Dogs are part of our family, and most of us make the mistake of treating them like our own children. This is an attitude that encourages negative behaviors in dogs, which are pack animals and need authority in order to live a happy, healthy life.
Just like children, dogs don’t respond well to being spoiled, but unlike children they love to be guided and feel safe when their owners are in control. Most negative behaviors we see in dogs can be corrected and eliminated if you spot them early on and take immediate action.
Generally, the destructive tendencies of puppies and dogs originate in a lack of exercise, mental training or activity. These are the most common 5 dog behaviors you should keep an eye on so you can address them before it’s too late.
Many dogs are fond of chasing cars which is more than a bothersome behavior, but also a dangerous one. Your dog might get injured if you do not address this problem as soon as it appears.
The main cause that makes dogs chase cars is boredom and lack of physical exercise. All dogs need regular, daily exercise in order to be healthy and happy, so if you don’t provide this for them, they will try to get it on their own.
Chasing cars is usually associated with aggression towards humans, so this mix is a potentially dangerous one. If your dog manifests a tendency to chase cars it means that he’s not getting enough exercise, so increase your weekly run to a daily half an hour at the park.
You should also start by preventing this tendency, using a simple technique created by professionals. When you notice that your dog manifests interest towards moving cars, distract him and make him face you by calling his name or offering him a treat. This way he will associate traffic with you, and not with the idea of running for it.
Breeds that were originally created for hunting are those who manifest a tendency for chasing, so you should be careful if you own a Labrador Retriever, a Hound or a Spaniel.
Begging is a problem that most dog owners face. Dog begging is not dependent on the breed of the dog, but more on the lack of proper training.
We love our dogs, and we make them part of our family, so that means they usually get a place right by our side at the table. Well, this is the worst you can do for your dog because you will never be able to have dinner in peace again.
To avoid having a dog that constantly begs for food or treats, you should start training him at an early age. Fixed feeding hours should be set as soon as you bring your puppy in the house, and you should ensure that everyone in the family respects them.
Dogs are not supposed to sit by your side when you eat; they need to be fed in their own special bowl at the same time every day. This way you create a pattern that the dog will recognize and will prevent the begging behavior from emerging.
In case you need help with the feeding schedule, or you are not always at home to feed you dog at the determined time, there is a useful tool for you to use. You can purchase a special portion control dog feeder that can be set to dispense food 3 times a day at preselected hours.
Barking is a normal habit of mostly all dogs, and some breeds are naturally more vocal than others. Barking is your dog’s way to express himself, it’s totally normal and must be accepted to a certain extent.
However, excessive barking can become an exasperating behavior that will affect your life. The source of excessive barking is a lack of attention; the dog tries to get you involved in play or manifestations of affection. The best way to deal with excessive barking is to try to control the barking habit as soon as it emerges.
When you notice this habit you have to take action to stop it, and also make sure that you don’t contribute to the problem by offering treats to make the dog quiet. When the dog barks without any reason, you should not reward the habit by petting or offering food, because this way you only encourage him.
The solution is not to shout back, but to remain calm and train the dog to understand the command “Quiet!”
A dog will start chewing your shoes, furniture, and even clothes if he is bored or stressed. If you leave the dog all alone for long periods of time, he will try to find an activity, and chewing is a great way to release stress, fear, and tension. Another cause of chewing is insufficient exercise and sometimes dental issues.
If your dog chews the furniture, first you need to check if it’s not a medical issue. Usually, this is not the case, as most dogs resort to chewing out of boredom.
The solution to fix this behavior is to increase the duration of your daily walks and ensure that your dog has plenty of special toys he can chew on. Also, make sure you don’t leave the dog alone all day because he will feel stressed and scared, feelings that trigger destructive behaviors such as chewing.
The major issue that leads to dogs being put to sleep is aggression towards people.
This is an incredibly dangerous behavior for your dog, your family and strangers on the street who might be attacked or bitten. Aggression is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly, and it manifests in different ways. If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, you can read Cesar Milan’s advice on how to deal with this problem.
However, if your dog manifests food aggression or aggression towards humans, you should take him to a specialist to address this problem. Professional training will help your dog become less aggressive, as long as you don’t encourage or provoke this behavior by being violent towards the animal.
Keep in mind that a healthy, happy dog is a dog that is properly trained, fed and gets enough daily exercise.
Dogs need rules and authority, so don’t treat your pet like a baby, because you will trigger and even encourage the negative behaviors you are trying to prevent or eliminate.
If you spot signs of any of the 5 behaviors presented in this article, don’t wait for them to become habits and address the problem immediately. This way your dog will become calm, relaxed, happy and a joy to be around!