Why Dogs Have Behavioral Issues
A recent study conducted on over 13,000 dogs in Finland suggests that behavioral problems in dogs are very common. A lot of these issues arise due to noise sensitivity, while other factors, such as trauma, fear, inattention, etc. also play decisive roles in this regard.
Your pet dog can have behavioral issues for many reasons.
Genetic causes can lead to an abrupt change in behavior. Aggression and hyperactivity are problems that your dog can inherit from its parents. These genetic issues usually show up quite early in the dog’s life. They are difficult to treat, but constant socialization might override those genetics.
Changes in the dog’s diet or daily routine can also lead to behavioral changes. These changes are very stressful for your dog, especially when they are made suddenly. Introduce the change in the diet gradually over a week or so. Similarly, let them ease into their new home, environment, or lifestyle rather than changing things abruptly.
If your dog does not want to move around much in your new house, it is fine. They will gradually get used to it; you do not have to force changes in your routine on them too. An inconsistent environment will not do any good to them. So you need to maintain a level of consistency throughout most of their daily routines.
Socialization also plays a major role in a dog’s behavior. Between 3 to 16 weeks of age, the puppy has to learn to socialize with other dogs, as well as humans. In case that does not happen, they will grow up as shy, fearful, or aggressive adults.
However, just because they need to socialize does not mean that you should let them mix with any other person or dog. A bad socializing experience can also lead to massive degradation in your dog’s behavior. So you need to be selective in this regard too.
Common Behavior Problems in Dogs
Separation anxiety is a common behavioral problem in dogs. They become disruptive or destructive when their owners are not near them, or they are left alone too often. Barking is another problem that you will notice in some dogs. They bark differently depending on the situation. Some barks are merely the dog’s way of seeking attention, while some are used to express frustration. Dogs will also start barking when they hear other dogs doing the same.
Aggression is one of the most serious behavioral disorders. Dogs with such problems tend to bite and shake, growl by showing their teeth, charge at people, and so on. You have to be very careful with these dogs since they might try to bite you quickly and tear your skin in the process.
Destructive chewing can result from frustration or lack of exercise and mental stimulation. And like barking, dogs might whine from time to time. This is mostly for seeking attention or due to anxiety. However, they will also whine as a way to greet people.
How Behavioral Training Can Help
Behavioral issues are common in dogs of all ages, and in most cases, the dog owner cannot care for or handle these issues on their own. Only a qualified professional can calm your stressed-out dog and help it relax. And after a few training sessions, you can see significant improvement in your dog’s behavior.
There are many ways behavioral training can help your dog. The East Sussex Dog Groomers, for instance, deploys fun, interactive, and reward-based training methods to help your dog. They approach your pets in a friendly manner offering them treats or any other sort of reward for staying calm and behaving themselves. Trained dog behaviorists take these classes, so you can rest assured that your dog is getting the best treatment.
After your dog has completed the training, you will notice a lot of changes in the way they behave. Research suggests that reward-based dog training is the best way to get them to act properly and improve their behavior.
Eventually, your dog will stop barking from time to time. It will stop grinding its teeth at people, and stay calm when left alone (however, try not to leave them alone for too long). Your dog will also stop chewing everything it finds and give up on biting people for no reason.
The trainers will ask you to continue some of the reward-based training at home, like giving treats or petting their heads. And slowly, but surely, the behavioral training will pay off.