Understanding Dog Behavior? Barking, biting, chewing and many other common problems with dog behavior are often misunderstood or abused by dog owners. You may be new to dog keeping, considering getting a dog, or just want to better manage your dog. A thorough understanding of the most common problems with dog behavior is the first step toward solving and preventing them. A solid foundation of obedience training will help you prevent or better control these problems.

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Your dog’s behavior tells you a lot about his mood. And although you may not be fluent in dog language – which it means when it salivates – you need to learn understanding dog behavior. Have you ever seen your dog lick certain surfaces or circle the same spot in front of you? There are many reasons why a certain state of mind or health problem can make your dog do these things. Once you pay attention to his behavior, you can help him.

Here is a list of common dog behaviors and what they mean:

1. Understanding Dog Behavior: Pulling on the leash

Understandig Dog Behavior

Train your dog to walk quietly next to you. Never let him pull, or he’ll learn that sometimes it’s worth it. Keep the leash short, but loose. Stop when you feel it getting tight. He will stop to see why you are not moving. When he comes back, reward him and move on. After a few days, he will find out that pulling leads to nothing.

Leading a dog while pulling on the leash is a nightmare if your dog is tall and strong, but the puppy doesn’t do it to upset you. Dogs pull on the leash because they are naturally faster than humans, because they are distracted by external stimuli and because they are not trained to walk beside you. This is one of the most common problems in dog behavior that often goes untreated, but it is a mistake.

How to avoid or repair it:

Training your dog to walk quietly next to you takes time and many rewards. While training on a leash, always carry a treat around with you and occasionally reward your dog for walking next to you instead of pulling.

Never let the dog pull. If he does and you feel the leash getting tight, stop running and stop. Your dog will also stop to see why you stopped. Call him so that he comes to you. It may take a while, but your dog will eventually understand that pulling on the leash leads to this annoying stopping.

It is also possible to purchase a front clip harness, also known as a No-Pull harness. This harness gives you better control during walks and also prevents the dog from getting injured.

2. Understanding Dog Behavior: Jumping Up

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It is quite normal for a dog to greet people with a jump. But this can scare off the guests. The problem is that dogs that jump could possibly hurt someone, so they need to be taught that jumping is never right. If you allow your puppy to jump on your friend, how would he know that jumping on your older neighbor is a no-no?

How to avoid or repair it:

To solve this problem, consistency is crucial. When you come home or let a guest enter the house, don’t greet your dog immediately. A happy greeting will increase this excited energy and lead to jumping. Instead, stay calm and assertive until your dog has a chance to come down from the height of seeing your beloved face. Once he has relaxed, you can greet him lovingly!

3. Understanding Dog Behavior: Digging

Understandig Dog Behavior

Digging is an instinct that all dogs have, but some breeds are more prone to it, especially those used for hunting. Dogs dig for many reasons: In addition to their hunting instinct, it can come from boredom, fear, anxiety or excess energy. Some dogs dig to hide their toys or bones or cool down in a hole. Although digging dogs among the remaining problems with dog behavior are quite normal, it can still be frustrating for owners as it can destroy their gardens or yards.

How to avoid or repair it:

Try to identify the cause of the digging and then work to eliminate that source. Spend more time with your dog, give him more exercise and work on additional training. If digging is unavoidable, lay down an area where your dog can learn that it is acceptable to dig like a sandbox. You can either teach your dog to dig only in the sandbox and teach him that it is his safe place or put a fence to prevent him from digging elsewhere.

4. Understanding Dog Behavior: Chasing

Understandig Dog Behavior

If your dog has a habit of hunting cars, pedestrians, cyclists or other dogs, it runs the risk of hurting itself or someone else. It is essential to break this habit as quickly as possible. First, make sure that your dog has the commands “Sitting”, “Staying” and “Coming”.

How to avoid or repair it:

  • Always keep your dog on a leash (except under direct indoor supervision).
  • Train your dog to come when called.
  • Have a dog whistle or a foley artist ready to attract your dog’s attention.
  • Stay alert and pay attention to possible triggers, such as joggers.

It is best not to let your dog get into hunting fever in the first place. Teach your dog to focus his attention on you before he runs away.

