Common Dog Problems and their Solutions!
Where would us dog owners be without our canine companions? They are not merely our pets. They are our friends and family too. They are for life and not just for birthdays of Christmases. But just like every human friend or family member we have they don’t always behave in the way we would like them to. Sometimes their behaviour can be laughed off. Other times it can become annoying. And if left unattended it can become truly frustrating. I’m sure you can relate. Here you’ll find ten of the most common behavioural problems in dogs and the best ways of solving them.
Let’s start with the most common of all: barking. Dogs have to communicate in some way and since they can’t speak like we do they have to bark to get your attention. Constant barking is considered a behavioural problem however. The first step in fixing this is determining the source of the barking. Perhaps its excitement or a warning. Maybe it’s anxiety or boredom. It could be responding to other dogs. One possible solution to this is to teach your dog bark/quiet commands. With patience and perseverance, you can teach your dog to bark or stop barking on command.
Chewing is both a natural and an important action for dogs but when it becomes excessive and destructive it’s time to take some action. Dogs mostly chew because of boredom, anxiety or curiosity, especially in puppies. You can put a stop to this by making sure your dog has a string of chew toys and directing them to chew those instead of your slipper or something else you’d rather keep intact.
Dogs love to dig and will do so whenever the opportunity arises. Dogs usually dig due to their hunting instinct, seeking comfort and a desire to hide things. However, when it’s your front garden that’s being dug up, you may want to put a stop to it. You can counter it by providing your dog with a specific area to dig up freely, exercise them more or spend more time together.
Separation anxiety is a very common behavioural problem in dogs and it occurs when they are left alone for long periods of time. It can manifest itself in chewing, urination and defecation at inappropriate times, vocalisation and other types of behaviour. Your dog may also become anxious whenever you are preparing to leave your home or follow you around constantly. You will need to engage in some serious training and behaviour modification activities and even medication in certain cases to tackle this one.
Sometimes your dog will urinate and defecate in the most inappropriate places. It’s messy and a pain to clean up. It can cause damage and make your dog unwelcome if it does them outside or in other people’s homes. First, you must consult your vet to see if it is a symptom of a more serious health condition. If it isn’t, it’s most likely due to territorial marking, anxiety or a lack of proper toilet training. Once the dog becomes settled in the habit, you’ll need to engage in some serious behavioural modification exercises to bring them out of it.
Does your dog beg at the table? If you cave in, you run the risk of your dog developing digestive problems and even obesity. Scraps from the table do not constitute treats and food does not constitute love. Before sitting down, instruct your dog to go to a place where it will not be able to stare at you and tempt you. You may find it necessary to keep your dog in another room while you eat.
Dogs love to chase things thanks to their predatory instinct. Animals, people, cars, you name it. However, this can be a very dangerous pastime. You may not be able to stop your dog from trying to chase, but you can certainly impede its progress by keeping it on a leash at all times when you are out or by training your dog to come at the calling of its name. You may also find it helpful to buy a dog whistle or a similar instrument that can get your dog’s attention.
Tired of your dog jumping up at you and others? It can be annoying and even dangerous depending on the size of the dog. Reacting to the dog when it jumps merely gives it attention, which is what it is seeking anyway, so your best approach in combatting this is simply to ignore your dog and turn away whenever it jumps at you. Reward it when it remains still and the dog will soon get the message.
Biting is an instinctive action for a dog whenever it is fearful, defensive, protective or sick or in pain. Any dog is capable of biting depending on the circumstances. Proper training and socialising are required to prevent your dog from biting.
Aggression in dogs mostly comes about through the same reasons as biting and is usually evidenced by growling, snarling, lunging and biting among other traits. If your dog displays aggressive tendencies, consult your vet first as it may be an indication of a more serious problem. Your next port of call, should your dog receive a clean bill of health, will be to an experienced trainer or behaviourist. Be prepared to take serious measures to keep yourself and others safe if your dog is aggressive.
England is a country of dog lovers and every good dog owner will want the best for their dog. We love to play with them, take them for walks, love them and care for them. Caring for them also involves taking the necessary steps to tackle behavioural problems and ensure your dog remains an essential part of your family.
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