Is My Dog Having Behavior Issues?

by on 01/07/11 at 2:31 am

Your dog is more than a pet, he is part of your family. When somebody in your family is hurting, or experiencing emotional problems, you want to help. The same desire should apply to your four-footed friends – if your dog begins to act differently than normal, you definitely don’t want to ignore it or hope the problem corrects itself. If there is a chance your dog’s change in behavior could lead to more serious issues, it’s best to nip it in the bud so you can bring peace back to your home.

How can you tell if your dog is experiencing anxiety or grief, or even illness? Here are just a few signs to watch for – this list is by no means complete, but a good gauge to help you determine your next steps.

1) Constant barking. Perhaps your dog did not bark much at first when you brought him home, but lately he’s voicing his disapproval over everything. With every noise in and around the home – a passing car, visitors, even the dishwasher – he sets off and won’t be quiet.

2) Ignoring commands. At one time your dog did everything as requested – he sat, he went outside, and stayed away from places he wasn’t allowed to venture. Now, if it appears he is ignoring you, you have trouble brewing.

3) Whining and “clinging.” It’s not uncommon for dogs to express a bit of separation anxiety when they are left at home, but if you find your pal is more upset than usual when you walk out the door it could be an indication of deeper emotional issues.

4) Poor hygiene. Your dog may be housebroken, but what should you do when all of a sudden he is wetting on the carpet or kitchen floor?

Any one of the above signs could let you know that something is bothering your dog to the point that action needs to be taken. Consider your daily schedule – has anything changed to which you dog is having trouble adjusting? Could there be a problem with your dog’s diet, or is he getting enough exercise? If you are able to pinpoint where your dog’s present discomfort originates, it could help you to resolve this lapse in behavior.

If you are not certain what is causing the problem, consider an appointment with your veterinarian to clear up any hazardous health issues. Above all else, don’t give up on your dog. As he is part of your family, he deserves good care to work through changes in behavior.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on pet supplies and dog supplies.

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  • flapscope

    Most dogs bark, whine and howl to some degree. But excessive barking is considered a behavior problem. Before you can correct barking, determine why your dog is barking in the first place. Some of the most common problems are warning or alert, attention seeking, playfulness or excitement, and responding to other dogs.

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