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7 Common Behavioral Problems in Dogs and How to Deal with them

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7 Common Behavioral Problems in Dogs and How to Deal with them

Dogs are faithful and intelligent animals, we admire and love them for their unconditional affection, loyalty, and playful exuberance.

Nevertheless, dogs and humans are very different creatures.

Dogs have some innocent but irksome tendencies like jumping, destructive chewing, biting, excessive barking, and submissive urination that can sometimes make them difficult to live with.

In this article, we’ll talk about the seven most common dog behavioral problems and how to fix them.

(7). Jumping

Jumping up on people is a natural canine behavior, the motivation for the jumping up behavior is to greet people.

Dogs jump because they like to sniff a person’s face, dogs greet each other nose to nose and they want to do the same with us since our noses are not at their level.

They jump up to reach our face and when a person reacts to the jumping, the dog might feel encouraged and therefore jumping continues to happen.

Dogs also jump on people simply because they are excited however, some people find dogs jumping annoyingly.

Dogs that jump up can also cause injury or scare a visitor, the best way to prevent jumping is to ignore the behavior, and don’t touch or push away your dog when they jump.

Simply turn around and don’t give them any kind of attention. ignore them and walk away, if needed.

When the dog calms down you can start greeting them, your dog will eventually learn they are no longer being rewarded for their jumping and will greet you in a calmer way.

(6) Excessive barking

Barking is a natural reaction for most canines but sometimes it can become an annoyance and there are ways you can stop that.

Oftentimes, dogs may bark to get your attention. some play time, food, or even get out of the crate.

In these situations don’t respond, don’t touch them, don’t even look at them. Your attention only rewards them for being noisy. wait until they stop barking, and when they stop barking, reward them with a treat.

Dogs may also bark at people or other dogs if they haven’t been socialized well enough, it’s important to socialize your dog and let them meet different people and dogs.

This will help your pup become more comfortable with the world and people around him.

(5) Destructive chewing

Dogs who exhibit destructive behaviors such as tearing up furniture or carpet are often doing so because of stress anxiety or boredom.

Dogs are pack animals some dogs feel extremely anxious when they are left alone without their humans and they chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety.

To help prevent separation anxiety don’t encourage overly clingy behavior. Instead, develop independence by teaching your puppy to be on his own in another room even when you’re at home.

Start out with low-intensity separation scenarios using gates or pens and reward them when you come back.

Increase the duration and intensity over time as your dog shows that it can handle it and remember not to make a big fuss over your dog when you are leaving the house.

Another reason for a dog’s destructive chewing is boredom especially if they have unspent energy.

Destructive chewing is a dog’s way of keeping themselves occupied.

Your dog probably needs more play exercise and physical activity to work off some energy and keep in mind that young puppies who are teething often chew on things to relieve sore gums and soothe their teeth.

Make sure to provide your puppy with some toys to chew on to help relieve and numb the pain from the teeth that are coming through.

Go here and here to learn about Destructive chewing

(4) Biting

Puppies chew on our toes and fingers and they investigate people’s bodies with their teeth and mouths.

This kind of behavior may seem cute when your pup is eight weeks old, but it’s not so endearing when they are three years old.

It’s important to help your dog learn to curb their mouthy behavior, whenever your puppy bites you, react by saying no in a very firm voice.

Also, give a high-pitched yelp and stop playing with your pup immediately then just walk away and ignore them and let the fun game stop.

This should startle your dog and cause them to stop mouthing you, remember not to play roughly with your puppy.

Rough play encourages biting and never let your dog chew on your hands or use your hands as toys.

Go here to learn about biting. How to stop it

(3) Displaying aggressive behaviors

When they are on a leash you’re starting to enjoy walking your dog, he explodes and starts barking and lunging at other people or dogs.

Trainers call this problem leash reactivity and it’s a common behavioral problem. Despite how it looks, leash reactivity is often rooted in fear and insecurity. Off-leash, a dog could run away.

On a leash a dog is trapped and has to act aggressively to protect himself, this is because the leash interrupts a dog’s biological flight response and doesn’t allow them to escape from the thing that’s upsetting them.

This is why many leash-reactive dogs can beautifully play with their four-legged friends in the park but on the leash, they start frantically barking and lunging.

And remember, when dogs learn that displaying aggressive behavior works in deterring a threat they are likely to keep repeating the behavior.

let’s say a dog is being walked on a leash and sees another dog coming down the path in his direction he feels uncomfortable or perhaps afraid of that canine so he lunges and barks as the other dog passes.

Read this to learn more about aggressive behaviors.

As he acts aggressively, he perceives that the other dog is moving away because of his behavior even though it is the other owner who is moving them by.

In the dog’s mind, though his actions were successful and he’ll want to repeat this behavior to stop leash reactivity first identify the distance away from the trigger where the dog will begin to react.

Keep the dog under the reaction threshold and wait for your dog to notice the stimulus when your dog notices the trigger get their attention away from the stimulus and reward them with some treats.

This will teach your dog to associate the presence of others with something wonderful.

When they look up at you for more treats, go closer to the trigger and repeat.

Don’t wait for your dog to react, if your pet ignores you or does begin to bark or lunge, you are simply too close to the trigger. Move further away and try again.

Remember any punishment, yelling, jerking the leash, grabbing your dog or saying no increases their anxiety level which can make them continue reacting.

(2) Submissive and excited urination

Many dog owners mistake submissive and excitement urination as a house training problem when they are actually involuntary behavioral issues.

During times of high excitement such as when you return home or a friend arrives at your door, your puppy may dribble or squirt small amounts of urine.

This is the canine equivalent of I’m so happy and excited that I peed my pants, this behavior is particularly common among young exuberant dogs.

Interestingly enough, dogs also urinate in an attempt to communicate a submissive status to a person or animal.

Dogs have many ways to show submission to a person or dog that they consider to be dominant and thus avoid a confrontation.

One way is to produce dribbles of urine, likewise if your dog is scared shocked suspicious or anxious about their surroundings or the individuals around them they may urinate in response to convey that they are not a threat.

Read this to learn more about submissive and excited urination.

To help stop submissive urination, avoid making direct eye contact with your dog and approach them from the side rather than head-on.

Sit on the ground to make yourself appear smaller and less threatening, don’t punish or yell at your dog, doing so might scare them which can make them continue peeing in submission.

During situations that trigger excitement peeing, avoid interacting with your pet. When your dog becomes too excited simply stand quietly while turning away from your dog and wait for them to settle down.

Greet them after they are calm, if your dog starts getting excited turn away again and let them settle down.

(1) Begging at the Dinner table

Oftentimes, when you sit down at the dinner table, you end up with a furry beggar with adorable puppy eyes by your side.

You’ll probably be tempted to give them some table scraps, but not only does this reinforce this unwanted behavior but it can also lead to health problems and canine obesity, after all, some foods that are safe for humans can be harmful to dogs.

In these situations, the worst thing you can do is give in to those sad puppy dog eyes by feeding your dog table scraps you are essentially telling your pooch that if they beg for food they will get it.

When dogs are well-behaved and don’t beg for food that’s the time to give them treats remember not to give your dog a treat from the table as that will just encourage begging.

Your furry friend will eventually realize that their puppy eyes don’t pay off and they will stop begging you.

Read this to learn more about the list of dog commands.

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