Even the most best-behaved dogs have troubled days when they create chaos in your house with their behavioral problems. But, is it right to say “bad dog” without knowing what has caused the unwanted behavior ? It’s difficult to be good when you don’t feel good.
Like humans, dogs are individuals and they too feel anxiety or illness, resulting in the display of bad behaviors. It can be detected through your dog’s body language or the behaviors themselves can tell you what’s happening. Before reprimanding your dog, you should understand the cause for the unexpected behavior.
The dog is a reflection of your energy, of your behavior. You have to ask, "What am I doing?" That's the right question to ask - Cesar Millan
1. Insufficient exercise
Dogs have a lot of energy to spend and not getting enough exercise can make them feel anxious. You need to re-direct their pent-up energy into something constructive like a jog in the park or a play of fetch. This helps them to burn up the extra energy into positive activities and eliminate destructive activities like chewing furniture, scratching, clawing or jumping on the guest.
Providing appropriate chew toys or hard chew treats can also keep your dog occupied and out of trouble. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise then they end up getting bored, frustrated, and likely to behave badly.
2. Health problem
Many times, your dog’s behavior and attitude can change as a result of health problems. Certain drug reaction, vaccine, arthritis or thyroid dysfunction can cause your dog to be cranky or aggressive. High sugar content in your dog’s food or urinary tract infection can also lead your dog to behave unusually.
Before seeking a trainer to fix the behavioral problem in your dog, you should consult with a vet. Consult the vet about the sudden behavior change in your dog to figure out any possible health problems.
3. Change in Routine
Certain changes in the daily schedule can make dogs feel anxious or stressed. The changes might be small like you might be working for late hours for few days, your dog’s daily walk and feeding schedules have been delayed. If the daily routine they have been accustomed to abruptly changes then it might cause stress, resulting in unexpected behavior in your dog.
Be consistent as best as you can, this helps your dog to set the expectation. Spare some time to obedience train your dog. This will provide you an opportunity to interact with them.
Like a child resemble his parents in appearance and behaviors, dogs too resemble theirs. Genetics play a strong role in the behavior of dogs. Behavior ranges from calm to aggressive nature. If you’re looking for a puppy, try to find out if the parents of the dog you’re considering have positive temperaments. Even if, just one parent is aggressive then the chances that your puppy having poor temperament is very high.
For traits such as aggression toward strangers, trainability and chasing, the researchers found that genes contribute 60 to 70 percent of behavioral variation among breeds. Poodles and border collies, for example, had higher trainability scores, while Chihuahuas and dachshunds had higher aggression toward strangers.
Proper training and socialization can help to control some genetic traits. However, genetic problems tend to show up very young, so research about the breed before bringing home a new puppy.
5. Inconsistent Environment
Dogs behavior are influenced by their environment. They need clear, kind and consistent instruction to learn appropriate behavior. If you’re not consistent, your dog will be confused and won’t know what you want, which can be even more stressful.
Imagine feeding your dog table scraps and allowing them on the bed one day and then punishing them for the same things another day. Your dog will not understand any of it, so other than just correcting your dog’s behavior, you also have to adjust your behavior. Dog behavior training will not be effective without consistency. If something is a big no-no today, it can’t be okay in a couple of days.
6. Lack of Mental Stimulation
Mental Stimulation is as important as physical exercise. Bored, lonely dogs who lack mental stimulation, easily gets unhappy and get into unwanted behavior to release their boredom.
Daily sniff walks, trick training, or food puzzle toy can be great ways to provide your dog with needed mental stimulation. These problem-solving games can tire off your dog’s energy in a shorter time period than physical exercise alone. For many dog breeds that were developed to herd, guard, or hunt, problem-solving opportunities are a necessity for their active minds.
7. Adolescence Period
Similar to a teenager, dogs go through the rebellious adolescent period. Your puppy turns into an adolescent dog when he starts teething and its lasts until he’s about 6 months of age. During this period, your dog becomes fearful and aggressive towards people, especially children, men, and strangers. Moreover, they start to test you or simply ignore you when given the opportunity. But, it’s just a phase and their behavior is prone to change with your guidance.
Providing obedience training, exercising, playing, maintaining structure and boundaries, and socializing can help your dog transition from a puppy to mature adult.