Dog misbehaving? Here’s why…

dog misbehaving

This week’s video is about the 6 main reasons your dog is misbehaving.

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While every dog is different, there are some things that seem to stay the same no matter what dog I’m working with or what home I’m walking into. Here are the top 6 reasons that your dog may be misbehaving.

1. Lack of exercise

I see this one so often. Dogs need exercise. They aren’t built to sit on a couch all day. When your dog has pent-up energy, they will figure out a way to release it and sometimes that means chewing up something you don’t want them to. Each dog is different, so how much and what kinds of exercise will differ, but make sure your dog is getting as much as necessary each day.

2. Genetic traits

No, I’m not talking about the breed of your dog, but the genetic predisposition to certain personality traits that can be passed down to offspring. It has been shown that some puppies can have similar personalities to their parents. For instance, a puppy born in a puppy mill to a mother who spends her life full of fear, anxiety, and discomfort, can pass these stress and anxiety traits onto her pups.

3. Changes in the environment

Environmental changes can be very stressful for our dogs. From something as small as adding or removing a piece of furniture to moving to the addition of a new member of the family, these changes can have a big impact on our pets. Helping our pets with these changes, keeping a routine, and reinforcing positive training can all help keep your dog as calm as possible.

4. Medical issues

Anytime your dog (or cat) has a sudden change in mood or behavior a trip to the vet is in order. While there are certainly environmental factors that could be causing these changes, we always want to rule out any underlying medical condition. Often the way our pets let us know about a medical issue is through behavior change, so if we take a moment to realize this and attend to the physical body first, we can then move on to behavioral intervention.

5. Lack of socialization

No, I don’t mean that your dog needs to spend more time at the dog park. In fact, I don’t like dog parks. Instead, I am referring to the process of letting your dog experience new people, places, and things with positive associations and outcomes. This is usually thought of in the context of puppies but all dogs can benefit from continued socialization throughout their lifetime.

6. No training / not enough training

Of course, this list would not be complete without the mention of positive reinforcement training. Training with your dog regularly and throughout their life not only continues to reinforce positive behaviors, but it continues to build the bond between you and your dog and also provides your dog a chance to win often! If you have never trained with your dog, it’s never too late to start.

As I said in the beginning, every dog is different and how we manage and support them will differ from dog to dog. If you are experiencing any unwanted behaviors, take a moment to look at everything in your dogs’ life and see where you could be supporting them better. Let me know in the comments if there is an area you think you can do better for your dog.


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