One of the things we think less about when we bring a puppy home is the possible behavioral problems in dogs. But the reality is that these behavior problems are frequent, since there are several causes that can cause them.
If you want to know what are the most frequent behavior problems in dogs, what can cause them and how you can correct them, keep reading this article that we have prepared for you from Las Almenas.
What are the causes of behavioral problems in dogs?
If you are worried about your dog’s behavior and you do not understand what is happening or how to solve it, do not think that it is all your fault, because the reasons that influence or cause behavior problems in dogs are very varied. Basically, they are due to:
- Genetics of the dog.
The breed and genetics of the dog influence its behavior in a remarkable way. In fact, sometimes genetics is more determinant than the learning and education that the dog receives.
Therefore, it is convenient to know very well the breed that is going to be acquired in order to understand and know beforehand what behavior it tends to have.
- Puppy socialization
Lack of or poor socialization is another cause of behavioral problems in dogs. It is a process that starts from puppyhood when he shares his time and games with his mother and littermates, and ends around 3 months of age, although a correct socialization must be ensured during the whole life of the dog.
If during those first months of life, the dog does not learn the correct habits, the canine language to relate to others of its species, detachment or does not relate to other animals, people and environments, the chances of behavioral problems in dogs increase.
Keep in mind that when they are puppies they tend to explore and are not yet afraid of things, so it is time for them to experience positive aspects that will mark them for life. If they do not do it or if they have negative experiences, the dog will develop fears, anxiety, phobias and even traumas.
For this reason, from Las Almenas we insist on the importance of puppy socialization. Raising them in responsible and professional breeders ensures a correct socialization so that when the puppy arrives to its new home it will not be afraid or aggressive.
- Physical problems and diseases
Diseases such as rabies, hormonal problems or physical defects can also be responsible for generating certain behavioral problems in dogs.
Thus, a common disease such as hip dysplasia can lead to chronic aggression towards the owners, the veterinarian or anyone who touches the dog. Also arthrosis, joint problems, etc. can cause the dog to react when touching the painful area.
- Education at home
Sometimes, behavioral problems in dogs appear due to an incorrect education at home. For example, if the dog asks for food at the table and you give it to him, instead of giving it to him exclusively when it is his turn, you are involuntarily reinforcing a bad habit.
It is clear that routines work with dogs and help them behave better. So don’t blame your dog for peeing at home if you haven’t taken him out at the usual time.
Also the use of verbal or physical punishment can reinforce dog behavior problems and, of course, negatively affect your bond.
The 7 most common dog behavior problems
1-Fear of other dogs, people, animals, objects and environments.
As we have already mentioned, poor socialization can lead to behavioral problems in dogs. Fear is not exclusive to abused dogs. Also those that have not been accustomed since puppyhood to interact with other people, animals, objects or environments, may feel fear and bark excessively when someone comes home and is a stranger, when going for a walk in the city or an environment that scares them, etc.
It is one of the most common behavioral problems in dogs. It occurs in some dogs when they are left alone at home or separated from their owners. They can become so anxious that the dog barks for hours, cries, scratches the doors, bites and destroys whatever he can find and even goes so far as to relieve himself anywhere in the house.
If you want to know more about this behavioral problem, you can read our article Separation stress in dogs, what’s wrong with him?
It is to be expected that a puppy will be a bit of a nuisance and mess up your house. At this age, puppies are trying to discover and fill themselves with experiences, so it’s a fairly understandable and tolerable behavior. The question, therefore, is not that he stops biting, but that he starts chewing on things that are not a problem. Therefore, the most advisable thing is that the puppy has different toys within his reach that he can chew calmly.
In the case that destructiveness and biting occur in adults, we could consider it as one of the behavioral problems in dogs to be taken into account. Possibly the problem is related to stress, illness, lack of physical activity or even hunger.
Therefore, if the dog is well cared for, exercised and not afraid, it should not have this type of destructive behavior.
In our article Why do dogs eat their poop we already talked about the reasons why dogs eat their feces and the possible health risks that the animal runs with this bad practice. Undoubtedly, coprophagia is one of the major behavioral problems in dogs that we must correct as soon as possible.
5-Miction and defecation at home
This is possibly one of the behavioral problems in dogs for which canine educators and trainers are most often consulted.
If the dog has been raised properly with its mother and siblings, as we do in responsible breeders, then it will be the mother who has taught the puppy to urinate outside the “nest”. If this has not been possible, we breeders should teach the puppy to do so. But if none of this is done, then it is likely that the dog, as an adult, will continue to urinate and defecate at home.
If there is one thing that attracts us to dogs, it is that they are affectionate and cheerful animals. Dogs are not aggressive, but they can become aggressive or show themselves as such in certain circumstances.
It is true that there are so-called potentially dangerous breeds that have a certain propensity for this behavior, but if they are not encouraged, they do not have to develop it.
Therefore, if your dog is aggressive towards you or other animals and people, the first thing to do is to find out the cause in order to put an end to these behavioral problems in dogs.
However, do not forget that growling or showing teeth is part of the dog’s natural language, as it helps him to communicate with other animals of the same or other species.
7-Pulling on the leash
The last of the behavioral problems in dogs that we want to highlight is the dog’s behavior when it goes outside on leash. If he is not taught from the beginning, you may have to suffer from this inconvenience.
Remember that the dog should always walk by your side without pulling the leash. If he does so, it may be due to excessive joy or fear, which may be due to improper socialization.
How to solve and prevent behavioral problems in dogs
To solve all these problems we have mentioned, it is essential to know the cause and find out what is not being done well by the owner in order to try to change the situation. If this is not possible, we can turn to the veterinarian, in case it could be a disease causing these problems.
We can also turn to a professional educator or ethologist to guide you on how to improve the behavior. However, the most important thing is to prevent these behavioral problems, for which it is essential that:
- Cover his basic needs.
In addition to providing food and water, you should also encourage exercise through daily walks. Sometimes, the absence of exercise is the origin of behavioral problems in dogs, such as aggression.
- Try to socialize him.
As we have already mentioned, from birth to six months, the puppy needs to be in contact with other puppies and learn, through play, the guidelines for good socialization. All these experiences will mark the rest of his life, so we must make sure they are positive. Hence the importance of acquiring puppies in responsible breeding centers that are concerned about allowing the socialization of each puppy.
- Positive reinforcement.
This means that you must reinforce and reward those desired behaviors and ignore what the dog does wrong. Forget about shouting and punishments because you will probably only instill fear that can translate, in the long run, into aggressive behaviors.
- Do not humanize.
This is something that often happens with mini or toy breed dogs that their owners consider babies. Although it may be difficult, we have to understand that a dog is not a small child. Pampering an animal excessively, carrying it in our arms, letting it climb on the bed without asking permission are attitudes that are not interpreted in the same way in its brain as in ours. The risk of excessive humanization is that our dog becomes intolerant, dominant and aggressive with other dogs and even with ourselves.
Now you know what are the main behavioral problems in dogs. But if you have any doubts, you can leave us your comments below or contact us. If you want more information about responsible parenting you can follow us on our Facebook and Instagram profiles or on our YouTube channel.
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