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10 Behavioral Problems In Dogs and What You Can Do About Them

10 Behavioral Problems In Dogs and What You Can Do About Them

We all have noticed behavioral problems in our dogs like barking, chewing and biting but most of us don’t know why the dogs display such behaviors. Due to the lack of proper understanding of these problems, we often handle them inappropriately.

It’s essential to first thoroughly understand the behavioral problems in dogs if we want to solve and prevent them. Here below, we discuss the most common behavioral problems in dogs and suggest you what you can do to solve these problems.

1. Aggression

Aggression is the most common behavioral problem. Snarling, growling, and biting are the common forms of aggression exhibited by the canine. Causes include fear, resource guarding, territorial guarding or it may be any disease that causes pain or irritation.

It may also direct its aggression toward a third party when aggression toward a primary target is brought to a halt; as when the dog bites its owner when the owner tries to stop the dog in a dog fight.

For aggression, it’s always advised to consult a professional rather than dealing with the issue on your own.

What to do?

The cause of the aggression needs to be determined at first and measures are taken accordingly.

If sudden signs of aggression are presented, there may be an underlying medical problem and it’s a must to consult a veterinarian. If a medical problem has been ruled out, it’s time to take advice from a dog trainer. By determining the cause of aggression and keeping it at a minimum, aggressive behavior can be controlled. If aggression is towards strangers, the dog can be limited to the backyard. Along with your trainer, extensive positive reinforcement will be the mainstay. For example, start by keeping distance between a ‘stranger’ and your dog and giving the dog lots of treats. The distance is gradually reduced, keeping up with treats. The dog will gradually learn that strangers mean treats, keeping aggression to minimum.

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2. Inappropriate elimination

The dog may defecate and urinate anywhere, in inappropriate locations. While it is unavoidable in puppies, it is a problem that may persist in adults.

What to do?

First, you need to rule out any health problems by consulting with your veterinarian. House training should be focused through reinforcement of excretion in suitable locations rather than punishment when the dog excretes in inappropriate places. The owner needs to take their dog to the excretion area regularly and at appropriate intervals.

3. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety occurs when the dog is separated from its owner and is left alone. The dog may show behaviors like distress vocalization, housesoiling, anorexia and becomes anxious whenever the owner prepares to leave the house when putting on shoes, locking doors. And when the owner returns, the dog becomes excited and becomes difficult to calm down. It requires training, behavioral modification.

What to do?

If you are doing certain things like putting on your coat or grabbing your key, be sure to spend some time with your dog before leaving so that when you are leaving the house next time, the dog will be less anxious. Medication is required only for extreme cases.

4. Chewing

While chewing is natural for dogs to satisfy their curiosity in unfamiliar objects like puppies do in puppy teething, it may become much more pronounced so as to cause the destruction of important objects in its surroundings. Causes include excessive excitement, anxiety or mere curiosity as seen in puppies.

What to do?

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The dog needs to be encouraged to chew on chew toys which will entertain the dog. It will also consume time so as to eliminate boredom which may be a possible cause of chewing unnecessarily.

5. Excessive barking

Dogs may bark excessively when it is excited, when it senses a threat or as part of attention-seeking behavior. It will disturb your peace; can affect your sleep while earning you a bad reputation in your quiet neighborhood as the sole cause of noise.

What to do?

You will have to teach your dog when to bark and when silence is expected. ‘Speak/Quiet’ commands are the most beneficial. While it’s a Herculean task to be able to get good results soon, with consistency, one should be able to make it right. And the sooner you teach your dog the command, the better.

6. Digging

While digging is more common in some breeds than others, most dogs will do some digging if given the chance. Breeds like Terriers and Dachshunds love to dig which can be traced down to their history. Reasons to dig are varied. It may be due to boredom, excitement, anxiety, fear or to hide their coveted possessions like bones.

What to do?

Don’t leave your dog outside in the yard or in open places without supervision. Since bored dogs often tend to entertain themselves by digging, it’s your job to play with your pet and entertain it by playing games like fetch or tug-of-war.

For digging-breeds like Dachshunds and Terriers, certain spot needs to be provided for digging because they are just hard-wired to dig. Dog sports like Earth dog specially designed for such breeds needs to be considered.

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7. Jumping Up

Dogs jump up to greet people as puppies jump to reach their mothers. Dogs may also jump to exert dominance on other dogs. Excited dogs may suddenly jump on you unprepared leading to accidents. This can be especially dangerous when the dog is exposed to young children.

What to do?

Some people seem to practice ‘knee to the chest’ method but there are problems with it. The dog may take it as playing which can be counter-productive. The best measure is to withhold attention whenever the dog tries to jump.

You can turn your back on him as it jumps up or cross your arms on your chest without making a sound. Reinforce good behavior by providing dog-biscuits. Teaching the ‘Sit’ command early and practicing it with other members of the family and your friends so that the dog won’t jump on other people is also productive.

8. Chasing

A dog chasing moving objects like a vehicle, animals or jogging people is a predatory instinct. It can be dangerous as people being chased-down may be scared or frightened.

What to do?

The dog should be kept on a leash unless under direct supervision. Proper training so that the dog will come when called and having a dog whistle with you to direct attention to yourself is advised.

9. Biting

While puppies bite on other dogs and people as part of their exploration and learning, it may persist in adults and can be due to fear, to exert dominance, or to protect something dear to the dog.

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What to do?

Proper training and socialization are the required measures. Allow your dog to interact with children, elderly people as well. Expose your dog to various conditions. Keep your dog on a leash or in a confined area.

To prevent yourself from getting a bite, always keep a distance from an unfamiliar dog. Never run and scream and always avoid eye contact if you happen to be cornered by an unfamiliar dog. Regular vaccination is a must.

10. Begging

Some dogs have a bad habit of begging when they see you eating something delicious. It may persist and become a habit if you don’t discourage begging.

What to do?

While eating, you should keep you dog away at a place where it won’t be possible to look longingly towards you. If he complies with the method, he should be rewarded as part of positive reinforcement.

Featured photo credit: Angry Dog via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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