Different Dog Behaviors And What They Mean
Dogs are accustomed to living with people and enjoy earning our favour. We still need to train kids to avoid some of their more destructive behaviours, though.
A guide has been put together on some of the most common dog behaviours, sudden changes in dog behaviour, what they mean, and how to address them.
Issues with pet behaviour
The two most common dog behaviour problems are scavenging and aggression. Many pet habits are thought to be harmful or annoying by their owners. These two, however, pose the greatest threat to your puppy as well as the adjacent people and animals.
You should initially consider taking your canine companion to the vet to rule out any health issues if the problem is brand new and unusual for your dog’s routine.
Further consideration must be given that sure owners may view certain behaviours as minor irritations. In contrast, others may view them as severe issues. For example, some owners prefer it when their dog sleeps with them in bed, while others would never allow it. Some people prefer their dogs not to bark. Other owners like the doorbell notification.
So, based on you, your dog, and what could happen, you can decide if the behaviour is something to worry about.
Typical Dog Behaviors & Warning Signs
Different factors, like boredom, malnutrition, injury, or illness, may blame a dog’s harmful or destructive behaviour. We occasionally give the wrong signals while knowing better. Consider the possibility that you reach out to a pet or pick up a dog that your dog is growling or barking at. This will teach your dog that acting aggressively is OK and even desired because they will receive praise for it.
The same goes for dogs who whine, bark or howl to get your attention. If you talk to the dog, play with him, or give him food in response to this sudden change in dog behaviour, the behaviour will return.
A dog’s “odd” behaviours might range from automatic to bad habits that have formed over time to signs of an underlying medical condition. Here are a few problematic dog behaviours that are easy to spot but may be challenging to stop.
Some instinctive behaviours include rolling in poop or dirt, digging, chewing, chasing, and eating. These are typical dog behaviours, and your dog will understand them even if they make you uncomfortable. You can train your dog to cut down on or stop these habits, but it won’t be easy.
The way we treat dogs encourages terrible habits in them, such as resource guarding, jumping up on people, climbing on furniture, begging for food, clinging to people, and taking over our beds. Be consistent and set rigid boundaries if your pet doesn’t want to nap on the furniture. Also, you need to ensure your dog has enough food, a place to sleep, and comfort, so they don’t have to steal it.
Health problems can cause your dog to act strangely, become aggressive, growl, or even bite. An important issue for some pet owners is separation anxiety. Their dogs destroy items and cause damage to the house while they are away. Also, licking too much, eating poop, urinating or defecating inside are all signs of being sick or hurt.
Due to boredom, your dog may act out inappropriately, so pretend that this isn’t on his mind. Be sure your dog is in good health and getting adequate exercise before you make any decisions. If you misinterpret a strange dog’s behaviour as acting out or attention-seeking when there is an underlying health risk, things can go wrong.
If some persistent dog behaviour issues don’t disappear, you should consult a dog behaviour expert. Most owners turn to professionals for help with aggression, resource guarding, and separation anxiety. These experts can help with dog behaviour modification training, regardless of how severe or minor the illness may be.
You don’t need to hire a pet behaviourist to deal with problematic dog behaviour. You might even try to train them yourself. Consistent decision-making and approach maintenance are essential for success. Always have your end in mind, then determine the best path to take to get there. Don’t use punishment to train; ensure you have enough time and positive reinforcement.
List of Dog Behaviors
Our staff has compiled a list of canine behaviours that owners find harmful or annoying. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve dealt with any particular behaviours or have anything to add to our list.
Barking and howling
You and your neighbours could find excessive barking and howl very annoying. As a result, you should stop the odd dog’s behaviour as soon as possible.
Some dog breeds are simply genetically predisposed to love digging. But if your carpets or lawn are becoming trampled, you should try to train your puppy to stop digging. Talk to a vet online to get further advice and recommendations about it.
According to a study, chewing is the activity that receives your dog’s most attention when it is focused on your shoes, phone, clothes, etc. Learn ways to limit the destruction.
Play-biting is a rough form of play that is very common in puppies. If you can, teach your puppy to behave better.
Dogs with separation anxiety become nervous and destructive when their owners are gone. Find ways to help your anxious dog cope with the situation.
She is pooping and urinating inside.
If your dog is trained to relieve himself outside the house, there can be a health issue. With your dog, go to the vet to have any ailments looked at and treated.
Growling and biting
The common signs of aggression include biting and growling. Before beginning training, identify the cause of your dog’s aggression toward people or other animals. Stop the dog from growling and biting before someone is severely injured.
Your dog might guard it with their life if they feel there isn’t enough food for them. The same is true of toys and where they are placed on the couch. According to veterinary research, this expression frequently describes a dog’s behaviour patterns to control initial access to an object thought to be valuable. The fun is over when you see how aggressive and out of control the possessive dogs are.
Both begging and stealing food are acceptable.
Once they set their sights on a nice treat, dogs will do anything to get their hands on it. If you want your dog to stop begging for table scraps or stealing your food, you must take action.
