Dog behavior issues range from those considered normal for their breed, age and size to problems that require immediate attention and training, such as mouthing, barking, excessive licking, destructive behaviors, house soiling or aggression. Preventive programs are generally the first step to address such problems by identifying each stimulus that triggers this unwanted behavior; then changing how their reaction responds through obedience training (eg sit and focus, down and relax etc) while simultaneously decreasing fear anxiety arousal reactivity impulse dyscontrol pathology or behavioral pathology so as to facilitate learning and improve their state of wellbeing.
1. Barking While dogs typically express themselves vocally in some fashion, excessive barking is a serious behavioral problem that disrupts household activities and disturbs neighbors. Barking could be due to lack of stimulation, territorial instincts, anxiety or simply wanting the owner’s attention; redirecting its focus by giving commands like stop or play is usually effective at stopping this behavior.
Chasing is an inherently predatory behavior displayed by many dogs that can have serious and detrimental results for pets and humans alike. Preventative measures for this include keeping your pup on a leash at all times and encouraging it to engage in alternative forms of play that less likely stimulate or encourage chase-type behaviors such as throwing toys.
3. Frustration Aggression
Both puppies and adult dogs exhibit frustration aggression when trying to gain access to highly rewarding objects like food bowls, toys, chew toys or sleeping places that they perceive as highly motivating – for instance food bowls, toys or sleeping spaces can be highly motivating; some frustration aggression is likely the result of genetics, early experience and/or the relative value of an object to the dog; in these instances responsible breeding practices and early training could help decrease frequency of this behavior.
4. Possessive Aggression
In most cases, possessive aggression results from either an innate pack mentality or the need to protect valuable objects like food bowls, treats, chew toys and sleeping places. Usually this behavior can be controlled by teaching your pet how to “drop” on command and restricting access (eg, using a crate).
5. Overaggressive Behaviors
Some dogs display overaggressive behavior during grooming procedures like nail trimmings, bathing, ear cleaning and other grooming and medical procedures, such as inappropriate play, mouthing, mounting and aggression during nail trimmings, bathing, ear cleaning or any other form of grooming and medical treatments. Usually this problem stems from genetics, early experiences and their inability to respond positively to positive reinforcement such as positive reinforcement; punishment, especially negative punishment is never advised when trying to manage such problems because this can fuel further arousal which may then result in further arousal, fear anxiety or conflict-induced aggression from this source of the dog.
Prevention, reward-based training, behavior products designed to assist owners better in controlling the pet and medications to induce calm or reduce anxiety and fear can all help alleviate common dog behavioral issues. Before beginning any treatment program, it is wise to conduct an in-depth history review, videotaping/camera monitoring of the animal as well as evaluation by an experienced veterinary behaviorist.