Dog Behavior | Best Guide About Dog Nature & Behavior
All dogs can be well behaved. Most dogs are reasonably well behaved but we still see many, dog behavior problems like fighting other animals, frightening children and adults, refusing to be toilet trained and most times walking their owner rather than the other way around. The first step to a well-behaved pet is to fully understand dog behavior.
Dog behavior problems often range from refusing to take orders to dangerous aggressive dog behavior from being destructive to being disobedient, from being hyperactive to being pathetically lethargic to constant barking. Identifying the exact cause of the dog behavior problem helps most times in winning half the battle.
While most dog behaviors are not matters of great concern, aggressive dog behavior cannot be taken lightly as it can be very dangerous. Like any other behavioral problem, there is no quick cure for aggression but if the owner is willing to get a qualified help and put in the required time and effort aggression can usually be controlled.
If your dog is aggressive and you think he/she might harm someone you will need to take your pet to a trainer or behaviorist who specializes in training beyond basic manners. Be realistic with yourself about the situation. Dog behavior problems are much easier to control early on before you end up being afraid of your own dog.
It can be very helpful to have someone knowledgeable to talk to, especially if your dog does not seem to be responding in the way you expect. Most dogs can be helped with proper dog behavior training. However, some aggressive animals cannot be saved and it is often better to put them to sleep rather than passing along the problem and danger to someone else. You will need to work up the courage to take him to your vet for this.
When your dog is facing behavioral problems the first thing that needs to be done is to have it checked by a vet. Dog behavior problems can arise due to various reasons which may include pain due to a physical injury or at times even due to hormone levels that may be off. However, you need to work on trying to correct the problem. Rules need to be laid down for pets and they need to know what acceptable behavior is and what is not.
Getting your dog neutered will affect behaviors arising from sex drive including some dominant aggression and inappropriate lifting of his leg. However, if your dog is older or habituated to this kind of behavior, neutering might not have a strong effect. It will also take longer for the effects to be seen in an older dog. The main benefit of neutering is that it will prolong your dogs’ life.
Shouting at your dog or attempting to physically correct it by scuffing or rolling the dog over are not appropriate or effective forms of discipline and will only make matters worse. Attempting to “show the dog who is boss” may result in the dog getting more aggressive or injured and will achieve you nothing.
Increase your dog’s exercise. Dogs that get enough exercise are less likely to have dog behavior problems of any kind than dogs that are idle. Many owners underestimate the amount of exercise their dogs need. It is recommended that a healthy dog get 45-60 minutes of brisk exercise twice a day. Also give them the mental stimulation they need with obedience or agility training classes, learning new commands, etc.
Try and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Do not do things that cause your dog to respond aggressively like staring at it, teasing it or disturbing it while it is sleeping. Be careful using a particular treat or toy as it may cause your dog to become possessive. If your dog starts to get aggressive re-direct her attention.
Always remember that you are in control. Teach your dog that she will earn everything from you or anyone else only with appropriate dog behavior. Avoid giving your dog, your attention on-demand. Ignore him/her if she is being demanded and wait until she stops making demands and is calm. Ask her to sit and then pet her. Work with your dog regularly on ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ commands using lots of praise and a treat occasionally.
For the above tips to help they must be used consistently and your whole family will need to be involved. There cannot be different sets of rules for different members of the family. As owners, you need to be prepared to work at it for the rest of the dog’s life. Once your dog has learned to defer to people, you can move to advanced exercises depending on what you expect out of your pet.
It is very important to remember that no two dogs are the same and what applies to one may not necessarily apply to the other. It is therefore recommended that your local vet be the starting point. He or she can assess the situation, prescribe medication if needed and refer you to other professionals who are experienced with behavior problems in dogs.