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Deciphering the Meanings of Common Dog behavior

Humans and animals are different in so many aspects and because of these differences, first-time pet owners are finding it difficult to understand their dogs. Some of them even go as far as finding a dog behaviorist to help explain why their dog behaves the way it does. As pet owners, your dog is your responsibility and part of that responsibility is to discipline your dog to be well-mannered. You need to understand dog behavior so you can determine what behaviors are acceptable and what aren’t. Identifying bad and destructive dog behaviors is crucial so you can find ways to get rid of them.

The following is a list of common dog behaviors and what they mean so you can address them accordingly.

What Are Examples of Dog Behavior Problems?

Scavenging and aggression are two of the most notorious dog behavior problems pet owners complain about. Although there are plenty other annoying dog habits, these two are far worse as it puts your dogs in danger as well as the animals and people around them.

How do you deal with scavenging and aggression? If this is the first time your dog has manifested these behaviors you should take your dog to a vet to rule out other possible health issues. It’s also worth mentioning that annoyance is subjective. There are certain dog behaviors that you find annoying while others don’t. Basically, you’ll be the judge as to whether your dog’s behavior is considered a problem or not.

Symptoms of Common Dog Behaviors

There are many reasons why your dog misbehaves. It could be because they are suffering from an illness or injury or it could be due to malnutrition or simply because they are bored. It’s also possible that you send your dog the wrong signals. For instance, if your dog growls at another dog and you pet them or you pick them up it will make your dog think that growling is okay since it gets rewarded.

This also applies to other dog behaviors like howling, barking, and whining. If you react by playing with your dog or by giving it treats, your dog will think that the behavior is acceptable and it will continue to do it.

Instincts

All dogs dig, chew, roll, chase, poop, and get dirty because these are all hardwired to their nature. You can’t get rid of them but you can minimize them through dog training. Yes, it can be uncomfortable but you just have to learn to accept these natural dog behaviors.

Annoying Habits

Examples of annoying habits include climbing up on furniture, being clingy, jumping on guests, guarding, and begging for food. All of these behaviors can be controlled through consistent dog training. For example, if your dog likes to climb on furniture you should set boundaries. Offer alternatives like if your dog is seeking comfort, provide that so it won’t invade your space.

Health Problems

Another reason why your dog misbehaves is because of underlying health conditions. Some health issues cause your dog to bite, growl and show aggression. One example of that is separation anxiety. Dogs tend to destroy personal items in the home when their masters leave them alone. When your dog eats poop or deliberately urinates inside your home it could be a sign of injury or an illness.

Takeaway

These dog problems are going to be your problem if you don’t spend time disciplining and training your dog. The moment you buy or adopt a dog is the moment your responsibility as a dog owner begins. You can choose to train your dog yourself or you can hire a professional dog trainer to correct bad behavior. Either way works, just make sure you’re using training methods that are safe and backed up by science and research.

Nick White is the owner of Off Leash K9 Training. He has over 80 dog training franchise locations throughout the United States. He currently hosts the A&E show, America's Top Dog.