
The causes of behavior problems in dogs tend to be a stumbling block for many dog owners. You want your beloved dog to be happy, healthy, and thriving. Still, what if your pet shows dog behavior problems like aggression, digging, or chasing?
Usually, abnormal dog behavior is easily corrected; it just might take a little homework on your part. Correcting dog behavior is most successful when the dog owner understands the action itself and what might be causing the abnormal dog behavior.
Keep reading to learn more about common dog behaviors so you can learn to recognize them in your pet and get them the appropriate help.
Digging In Yard
Some dog breeds are more likely to dig in the yard than others. That said, numerous underlying reasons might cause your pet to dig holes in your yard. These factors might include:
- Too much energy or boredom
- Fear and phobias
- Hunting instincts
- A need to cool off
- A need to hide possessions like a treat
- A desire to escape
Do your research to learn more about stopping a dog from digging so your yard remains intact and beautiful.
Separation Anxiety From Owners
Just as we miss our pets when we head out of the house, they too miss us. The problem occurs when this natural emotion turns into something deeper and causes unwanted behaviors in dogs, including chewing, vocalization, and inappropriate urination. Other signs you can look for include:
- Your dog becomes overly anxious as you prepare to leave the home
- Your dog becomes like glue to your side and follows you everywhere
- Usually, 15-45 minutes after you leave the misbehavior occurs
Separation anxiety in dogs can be incredibly difficult for your pet to endure. It may require you to seek out specialized training and even medication in severe cases.
Begging & Whining
It’s hard to resist a cute puppy’s eyes as it looks at you, begging for food. Unfortunately, giving into your dog’s begging and whining can cause health issues like obesity and can lead to a terrible and unwanted habit. You may need to separate from your dog when eating and give him or her a treat only once you’ve finished your meal.
Chewing Inappropriate Objects
As many owners of puppies know, it isn’t fun to come home to chewed furniture or toys. Most dogs will outgrow this and overcome it with proper training. However, if your pet is chewing things that they shouldn’t, there may be deeper factors at play, including:
- Teething (in puppies)
- Excess energy or boredom
- Anxiety and stress
Try replacing objects with appropriate chew toys so your dog learns what to play with and what is off-limits. With a little training and effort, your dog’s bad chewing problem can be resolved.
Chasing Objects Or People
Chasing is actually a natural instinct to many dogs, though it can be dangerous if not demonstrated appropriately. If your dog is chasing animals, cars, people, or other objects, your dog could be at serious risk of injury. Try the following to reduce chasing:
- Always walk with a leash
- Train your dog to come when asked
- Look for triggers like other animals
- Use a whistle or object to get your dog’s attention quickly
It’s in you and your dog’s best interest to put in the hard work training required to ensure your dog never strays too far or runs away from you.
Dogs communicate by barking, but what if their barking becomes excessive? Most likely your pet is trying to tell you something, including:
- Alerting you of potential danger
- Wanting attention
- Expression of anxiety
- Feeling playful or excited
- Responding to another dog
If your dog is vocalizing too much, practice training methods to ensure his or her expression remains at a normal, healthy level for both your sakes.
Jumping On People
Jumping on people is a common misbehavior in dogs. Typically a dog will jump on someone as a way to show excitement or dominance. This can be especially dangerous where older adults and small children can be injured or pushed to the ground.
Dog behavior tips like not making eye contact, speaking, or touching your dog when he jumps can help your pet to learn this behavior is unwanted.
Elimination In Inappropriate Places
Puppies are known to urinate or defecate in inappropriate places as they learn and practice critical skills. However, if your pet is past this stage and still using the bathroom in inappropriate places, you may have a problem. Health problems in dogs, like a UTI in dogs, might cause elimination in inappropriate places, so be sure to check with your vet.
Biting & Aggression
Perhaps one of the most serious dog misbehaviors is biting and aggression. If your pet is growling at you or others, snarling, baring their teeth, lunging at people, and biting, you’ll immediately want to seek professional training assistance.
Sometimes psychological issues may be at play, especially if your animal suffered from abuse in the past. Aggression and biting aren’t reasons to walk away from your dog or abandon him or her, but it’s cause to seek help and training. These behavioral issues can usually be treated with some homework and positive reinforcement.
The best way to correct dog behavior problems is to understand the underlying factors of the behavior itself. Consider emotional, physical, and environmental factors that might be at play, and make efforts to create a better situation for your pet. The solution might just be as simple as exercising with your dog or checking in with your veterinarian for advice.
Keep in mind that dog insurance is a helpful part of being a smart pet owner. With the right pet insurance, you can give your best furry friend a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.