Has your dog suddenly developed a behavioral problem? It can be quite stressful once your pet starts to display unusual habits or behavior, especially if it’s never happened before. Before you try to correct the behavioral issue, it’s important to get to the root of the problem to prevent it from rising up again.
Dog Behavior Problems | 5 Causes for Bad Dog Behavior
Many factors contribute to the way a dog behaves, which makes it all the more important to educate yourself about responsible dog ownership. Identify the triggers and you’ll be able to treat the issue head on. To help you and your dog out, here are the top five causes of dog behavioral problems.
1. Lack of Exercise
All that sitting and waiting around can easily bore any dog. Boredom is the most common trigger of dog behavior problems like chewing, play biting, and jumping on people. This is why it is so important to walk your dog regularly. Walking is a dog’s best exercise, and can do wonders for your pet physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Keep in mind some breeds require more activity than others and may require more physical exercise than just walking. Keep it interesting by adding variety to your routine like playing fetch or even swimming. Remember, your dog needs to be physically active to prevent health problems, loss of appetite, weak legs, and boredom! Once they’re bored, they can take it out on your shoes or couch!
2. Lack of Mental Stimulation
Just like with humans, a dog’s brain needs to be constantly stimulated. Make it a monthly routine to teach him new tricks. Trips to the dog park or organizing play dates with other dogs that your buddy is familiar with are also great options for mentally stimulating your dog. When walking your dog, take different routes to exercise his memory. And most importantly, train your dog. Agility and obedience training is great mental stimulation for dogs.
3. Health Issues
Maybe he isn’t bored after all and is actually suffering from a health problem you’re not aware of. When your dog isn’t feeling well, he’ll most likely pose behavior problems. Abnormal behavior like excessive whining, barking, lethargy, loss of appetite, uncharacteristic aggression or lack of engagement are all signs of health issues. If you notice these sudden changes, visit your veterinarian to make sure your dog’s behavior is not related to a physical ailment.
4. Diet Changes
Dogs like sticking to the food they like to eat. Although they beg for treats and would happily eat a steak, they still enjoy eating their dog food. So, if you want to change his diet, do it gradually because your dog might feel frustrated that he is no longer eating the food he likes…and without his approval, too!
5. Lack of Socialization
While exercise is for physical stimulation and tricks and training are for mental stimulation, letting him play with other dogs is social stimulation. So, if you want a well-balanced dog, it’s vital to expose him to different people, other dogs, sounds, and new experiences.
You can enroll your dog in a class where he can interact with other dogs and dog owners, set up doggie play dates or visit your local dog park. This can help your dog become friendlier, less aggressive, and less fearful of both humans and fellow dogs.
Want to teach your dog new tricks? Check out these 10 cool tricks to teach your dog from MsMojo:
You are not alone! Dog behavior problems are more common than you think, especially for new dog owners who are still learning the ropes. Know that your dog can exhibit various dog behavior problems at some point, but with proper training, these problems can be eliminated. Of course, you’ll both have to put in the effort–it’s teamwork after all! Remember, happy dog, happy master. So hang in there, and you’ll get through it together!
Were you able to identify the cause of your dog’s behavior problem? Let us know how you dealt with it in the comments section below!