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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 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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