Then start your indoor training and take the outdoor tests with a long lead. You can also give your puppy opportunities to run and hunt in suitable environments such as the backyard or dog park. Extra safety precautions such as microchipping or Doggy GPS can provide extra safety.

5. Understanding Dog Behavior: Biting

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Any dog can bite if it feels threatened or nervous. Puppies bite and pinch other dogs and humans as a means to explore their environment and learn their place in the pack. But the early socialization of a dog teaches him to feel relaxed near people. Gradually expose him to different situations so that he feels safe. Spend a lot of time with him so that he learns to trust people. Always look for signs that your dog is feeling unwell and then do everything you can to make him feel better. Be especially careful with children and food.

How to avoid or repair it:

The dog owner should show the puppy from the start that biting is not acceptable. Consult a professional dog trainer for advice.



6. Understanding Dog Behavior: Chewing

Understandig Dog Behavior

When our dogs pinch us, it is usually a matter of attracting our attention or initiating a game. Do not confuse this behavior with aggressive biting. Dogs that interact with their litter siblings several weeks before adoption are more likely to learn about natural pinching and mouth-writing from each other. You can also control this behavior in your adult dog by yapping when he bites too hard and immediately leaving the interaction for the next 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence until your dog learns to be gentle during the game. Regular social conversations with other puppy playmates will help strengthen the correct behavior.

Chewing seems to be firmly embedded in every dog’s DNA. The key to reducing annoying chewing (like on your wallet, furniture or limbs) is to ensure that your dog has many safe toy and bone alternatives. Most dogs chew because of teething problems, boredom, anxiety, or just of curiosity. Give your dog plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to reduce mischief. If he gets his hands on your new sunglasses, correct them immediately and replace the forbidden item with a responsible chew toy. And then, you know, you buy yourself a new pair of sunglasses.

Chewing is a natural action for all dogs; it is only part of the way they are wired. Dogs and especially puppies, explore the world by mouth. They like to chew because it calms them down. However, chewing can quickly become a behavioral problem if your dog causes destruction. Worse still, she could eat something like a sock that could block her intestines.

The most common reasons dogs chew are the following:

Puppy teething
Boredom or excess energy
Curiosity (especially puppies)

Break this habit now. If you catch her chewing something she shouldn’t, say “no,” replace the item with a legal toy, and praise her as soon as she chews it.

How to avoid or repair it:

Encourage your dog to chew on the right things by giving him lots of chew toys. Keep personal belongings away from your dog. If you are not at home, keep your dog in a box or in a place where less destruction can be caused.

If you catch your dog chewing the wrong thing, correct your dog quickly with a sharp noise. Then replace the object with a chewing toy. One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that your dog gets plenty of exercises so that he can wear out energy and be stimulated in this way instead of going over to chewing.

7. Understanding Dog Behavior: Separation Anxiety

Understandig Dog Behavior

Separation anxiety is one of the most discussed problems in dog behavior. All dogs hate it when their owners leave. True separation anxiety, however, includes destructive behaviors such as damage to doors, windows and furniture, excessive barking or howling, speed, and house soiling. Medicines can be recommended in extreme cases, but this should be the last resort.

READ  My Dog Has Separation Anxiety - What Can I Do?

How to avoid or repair it:

Your actions can contribute to the problem, so avoid oversized farewells and unruly associations. Ignore your dog when he is looking for attention while you are walking, and don’t make a big deal of leaving him at home – act normally. Give him a goodbye treat like a tasty Kong! Other products that can help with anxiety are anxiety vests and anxiety toys.

Extreme cases can require a serious change in behavior, in which case it may be necessary to hire a professional dog trainer.

8. Understanding Dog Behavior: Aggression

Understandig Dog Behavior

Aggression is the most common and serious behavioral problem in dogs. It is also the number one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, dog trainers, and veterinarians.

Dog aggression is shown by growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging and biting. It is important to know that every dog has the potential to become aggressive, regardless of breed or history. However, dogs with violent or abusive ancestors and those bred by dogs with aggressive tendencies are much more likely to behave aggressively towards humans or other dogs.