Some dogs find it tough to control the urge to go after small prey if they aren’t adequately trained. Teach your dog to sit, stay, and come to a stop them from running away.
Jumping off of people
Pets get excited when people arrive and may jump up on individuals they adore. This could appear endearing initially, but some people don’t appreciate the gesture. Teach your dog appropriate behaviour.
Dogs of all ages prefer interacting with people, other pets, and other dogs. What happens, though, if your dog pal decides to ignore everyone? It can be a sign of autism.
Consuming human poop
Preference, boredom, or malnutrition may all contribute to the development of this unwanted behaviour. Some people will never comprehend or accept that it’s common for dogs to eat their faeces.
It is entirely up to each owner to decide whether or not to let their pets utilize the furniture. When they climb up on the kitchen counter and steal your food, it becomes an issue, though.
Taking grass in
Some dogs enjoy munching on a blade of grass a lot. This kind of behaviour can be attributed to several factors. Although this behaviour is typical and natural, it may also point to psychological problems.
Some dogs were just meant to be lap dogs. But if you can’t leave the house without your pet, that’s a sign that they’re highly attached or acting in overly servile dog behaviour.
Violent aggression and pulling on a leash
Dogs may become quite agitated if the leash is not introduced to them when they are young since it restricts them. They won’t allow you to put them on a leash. They will continue to run and pull in front of you once you do that.
Rolling in the dirt or waste
This one is well-liked among dog owners. Your dog appears to have recently taken a bath; he is clean and well-groomed. Take care when you go outside since some dogs hate the smell of shampoo just as much as they hate taking a bath. They prefer natural scents like poop or dirt.
Taking it to your bed
It is entirely up to you whether you let your pet sleep in your bed. However, once they become adults and start to rebel against you, you must reclaim control over them.
Some hunting-inclined breeds are prone to running when they spot their prey. Regardless of breed, keep an eye on your four-legged lover boy in the spring and fall when the females are in heat.
“A lot of licking.”
Excessive licking is often a sign of a health issue. If your dog is licking itself, it could get injured or infected. There can be an issue that is less obvious if they lick everyone and everything. Take your puppy to the vet to learn more about the issue.
It is based on body language diagnosis.
Occasionally, it is easy to spot the early warning signs of aggressive or destructive dog body language. Observe the indications that your dog is giving off. Look out for any signs of uneasiness, fear, or hatred. Stop engaging in destructive behaviour. Remove your dog from a scary situation, or draw their attention back to you or another object.
Here are a few dog body language cues or signs you can learn to read and take advantage of.
Shy or nervous dog
A shy or nervous dog may follow you as well as a yawn, lick its nose, shake off, and pull its ears backward (be sure to watch the dog’s ear body language). If your dog is nervous around people or other dogs, this could turn into aggression. Instruct people to be cautious when approaching your pet or to stay away entirely if they feel intimidated.
When your dog is scared or wary of something or someone, the hairs on its neck and back will stick up. A rigid dog with its tail held high, and its head, neck, and torso upright will show signs of fear. A nervous dog may make an effort to withdraw and start to growl or bark. The best course of action in this circumstance is to leave the situation.
If your dog is bowing, with a stiff tail, bowed knees. Eyes wide open and focused on a target, whether a toy, a bird, or something else, they will run off and start chasing whatever they are seeking.
If your dog is well trained, you can call them back and get their attention back to you. However, some dogs have a tough time restraining their need to hunt. They might run and become lost. If you notice any of these signs of dog stalking behaviour and have doubts about your dog’s capacity to respond to commands, keep them on a leash.
When they want to play, your dog may bark at you to get your attention and start a play bow, similar to the stalking bow. However, during the play bow, your dog’s body will be more relaxed and unsteady, and its tail will wag.
Does your dog get nervous, anxious, or too clingy when you’re about to leave? They can exhibit signs of separation anxiety. When you get home, you’ll be able to find out if that is the case. A road of destruction will be presented to you.
Planning to steal or beg for food
When you eat in the dining room, is your Dog present? They appear licking their lips like good guys as they sit there. The fact that they want your food is already known to you. Some dogs might jump, cry, or bark at you, even worse. Ignore the bad behaviour if you don’t want to have a meal with your animal companion for the rest of your life. If ignoring them doesn’t work or is too difficult for you, try moving the dog to a separate room while you eat.
Training and Therapy
Ideally, you should start training your dog as soon as you arrive home. If the right stimuli are given, the puppy will make it their mission to abide by the rules because you are the one who establishes them. Dogs want to make us happy, and they respond well to us most of the time. We periodically encourage bad behaviour by showing attention, warmth, and treats.
In turn, the dog is inspired to carry on engaging in the behaviour that resulted in the reward. The best method to stop bad behaviour is to ignore it. Punishment doesn’t work. It might show an immediate result. However, over time, your dog’s irritation may engender either fear or aggression.
Set the tone and ground rules.
Give your dog the appropriate environment, supply enough food, define the rules, and exercise to keep them happy and compliant. One more thing: consistency is consistent. Being consistent can be much more stressful because your dog won’t understand what you want and will become confused.
