Our furry best friends can become our most loyal companions, but they may also display a range of behaviors we may not understand. Does your pup bark or act out in public? Has your pup become aggressive or fearful of certain situations? If so, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll discuss common behavior problems in dogs and provide practical solutions to help you and your pup manage them. So, let’s dive in!
1. What Causes Bad Behavior in Dogs?
Sometimes, our furry friends may display signs of bad behavior such as barking, jumping, and digging. Understanding why our dogs act out is an important step to improving their behavior. Here are a few common sources for bad behavior:
- Lack of Socialization – Giving our pups chances to socialize with other people and animals is an important part of having a good-mannered pooch. Dogs that lack these opportunities may become fearful in situations where they are unfamiliar with the people or animals around them.
- Boredom – Ensuring our dogs receive enough mental stimulation is essential. Dogs become easily bored and will act out if they lack enough playtime and activities.
- Repetition – While it’s important to give our dogs structure and intended outcome in their actions, it’s also important to break up these routines. Over-repetition of commands and activities can quickly lead to a pup’s acting out.
- Changes in Schedule – Just as humans crave a bit of regularity in their days, our dogs do too. Quick changes in a dog’s daily habits can lead to confusion and unruly behaviour.
Animal behaviourists and trainers are your best source of knowledge when it comes to understanding the source(s) of your dog’s bad behavior. They can help you pinpoint the triggers and create a plan of action to correct your pup’s behaviors.
2. Common Doggie Problems and their Sources
Every dog has different needs, but all canines face common problems like skin diseases, dental issues, and flea infestations. As a pet parent, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with these problems and their sources so you can learn to identify and prevent them.
- Skin Diseases: Skin diseases are usually caused by allergens, parasites, bacteria, and sometimes even fungal infections. Common signs include lesions, patches of hair loss, and foul odours. Your vet should be able to diagnose the issue and prescribe an appropriate medication.
- Dental Issues: If your furry friend is drooling more than usual, check for mouth ulcers first. Poor oral hygiene can lead to infections and inflamed gums. Regular teeth brushing can help to ward off this problem, and your vet can advise on the best toothpaste and brushing techniques.
- Flea Infestations: Those pesky fleas! Flea infestation start when the adult fleas lay eggs in the fur of your pet. When you scratch the fur, eggs and larvae will be released. It’s important to use a pet-safe flea medication to address the problem.
3. Strategies for Encouraging Positive Behavior in Dogs
The first step to teaching any dog good behavior is motivating them to do as you ask. Positive reinforcement is one of the best techniques you can use to reward your pup for behaving well. That could be in the form of treats, verbal praise, or even an occasional belly rub. Letting your pup know when he’s done something correctly helps to create a positive association with the behavior.
Another strategy for encouraging positive behavior in your canine companion is to prevent or correct any unwanted behavior. Have a plan in place to address any off-limits behavior such as barking and nipping, and establish clear boundaries for your canine companion. Be consistent with punishments and rewards: keep each one timely and relevant to the situation. When your pet has consistently executed a good behavior, provide a more long-lasting reward such as a new toy, which will show your pup that such behaviors are worthwhile.
- Utilize positive reinforcement
- Prevent and correct undesired behavior
- Be consistent with both rewards and punishments
- Provide long-term rewards for consistently-performed desired behaviors
4. Helping Canines Adapt to Appropriate Behavioral Expectations
Helping canines learn how to behave appropriately doesn’t require punishment or reprimand. There are a few strategies you can use to help your dog learn the behavioural expectations that come with living in a human house.
- Positive reinforcement is key when teaching an animal how to behave. By rewarding good behaviour with praise, foods (or other reward), and/or hugging, the animal will learn that the behaviour is desirable and will be more inclined to repeat it.
- Redirection of negative behaviour is also key in teaching a canine how to act appropriately. If the animal is misbehaving, try to distract it with a toy or treat – something that will excite them instead of continuing the behaviour.
Remember that teaching appropriate behaviour doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, practice, and reinforcement. But if you stay consistent, you will soon see a change in your canine’s behaviour and outlook.
Take the time to learn about your furry friend. Common behaviour problems in dogs are not only something you can fix, but a great way to promote a stronger bond between you and your canine companion. In no time, you will be able to enjoy time together with little to no disruption; a reward that we all deserve.