Common Reasons for Bad Dog Behavior
Where do bad dogs come from, and how do we deal with bad dog behavior?
Dogs go bad because of miscommunication between owner and dog, not because of meaness or spite.
Bad dog behavior can always be addressed with time, patience, retraining, and proper management.
Here are some common reasons that people use for bad dog behavior.
Bad Dog 1 - Born Mean
No dog is truly born mean. Some dogs may be born with neurological disorders that make them act out in unexpected ways, but there are few dogs who truly fall into this category.
Poor breeding may produce a dog that is difficult to handle.
A dog with unbalanced parents (e.g. timid, fearful, anxious), will be predisposed toward being unbalanced as well. That is why it is important NOT to get a dog from pet stores, online stores, or puppy mills. These establishments do not treat their dogs well, and are not careful with the temperament and health of the dogs that they breed.
Nevertheless, even a dog who is predisposed towards fear or timidness, can be properly managed, and trained to counter their genetic weaknesses. If a timid puppy is properly trained, and socialized to a wide variety of objects, people, and dogs, he will grow up to be a confident, and happy adult.
Bad Dog 2 - Vampire Dog
Some people believe that dogs turn bad after they have tasted blood, whether animal blood or human blood.
This is absolutely false.
Dogs are not vampires. They do not suddenly think of all humans as bags of blood, after they kill a gopher in our backyard.
In fact, the original breeders of my Siberian Husky, the Chukchi, would let their dogs free during the summer months to hunt for food on their own. When these dogs return home after hunting, they are playful and loyal companions to both adults and children in the tribe.
Bad Dog 3 - The Dog that Hates Me
Many people believe that a dog's bad behavior is a result of hate or spite.
This is also false.
Bad dogs are bad because they do not understand what we consider bad and what we consider good.
Dogs are not humans, and they do not communicate in the same way that we do. This results in frequent miscommunication, which may cause dog aggression or other bad dog behaviors.
Always be consistent with our dog, and teach him a set of commands and hand gestures, so that we can successfully communicate with him.
Bad Dog 4 - The Dominant Dog
The most popular reason today, for a bad dog, is probably dominance.
Popular dog training shows such as The Dog Whisperer, place a heavy emphasis on physical dominance and confrontation.
While dominance, is sometimes the reason for certain bad dog behaviors, the problem is more likely from fear, stress, frustration, boredom, bad communication, or simply lack of routine and structure.
A 30 year study conducted at Yale and U.C. Berkeley shows that:
"Alpha" does not mean physically dominant. It means "in control of resources." Many, many alpha dogs are too small or too physically frail to physically dominate. But they have earned the right to control the valued resources. An individual dog determines which resources he considers important. Thus an alpha dog may give up a prime sleeping place because he simply couldn't care less.
~~ [Excerpt from ClickerSolutions]
Dealing with Bad Dog Behavior
Most bad dog behaviors can be retrained and managed. All it takes is time and patience.
The only case where retraining is not possible, is when the bad dog behavior is a result of health issues, such as a neurological disorder.
Bring our dog to the vet once every year for shots, and a physical examination. This will help us identify and address health issues, before they become bad dog issues.
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