Many dog owners have experienced a badly behaved dog at some point or another and for some of us, that badly behaved dog can be our own. It is never pleasant when a dog jumps up at you, becomes overtly aggressive over its food or destroys stuff around the house if you leave him/her alone. This article is going to outline and discuss why some dogs display behavioural problems, whilst attempting to alleviate the common misconceptions that surround badly behaved dogs.
Bad behaviour in dogs can be seen in all shapes or forms. Some tendencies that a pet pooch can display are less alarming and may seem like ‘normal’ dog behaviour to some dog owners. Such tendencies can include jumping up at people, getting up on a couch or sofa, chewing shoes and pulling on the lead when out for a walk.
Whilst these habits may seem to be minor, many experts state that they display a lack of obedience and that if not corrected, could lead to behavioural problems of a much more severe nature which can include destruction of the house, differing types of aggression and unsocial tendencies. When out in public with a dog, it is important for owners to be aware that any damage caused to a third party’s property will make the owner liable for the cost incurred, including legal fees. That is why it is essential to ensure that a) the dog is covered with an appropriate pet insurance policy and b) the dog is properly trained and well-adjusted.
The main thinking behind bad dog behaviour relates to the dog’s first initial years and the socialisation and training it receives. Many dog behaviour experts believe that a dog that isn’t socialised properly with other animals and humans, then it will display bad behavioural tendencies as they get older. However, whilst this is possible, it is also important to note that the correct training is essential as it will teach a dog what is correct behaviour and what is undesired behaviour.
There are a variety of different training methods in which to achieve a well-behaved dog. The most commonly used methods are reward based and are thought of as an excellent way in which a dog can learn what is ‘wrong and right’. It is a combination of early socialisation and a consistent level of training that seems to work best for most dog owners.
Whilst these methods do seem to work, they may not work for all dogs. Some dogs may have been adopted from a rescue shelter, having suffered from a horrendous past. With these dogs the subject of training them well and ridding them of certain behaviours or personality traits, such as aggression or anxiety, can prove very difficult indeed. As a result, certain dogs from rescue shelters will only be allowed to be adopted by a person who is extensively experience with canines.
Of course, these theories and viewpoints only apply to the ‘general’ dog. Some of the best behaved and settled dogs can sometimes just snap; usually if they feel threatened or their personal space, often around their face, is violated. In addition, some rescue dogs that have suffered abuse or had a horrible upbringing can be perfectly settled and well-behaved for the rest of their lives.
What is the most important thing to remember when discussing a dog’s behaviour is that each and every dog is an individual, and as such, should be treated as an individual. One dog may be anxious in a situation for one reason, whilst another dog may be anxious in the exact same situation, but for an entirely different reason. Humans should treat dogs with the respect and attention that they deserve.