8 Common Behavior Issues in Dogs

December 24, 2023by Nicole Tengco0

Having a pet dog can be a joyous experience, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes, your dog doesn’t behave the way you want them to, and they may have some personality quirks you can’t seem to stand. Dog behavior issues in dogs can range from mild to severe, and they can be frustrating.

However, understanding and addressing these behaviors is important for you and your pet. Here, PetPal will discuss some of the most common dog behavior issues, their causes, and potential solutions.

common dog behavior issues
Photo by Jamie Street

1. Excessive Barking

Dogs bark for multiple reasons, such as to warn us of potential danger, to express anxiety or boredom, to seek attention, or to respond to other dogs. However, too much barking is a common dog behavior issue that can be frustrating.

Addressing excessive barking may involve identifying the cause and either removing it or teaching the dog to respond differently. Training methods could include positive reinforcement for quiet behavior or using a “quiet” command. 

2. Chewing on Things They Shouldn’t

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, as it helps them relieve stress and boredom. It also helps them strengthen and clean their teeth. However, destructive chewing can become a problem if the dog begins to chew on inappropriate items like shoes or furniture. 

To manage this behavior, it’s best to supply your dog with plenty of dog-friendly chew toys and provide lots of physical and mental stimulation.

3. Aggression

Aggression in dogs can manifest in various ways, including growling, baring teeth, snarling, snapping, and biting. These can be scary and even dangerous when left unchecked.

Aggressive behavior can be triggered by fear, territoriality, dominance, or possessiveness. Addressing aggression may involve professional help from a dog behaviorist or trainer, who will likely use desensitization or counter-conditioning techniques.

4. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a serious condition where a dog exhibits distress and behavior problems when left alone. Symptoms include excessive barking or howling, destructive chewing, inappropriate elimination, and attempts to escape. 

Treating separation anxiety in dogs may involve conditioning the dog to be alone through gradual desensitization techniques. Providing plenty of mental and physical stimulation can also help, as keeping them occupied can help reduce their anxiety.

5. Begging

Begging is a common behavior issue that looks cute and harmless, and a lot of us just can’t resist those adorable puppy eyes! However, it can lead to obesity and other health problems. To prevent begging, it’s best to avoid giving your dog table scraps and ensure they only eat a healthy, balanced diet. Train them to stay in a specific place during meal times.

6. Constant Jumping

While jumping up can be cute in puppies, it can become a problem as your dog grows. They may knock things and people down!

Jumping is often a way for dogs to get attention. Instead of pushing the dog down, which they might interpret as play, train them to sit or stay when greeting people.

7. Digging

Dogs may dig to bury bones or toys, keep cool, or attempt to escape. If your dog’s digging is becoming a problem, you can provide them with their own sandbox or designated area where they can dig. 

8. Toilet Troubles

Urinating or defecating indoors is a common issue in puppies and older dogs. This can result from not being fully house-trained, marking territory, or health issues. If this behavior is sudden or unusual, consult a vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

The Takeaway

These are just a few of the most common dog behavior issues you may face as a pet parent. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to training and addressing behavioral issues. Always reward good behavior and avoid hitting or punishing your dog, as this can lead to fear and anxiety. 

If you’re struggling with your pet’s behavior, consider consulting a vet online through PetPal. Simply download the PetPal App on iOS App Store or Android Play Store to chat with vets who can offer guidance and strategies tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

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