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Common Behavioral Problems In Dogs


Behavioral problems refer to the innate or natural behaviors that an animal exhibits. Some of them may appear cute to us in the broad range of behavioral cues, while others may be borderline cumbersome. But you cannot call out dogs for behaving like dogs! They will howl, bark, roll around in the mud and dig the gardens, things that they naturally do. But the behaviors become a problem when things start to get out of hand or bother others. So, understanding the basics about their instincts and what triggers them is an essential step in identifying the problem and addressing them accordingly. Moreover, they can also indicate underlying health issues or wrong feedback mechanisms, highlighting the broad source of issues that need attention. Herding dogs, detection dogs, wild dogs all have unique traits running in their blood. Until appropriately trained, there are high chances that the dogs show them from time to time. Other generic characters like peeing to mark territory, chewing, or rolling in the mud are all a glimpse of their natural behavior. You need to eliminate or control them below the problematic level. Another thing that pops up when a pet behaves abnormally is health issues. Aggressive behavior like barking and chewing points towards anxiety, whereas eating poop may indicate malnutrition or digestive problems. And lastly, you might have unassumingly made them feel their behavior is acceptable. Dogs, like any other soul, crave attention and look for approval. When you meet some of their actions with rewards, they are likely to continue them forward. Habits like growling at strangers, jumping on people, sitting on furniture, etc., need to be addressed clearly. Before addressing the issues, you need to be aware of what is normal and what is not. Some abnormal behaviors can associate with their life cycles. Chewing is prevalent in pups, whereas mother dogs eat the poop of their puppies to keep them and the area clean. Hence, chastising them for their natural behavior that may seem unpleasant to you is not correct. But when they perform the behavior with no explanation, they might be one of the many behavioral problems that need addressing.

Barking And Growling 

Excessive barking can become a problem, especially when you have neighbors around. Vocalization may be a sign of anxiety and boredom or a way to seek your attention. Understand the issue to know what to do next. If it is to seek attention, don’t promote the action. However, if it is an expression of anxiety, then try to calm the dog down. 


All dogs chew things, especially during the teething. However, sometimes the behavior persists in the adult dogs too. To ensure that you keep their teeth off your household goodies, prompt them to chew on chew toys. Don’t encourage them to chew on household goods. If no one is around, confine the pet to limit the destruction.


It can be hazardous if this behavior persists beyond the pup stag. The owners should take appropriate actions to avoid mishaps. Training and socialization skills are necessary to prevent the escalation of this behavior. 


Excessive licking calls for attention as it may hide many underlying health problems like injury, infection, or even allergy. If they have intestinal issues, they might lick other objects. Other lickings may arise because of other behavioral reasons like to soothe anxiousness or boredom. One way to avoid the behavioral problem is by rewarding them when they stop doing so on command. 


If the dog has a comfortable home and yet digs excessively, it indicates boredom or anxiety. Increase the physical activity to let your pet burn that extra energy elsewhere. Identify the stimulus that triggers the behavior to combat anxiety-related digging. However, dogs generally do dig around to hide treats and stuff. Hence, if you can afford it, you can set aside a small digging area for your pets to enjoy without destroying your landscapes! 

Urinating Or Defecation

Dogs use urination to mark their territory, but it gets difficult for the owners to clean up, especially in public spaces. Don’t let the habit become acceptable, for then it becomes difficult to eradicate it by simple training. However, as a precaution, run a quick visit to a veterinarian to eliminate any health concerns.  


An expression to show their excitement and love, jumping may often come across as cute. But not for a stranger! Train your dogs to set boundaries when and where the behavior is acceptable and when it is not.  


A dog chasing you can be frightening! If you have observed excessively aggressive chasing behavior, refrain from walking your dogs unleashed in public places. Train the dog to follow the commands to stop them in unprecedented situations. 

Separation Anxiety

Most dogs are highly social animals and fret at being left alone by their owners. However, some show uncommon destructive behaviors like chewing and defecation in the house. Desensitizing them or using medications might help in reducing the severity of the outburst to a large extent. 


Pet owners may have to use a series of training to let their pets understand what behavior can be accepted and what is not. Studies state positive reinforcements are usually enough to correct typical behavior problems in dogs. If no avail, consult a veterinarian to get an understanding of the problem. 


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