Pet owners with dogs that display behavioral issues are frequently concerned. Issues may range from annoying and frustrating, to potentially harmful actions like aggression. Unwanted behaviors should be dealt with immediately upon becoming apparent to ensure the best outcomes and wellbeing for everyone in the household, including your beloved pup! It’s wise to consult an experienced trainer/dog behaviorist as soon as you notice anything unusual – particularly concerning behaviors which pose potential danger or have major repercussions for quality of life such as aggression.
Some undesirable behaviors fall within the normal range and can be corrected using basic training and environmental management strategies. For instance, chewing is expected from puppies; to manage its natural urge to mark its territory can be addressed by restricting access to shoes or couches in favor of encouraging chew toys instead. But other undesirable behaviors, like excessive barking or destructiveness require more intensive training and behavioural therapy sessions.
Behavior treatment for dogs with behavioral issues may include medication and/or training, environment and desensitization methods. Treatment typically aims at alleviating fear, anxiety, arousal or reactivity that drives unwanted behavior – this often happens with aggressive behaviors, resource guarding and separation anxiety. For such instances, working with a dog behaviorist and/or trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement-based techniques and understands how to manage reactive dogs is usually best practice.
Referred veterinarians and dog behavior specialists often encounter problems which fall under categories 2 and 3.
Most cases are the result of emotional disorders exacerbated by genetic predisposition, stressful perinatal environments, insufficient early socialization or medical conditions that hinder brain health and development. These cases typically need to be addressed using a combination of training, environmental management and medications (particularly anti-anxiety and antidepressants) in order to bring an acceptable level of improvement for both owner and pet. Aggression-related problems should always be taken seriously as they pose a severe danger both to your pup and others. Aggression in dogs can come in various forms: teeth-bearing and growling, snapping or full-on attacks are all potentially hazardous for them and those around them. Pet owners commonly cite aggression as one of their chief concerns, so any symptoms should be promptly treated by professional trainers.