Unwanted dog behaviour is not only stressful for the owner (and dog) but is embarrassing and frustrating too. So many dog owners are simply not enjoying their relationship with man’s best friend due to their dog’s behaviour.
The answer is to see the world through the eyes of a dog and understand what THEIR needs and expectations are.
Dogs do not misbehave because they’re spiteful, or are out to annoy or anger you. They often don’t understand the world they find themselves to be in and are doing the best that they know how in the circumstances.
If your dog demonstrates unwanted behaviour here are some things to consider…
1. Health Issues – It’s thought that a percentage of unwanted behaviour problems that we see today are related to the dog’s health in some way or another. It could be that your dog is misbehaving because they are sick or in pain. It’s always good to take them to the vet for a thorough check-up if they misbehave suddenly when they are normally a good dog.
2. Imbalanced Diet – Feeding your dog the wrong food, one that is too high in protein, fat or carbohydrates has been found to cause hyperactivity and health issues. Sugars, starches and many other factors in your dog’s diet can also cause behavioural problems in your dog. Always read the label of the food before you feed them, seek advice if necessary. Remember that dogs need different types of food in different stages of their life.
3. Exercise – Lack of exercise can cause so many behavioural problems. A dog that doesn’t get enough exercise is not mentally stimulated or able to expel pent up energy which can often result in hyperactivity and destructive behaviours. Depending on the breed, age and energy level of the individual dog will determine how much exercise is required. Please do consider this factor before getting a puppy or dog.
4. Lack of Leadership and direction – This is such an important area. When dogs have a calm and confident leader they have no responsibilities, no reason to protect or to become stressed. They feel safe and taken care of and know that their job is to alert you if there’s potential danger but other than that their job is to have fun and relax. Pulling on the lead, incessant barking, dog aggression and separation anxiety are just some of the unwanted behaviours that can manifest when a dog assumes the top dog position. It’s very important that you convince your dog that you are in charge so they look at you for guidance and direction. When this is combined with positive reinforcement techniques it’s extremely effective.
Almost all dog behaviour problems can be changed where stressed out pooches turn into happy and relaxed dogs. The answer is to see the world from a dog’s prospective and hopefully the four points mentioned above will help.