A lot of dog behaviour is down to your training and guidance. To have a better relationship with your dog it’s good to have an understanding of why they may be behaving in a particular way. You may be curious about why your dog likes chasing its tail for example or you may have an issue with a certain type of behaviour. Your dog may bark too much or show signs of dog separation anxiety when parted with you. It pays to the observant of your dog’s behaviour to try to work out how they may be feeling and how you can help them. 

Dog behavioural problems

Frightening experiences can lead to problems with dog behaviour and so can bad training techniques. One thing to be avoided at all costs is physical punishment; this can also lead to behaviour problems and suffering. Never shout or hit your dog they won’t understand why you are doing so and it may make them scared or stressed. If your dog’s behaviour is a problem ask your vet for advice or maybe enlist the help of a dog behavioural expert.

Dog body language

As an owner you can often tell how your dog is feeling. They show emotions like happiness, sadness and fear. They are sociable animals and like company of people and other dogs.

When your dog is happy they show a relaxed body language often with a wagging tail. All of their muscles are loose and their tail and ears are in natural positions. When they are anxious or nervous your dog may have wrinkling of the forehead and ears pricked. Their mouth may be closed with body and tail is a lower position than usual. It’s not hard to spot an angry dog. They may look threatening and rigid. They may also be making a low growl.

Why do dogs eat poo?

It’s often when you are out walking with your dog that they demonstrate some curious behaviour. Dogs may eat their own poo or other dogs’ poo. No one’s really sure why dogs eat poo. It could be a behavioural response as mothers often eat the poo of their puppies when they are first born. There’s a school of thought that it could be down to a vitamin deficiency but if a dog eats a good diet that’s not very likely.

It’s pretty gross to us though. It’s probably best to pick up their poo as quickly as possible to deter your dog from going down that route.

Why do dogs eat grass?

There’s a similar lack of an exact answer when you ask why do dogs eat grass? There’s no 100% correct response. It could just be dogs grazing on grass with no ill effects. Alternatively it’s thought some dogs munch on grass on purpose to make themselves vomit if they’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with them and need to get rid of it.

 
Aggression and stress in dogs

A lot of dog behavioural problems are caused by pets that don’t have enough mental or physical stimulation. Dogs need regular exercise and plenty of opportunities to run and walk.

Some nervousness and aggression in dogs may also be down to genetic inheritance. It may be a particular situation which makes your dog nervous.

It’s really important to socialise a puppy and introduce it to situations which will be positive for them.

If you have a nervous dog take things slowly don’t quickly force them into situations that make them fearful. The dog may cower with its tail between its legs. It takes patience and understanding to help a dog become less nervous.

Dog aggression can be a big problem for some pets. It often comes from frustration a lack of exercise and a lack of calm and assertive leadership.

It’s shown in growling, snarling, baring teeth and ultimately biting. When a dog uses aggression it is almost invariably because it thinks that it’s being threatened in some way.

Dog Barking

Barking is the way your dog communicates. There are different barks for different emotions or situations. Like a baby’s cries it takes a while to pick up on what each sound means. With a bit of practice you’ll be able to recognise that different barks mean different things.

Dogs bark in a number of situations; to say hello, when they are bored or scared. Although it’s quite natural, when a dog barks too much it can become a problem for you and your neighbours.

A number of owners wonder how they can stop a dog barking, but before that you need to understand why it’s barking and try training methods to encourage it not to. A tired dog barks less so make sure it has lots of exercise. Barking could be linked to boredom so don’t leave it at home for hours on end, get a neighbour or friend to come and see it and take it for a walk. If the dog barks at delivery people make sure the dog’s never left in or near your front door.

Separation anxiety in dogs

This is a when your dog is clingy towards you and gets separation anxiety when it’s not with you. When you are out they may whine or bark or scratch, chew and destroy stuff around the home.

You need to get you dog used to being without you for shorter periods, learn that you will come back, and then gradually lengthen the periods you are away. You may need advice from vet or dog behaviour expert.

Dog Walking

You want a dog to behave well when you are dog walking. That’s why training to walk to heel and to come and stay are essential commands to master.

It is important that dogs go out for exercise every day or they may become frustrated. It’s also a great time for meeting and socialising with other dogs.

Dog walking is great exercise both physically and mentally for both you and your dog. You get to be part of a community of dog walkers and your dog gets to know other local dogs.

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