Consider rewarding your dog for doing the same things one day—letting them lie on your bed and feeding them table scraps—and then punishing them the next. Because your dog won’t understand any of it, you must also alter your behaviour in addition to correcting your dog’s behaviour. A dog’s behaviour cannot be changed without consistency. If something is a huge no-no now, it will not be OK in a few days.
Teach by giving a few basic commands.
Along with responding to their basic needs and ensuring they are healthy, you must also teach your dog to come when called and to sit. These two fundamental things are essential for further training.
Does your dog prefer chewing up your belongings, including your shoes? Limit their access to these until they are taught not to chew. Ensure they have fun dog toys to play with to prevent them from seeking the forbidden fruit.
Ignore bad behaviour at all times, and reward appropriate behaviour with treats, praise, and playtime. Never submit a trainee to negative reinforcement or punishment.
Puppies’ destructive behaviour
A new little bundle of joy has just moved into your home, and you and your spouse are excited. But what happens when your puppy starts misbehaving and destroying your things? It will be stressful for you both for a while. Nevertheless, getting a puppy provides the best opportunity to start training early.
Dogs with child behaviour problems
Puppies’ frequent behaviours include chewing, play biting, jumping up on people, and getting on furniture. They don’t know the rules, but they just want to have fun and show how much they love everyone.
Expected destructive behaviour in dogs is chewing. Puppy chewing can be a severe issue when teething. During this time, you must ensure your buddy has access to many chew toys and little else.
Play biting can be an issue because puppy teeth are sharp and can cause harm. Don’t encourage such rough play. Show “no,” “pull your hand back,” and “stop pulling with me” right away after showing your dog that their behaviour is hurtful.
Most puppy behaviour issues can be resolved. You’ll need to give your animal buddy the right food, amusing toys, adequate exercise, and a comfortable place to sleep. Limit children’s access to areas of the house and things they might destroy. By giving it praise and treats, you can make the puppy happy.
Puppy courses are a great way to address some essential habits and obedience. Teach your puppy to come when called and to sit when instructed.
Keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour.
What if your dog is unconditional love when you’re home but behaves like a maniac when you’re not? Boredom, separation anxiety, or a lack of exercise may be the root of these issues. If you don’t want to return to the crime’s home, you can monitor a pet camera to keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour while you are away from home.
You can then talk to your friend while throwing treats at various distances. As a result, they will devote a little more time to them and provide more food and exercise.
You’ll also be aware if your dog is making your neighbours unhappy by barking excessively. When you spot barking or howling, you can call your dog to distract attention from the problem and get them to stop.
The dog’s behaviours can be challenging to understand. Especially if your dog has just recently started acting in an unusual or novel way. If your pet is prone to exhibiting and acting out strange behaviours (all natural, after all! ), it would be helpful to have a vet chat service readily available online whenever you need it and wherever you are.
How ought I to discipline my dog?
One of the best ways to discipline a dog is to either ignore it or give it a time-out. You can distract them by making a loud noise, telling them “no,” or ordering them to sit. You can also spritz some water on your dog with a spray bottle to train him to behave better. If your dog is on a leash, you can use a quick leash snap. Taking away toys from the house and withholding rewards are two additional tactics. Never strike your dog.
Why did my dog suddenly turn aggressive?
If an ordinarily non-aggressive dog suddenly becomes aggressive, they are likely unwell or in pain. Dogs growl, snap or bark at their owners even in pain. To determine if your dog has a medical issue, take them to the vet.
Why does my dog keep attempting to bite me?
If you have a puppy, it might be perceived as rough play. An adult dog may be trying to bite you because they have never learned that biting is wrong. The dog might also be acting out aggressively. Before you deal with the problem, you should rule out any medical causes and other obvious ones, like protecting resources.
Is it bad if I sleep with my dog?
Some might say dogs don’t exactly smell like flowers, and they shed a lot and may even have parasites. However, there is nothing wrong with wearing a leg warmer throughout the winter if your dog is clean and healthy. If your dog doesn’t kick or snore loudly, sleeping next to one can improve your sleep.
What should I do to stop my dog from jumping on my bed?
You must be consistent and set clear boundaries. You cannot let your dog share your bed for a week before evicting them when you no longer feel like it. Make sure your dog has a cosy and secure place to sleep, perhaps even close to your bed, so they can remain close to you.
How can I stop dog aggression?
Before you can address the aggression, try to determine its root cause. Before considering resource-guarding, past abuse, fear, anxiety, and lack of exercise, rule out any underlying medical conditions first. Limit your young children’s interactions with the dog while the problem behaviour is being fixed.
Sometimes it’s best to call for assistance from a pet behaviour specialist. The expert will be able to give you the dog behaviour evaluation checklist after hearing about your situation.
Why does my dog roll in and eat poop?
If your dog is eating poop, it may be because they are hungry or lacking certain nutrients. They might therefore be trying to devour whatever they can. Dogs also enjoy the smell of poop, so they frequently indulge in it. As dogs are accustomed to rolling in smelly things to mask their smell when hunting, it may also be an instinct.