No puppy or dog is perfect. Like humans, they al have good days and bad days. Like people, dogs can develop various types of behavioral problems. These can be minor or more severe. Some are phases of growth; others are the result of changes. Some require training or retraining; others need the help of a doggy behaviorist. Below is a list of some of the more common types of behavior problems.
• Aggression: There are many types of aggressive behavior. These include dominance, fear, frustration, idiopathic, pain, prey and sexual. The causes may vary according to whether the behavior is learned, instinctual or the result of a physical problem (e.g. internal pain). Fear aggression can result in biting with serious results. Dominance issues may produce dogfights and arguments. The best way to deal with aggression is early training and even retraining. Socialization also plays a role in reducing such things as dominance and fear aggression. Talk to a trainer about ways to handle the situation. This may even involve having your dog learn to trade items in the case of guarding aggression. If the case is severe, you may require a professional trainer or a dog behaviorist.
• Chewing: A common type of behavior. This extends beyond the need for a teething puppy to use his or her teeth. It goes further than the innate desire of a Labrador Retriever. First, you need to discover the reasons why the dog is chewing. You also need to know when. Is it biological? Does the animal have an inflamed or stubborn puppy tooth? Is the dog left alone too much? Is he or she bored? Are they acting out?
Once you know the answers, you can redirect the behavior. Trade an undesirable object for an acceptable one. Take her or him to a vet. Consider crate training if you are not doing so already. Do not use it as punishment. Place the puppy or dog in the crate when you cannot be there to supervise. Tire the dog out. These are a few of the options.
• Digging: Some dogs are compulsive diggers. It becomes an undesirable obsession if it extends into digging holes into furniture and carpet. If you catch them at indoor digging – a spray bottle may be the answer. Crating is an option if you are away. You may also want to see if you can lure them away from digging with an option. Outside digging may be less controllable. You may fill the holes with the animals own feces. You can also try to redirect the behavior so your steam shovel digs only in one spot.
• Excessive barking: there are dogs who bark and there are dogs who cannot stop barking. The latter can destroy neighborly relations. Blast or spray your barking dog with a water gun. You can also purchase a cintronella collar. Barking releases some of the herb. Avoid at all costs, another alternative - the electric or shock collar.
• Separation Anxiety: This is a developed behavioral problem not uncommon among dogs. Sometimes, aging dogs can begin to exhibit tendencies. This type of behavioral can arrive out of a sense of insecurity. It can also be the result of not leaving your puppy alone to carry out your own life. Boredom is another common causal factor. Before you address the problem, find the cause. It may require crating, a visit to the vet or a behavior dog psychologist.
• Coprophagy: Eating your own and other stools can be a required behavior. For humans this is an unnatural and undesirable behavior. It is also one of the hardest to stop. It requires vigilance at keeping the yard free of all feces. It means you consistently empty the kitty litter box. Another option is to barricade it off or remove it out of reach from your feces-dining dog.
These are only a few of the behavior problems. There are others. Many of these are preventable through early training and socialization. An awareness of such things as sensitivity, boredom and breed characteristics are also helpful. Best of all, is a thorough knowledge of your own dog.