We all have different expectations of our dogs when it comes to their behaviour. Some people enjoy the bouncy and boisterous nature of their over-excited pups, whereas others prefer a calmer and quieter companion. Many people aren’t fond of the odd bite or growl. With any behaviour, there is a primary cause that can be identified and addressed.
Dogs react to situations much like we do. They become frightened when they feel that their safety is at risk. While some dogs can feel nervous when under pressure to perform, others might just be plain confused. It’s important to take notice of changes in their demeanour as early as possible.
Wait too long and a behavioural pattern may develop, making your dog a danger to others and themselves. If you’ve noticed that something is amiss, stay calm and check out the following 6 common problems to see what you can do.
Whether they’re anxious or overexcited, some dogs love nothing more than to jump. This can become troublesome when guests or small children are around. Here’s how you can encourage them to approach you in a calmer manner:
● Move into your dog’s personal space
● Softly brush their paws downwards
● Stay quiet and avoid eye contact
● Reward them for taking a more relaxed approach
No dog barks for nothing. Instead of trying to discourage them, think about what could be motivating them to bark. In other words, you’ll be looking for the root cause instead of a quick fix.
Remember that the canine senses are incredibly effective, so they might be trying to highlight an issue. Respond to their concerns and present the option to retreat somewhere safe. Of course, your dog could also be looking for attention. You need to show them that they can’t get what they want by turning your back and walking away.
You can acknowledge them with a keyword to improve their understanding of the habit. When the trigger is external, aim to move your dog away from it and bring their focus towards you. Be sure to praise and reward their compliance appropriately, whether it’s a playful game or some tasty treats.
There are several reasons why a dog can become hyperactive. This includes:
● Too much or too little exercise
● Breed characteristics
● Lack of stimulation
● Improper diet
● Conditioned behaviour
You need to help your canine companion find peace. When they feel safe and happy, they’ll return to their normal energy level. Remember that they mirror your demeanour, so it’s important to be gentle, calm and loving.
This behavioural problem is usually highlighted when your pup is between 6 and 12 months old. Eating habits change with health. Emotional wellbeing is also a factor here, so be sure to pay attention to their mood. Time, patience and a calm environment is key to getting your dog back on track with their diet.
You may find that standing away from the area where they eat will help. The same is true for using a flat plate or board as opposed to an uncomfortable bowl. Don’t forget about the food itself. No one wants to eat the same serving of desiccated kibble every day. Natural dog food that’s rich in flavour, nutrients and variety is the way forward.
Consider switching your dog to a raw diet, which is made up of high-quality meats as well as oils, antioxidants, fruits and vegetables. Bella and Duke offer a raw dog food delivery service that brings custom meals based on your dog’s individual needs right to your door. This sets them up for countless benefits including improved digestion, immune and skin health.
As much as both you and your dog would love to spend every second together, not enough time alone is the primary cause of separation anxiety. Make use of your body language to create small, gradual changes. This includes avoiding eye contact, closing doors behind you, and behaving more calmly when coming back home.
In a similar vein, providing too much freedom too soon can cause bad habits like lead pulling to get out of hand. Dogs are easily distracted and will find fun in just about any environment. You want your dog to be happy, but their safety is just as important. Get connected and lead them around your home or garden at first. Then follow these steps:
● Call your dog and move in the other direction
● Don’t say anything
● Crouch and look towards them
● Wait for them to approach
● Praise or play with them once they reach you before calling them again
Sometimes, your dog is simply tired or overwhelmed. Perhaps a relaxing day out in the park or some cosy time inside with your pet will do the trick. Don’t forget to feed them a healthy diet and provide enough opportunities to exercise.