The reasons for aggression are basically the same as the reasons why a dog bites or snaps, but the dog’s general aggression is a much more serious problem.

How to avoid or repair it:

If your dog has no history of aggressive behavior, it may be due to a medical problem. Take your dog to the vet first to determine the cause of his aggression. If a medical problem is not the cause of aggression, you should get an opinion and help from a professional dog manager. Unlike other problems with dog behavior, this is more dangerous for an inexperienced owner to treat and it is best to use a professional.

9. Understanding Dog Behavior: Barking

Understandig Dog Behavior

Most dogs bark, howl and moan to a certain degree. However, excessive barking is considered a behavioral problem.

Identify what makes your dog bark. Is he stressed? Excited? Looking for attention or food? Just simply bored? As with many behavioral problems, exercise and a lot of stimulation are crucial. When your dog barks to get the desired reaction from you, like a treat, it is best to simply ignore it and reward calm behavior. If the barking is due to stress or alarm, redirect the puppy to an acceptable behavior such as play activity or a chew toy.

How to avoid or repair it:

It is almost impossible to deal with this problem if you do not know why your dog is barking. You need to know the reason for the annoying barking in order to fix it. Once you find out why your dog is barking, you can tackle this problem more effectively. In general, there are also a few things you can do to deal with the barking problems associated with dog behavior, regardless of the reasons behind it:

  1. Teach your dog the command “Quiet”, and to do this, you must first teach your puppy to bark on command. You can use the commands “Speak” or “Speak” and as soon as your dog learns, train him to stop barking on cue.
  2. Don’t yell at your dog when he barks, because that would be counterproductive. Instead, speak quietly and calmly to try to calm him down.
  3. When a dog is tired, it does not have the energy to bark all the time. Take him for a walk or a run, or play more with him until he is tired.
  4. No encouragement. Pet owners can accidentally encourage their dogs to bark at some things. If you don’t want the dog to bark, you need to be clear about what you are telling it to bark at and stay in line with these commands, otherwise, it will be confused.

Do not let the barking become a habit. The longer you let your dog continue with these and other problems, the harder it will be to get rid of these unwanted behaviors later.
Bring your dog for advice. Take your dog to the vet to make sure that his barking is not caused by a medical condition or pain he is trying to express. Next, you can contact a professional dog trainer to address any problems.

10. Understanding Dog Behavior: Begging

Understandig Dog Behavior

Is your dog a mooch? Begging is a bad habit, but most dog owners actively encourage it. This can lead to digestive problems and obesity. Dogs beg because they love food. However, table scraps are not treats, and eating is not loved. Yes, it’s hard to resist that longing look, but “just giving in this once” creates a problem in the long run. If you teach your dog that begging is allowed, you send the wrong message.

How to avoid or repair it:

Never feed your dog when he is begging. Just ignore him and he will eventually give up this behavior and realize that begging does not lead to treats. If you cannot resist the begging behavior of your pet or find it too hard to say no, order your puppy to go to his “place” before you come to your food so he can’t stare at you. It may be necessary to lock him in another room. Reward your dog with a treat after you have finished your meal if he behaves well.

11. Understanding Dog Behavior: Inappropriate elimination

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Inappropriate urination and bowel movements are among the most frustrating behaviors of dogs.

Inappropriate elimination is inevitable in puppies, especially before the 12th week of life. For older dogs, the situation is different. Many dogs need a serious change in behavior to free them from the habit of often having to change their perception of themselves.

Inappropriate elimination can damage areas of your home and make your dog unwelcome in public places or other people’s homes. It is very important that you first discuss this behavior with your vet to rule out any health problems.

If a medical reason is not behind this behavior, then an inappropriate elimination is likely caused by territorial marking, anxiety, attention-seeking or simply by a lack of proper education. It is one of the most common problems of dogs and puppies and should be easily corrected with appropriate measures.

How to avoid it or repair it:

After adopting a younger dog, timing is crucial. Train your dog in time and immediately to prevent this behavior. In some cases, you may need to make extensive behavioral changes and even use the help of a professional dog trainer to solve the root of the problem. Your vet can also prescribe medication if the retraining doesn’t work, usually in the form of antidepressants.


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