There is no bad behavior to a dog. However, what is absolutely normal for dogs may not neatly fit into our lifestyles. Consequently, we brand them as bad or aggressive dogs. There is always a reason and a purpose behind any dog behavior that has been instilled in their makeup for generations. The bottom line is, they are a different species than us.
When a client
comes to me with a "problem," I don't immediately spew out advice.
The dog's temperament, breed, age, and health need to be considered. I
then require information surrounding the behavior. The first step to solving
any behavioral problem is finding out why the dog is doing that particular
behavior. What are the circumstances surrounding the behavior? When does
the dog do it? Where does the dog do it? How does the dog do it? It is
also usually a good idea to have a medical checkup to rule out the possibility
of a physical problem. After all this information is considered, I devise
a program to change the behavior.
Much of what
pet owners react to as problem behaviors is thought to be no more than
business as usual to the dog. When attempting to change problem behavior,
remember to look at the big picture.
The following treatments often prove effective:
Chewing is another behavior that, when left unchanneled, causes damage and owner angst. Dogs need to chew. It is the owner's responsibility to provide proper outlets for the behavior with appropriate chew toys.
Like many other problems, inappropriate chewing is best solved by prevention through crating when the owner is gone and active supervision when the owner is at home.
There are many reasons dogs bark. Once you establish why the dog is barking, you can choose an appropriate solution.
To combat barking:
Dogs primarily jump up to get closer to human faces when greeting people. One simple solution is to lower yourself to the dog's level for a welcome.
Other ways to diffuse a jumping problem are:
Digging is a natural behavior. Whether your dog is digging to relieve boredom, exterminate vermin, or cool himself off in moist soil, you want it to stop!
To stop digging, try:
If running away is your dog's problem, or pleasure, work on strengthening both your relationship and your fence. If your dog is still intact, neutering alone may be the solution.
Pica, the eating of inanimate, nonfood objects, or coprophagia, the eating of fecal matter, may happen because of dietary deficiencies or, once again, boredom. Getting to the object or fecal matter before the dog is the key. Teaching the off command is particularly handy with these problems.
flank sucking, tail chasing, fly snapping, and other self-mutilations
to the degree that the dog is causing himself bodily harm all fall into
the obsessive-compulsive disorder category. This serious disorder often
demands the skills of a behavior professional as well as pharmacological
Copyright © 2000-2011 Shelby Marlo