What Dog Behaviors Bother You the Most?

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    Sep 19, 2013
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What Dog Behaviors Bother You the Most? Photo by Raquel Cervera

If we go into the realm of unwanted behaviors in living creatures, the list would never end. Animals and humans, and we must not forget we are animals too, characterize themselves by producing all kinds of behaviors that are really annoying to others. Human babies do it, adolescents do it and even adults do it. So, it is to be expected dogs do it too.

It is easy to criticize unwanted behaviors in anybody but ourselves and I often watch and hear dog owners really go crazy when not knowing what to do about their dogs’ behavior problems when in reality, there is a big chance that they should be looking at themselves first. My reason for saying this is that most of these behaviors have their origin in either the lack of knowledge of the owner or the erroneous approach used to correct them.

There are many common unwanted behaviors in dogs. I am only going to mention here the most common and the ones dog owners suffer from with more frequency.

The dog, especially if it is a puppy, will chew on anything: furniture, paper, toys, plants…just whatever seems to be near. Part of this is due to the natural curiosity in puppies, and I always remind everybody that human babies do the same with a little variation only: they put everything around in their mouths and parents have to be on the constant lookout for that.

When babies start teething, the sensation they get in their mouths is not comfortable, so one way to try and diminish the annoyance is by biting on something. So do dogs.

Have you ever noticed a student in class who happens to be bored with what the teacher is saying, or a person in a social gathering who also happens to be bored to death put something in their mouths and start chewing? Well, that is a way of seeking relief for that boredom. Dogs do exactly the same, with the exception that what they bite or chew on might not be just anything disposable and that is when the dog owner starts pulling her hair.

Urinating or defecating just anywhere is one of the most undesirable behaviors I have noticed dog owners complaining about. The reasons are obvious: if the dog “does its thing” on rugs or furniture, those will be ruined for sure. There is also the matter of the bad odors in the house. It is easy to train a dog not to do this, though. It only takes the owner to find out first if there is a physical problem before starting the correction, this taking place, of course, after the puppy has been house trained.  Some diseases will produce that behavior in dogs and one has to be sure the corrections are not going in the wrong direction, because there will be no results. If there is no disease, it is wise to observe if the dog is just trying to call attention or to “mark its territory”, especially if there are other dogs around.

If the dog is scared about something or simply anxious, inappropriate urinating or defecating may also occur. That is observed, for example, when the dog has been alone for many hours and the owner arrives home. The anxiety of the meeting provokes this behavior frequently.

Not only does barking bother the neighbors, but also the dog owners as well. It is impossible to pretend that a dog never bark. That is the way they communicate. We, of course, do not know what certain barks mean, even if we learn to identify others. Barking, especially in  continuous and sometimes never ending sessions, can annoy the most patient person in the world.

Some of these barking behaviors should be even rewarded, like when the dog is doing it to alert its owner of some kind of danger or alert others that something is happening to  its owner. Many human beings have been reported saved because of this type of barking.

When another animal just shows up on the street near the dog owner’s house, it is almost impossible to pretend the dog just look out and do nothing. No sir, it will feel its territory is being invaded and bark its brains out to warn the other animal not to approach.

Finally, there is the barking that is just a means of attracting attention to something in particular. If the dog is hungry, that may be its way to tell its owner food should be served already. Perhaps it also just wants to play or go out  and is “telling” its owner it is time to do so.

If the dog is either kept in a patio or yard or is let out at certain hours to go there, another common unwanted behavior is the digging. One of the reasons for this may be simple instinct. They may also be trying to hide something like bones or toys from the reach of others or just digging to feel cooler if there is a very hot weather. Anxiety and boredom may also be the reasons for that conduct.

When eating at the dinner table, many dog owners complain about their dogs’ “begging” for food, which is not only annoying for the owner, but if there are guests, it may be even embarrassing. Begging is not to be allowed ever, not only because of this, but it may create a really bad habit in the dog and also affect its health directly.

Some dogs love to jump on people and this can cause serious reactions from these.  Not only is the dog trying to call attention, but also demonstrating some kind of dominance which is not to be accepted. Careful attention has to be given to the methods used for correcting this unpleasant behavior, the best one being ignoring the dog completely, therefore not rewarding these actions.

Lastly, I would like to mention the whining, howling or destructive behavior presented by the dog when its owner leaves it for whatever reasons, like going to work. This has very extensively been discussed and is known as separation anxiety disorder in dogs.

We are sure there are other unwanted behaviors in dogs that really annoy their owners. The above were just a few of the most common ones, like I said at the beginning.

The good news is that there are solutions for all of these. Veterinarians and dog behaviorists are always the best fountains of information as to what techniques to use with what behaviors, so there is no need to despair.

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The author is running a site and a blog related to dog training,grooming and dog care. For more information about dog training and dog care, pay them a visit.

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