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How to Deal With Some Common Dog Behavior Problems

Updated on April 17, 2012


Your dog chews, runs amok in the house, destroys whatever it can in its wake; wags its tail, bounces around, and literally lights up your life at home.

But that’s as far as this behavior is in moderation.

If your dog does a little too much of this, it’s most certainly a behavior problem.

It’s a common dog behavior problem and it should be taken care of when your dog is trained trained, anyway.

Here are some of the common behavior problems associated with dogs and what you can do about them:


Biting & chewing behavior problems


Biting and chewing are some of the most common behavioral problems when it comes to dogs. As long as your dog chews on stuff it can chew or bite, it’s all right.

It becomes a problem when your dog seems to get into a pattern of chewing or biting anything that’s in its way. It’s a compulsive behavior and it needs to be addressed.

Start with simple actions such as keeping your dog by your side when you are at home, using non-toxic bitter sprays on the usual targets of biting and chewing (such as balls, latex toys, etc.), give your dog enough to chew or bite on so that it doesn’t find the need to find other stuff lying around.

ASPCA recommends that you don’t buy your puppy at your regular pet stores, neuter your dog as soon as possible, get your puppy trained when it’s ready, and don’t chain or leash your dog for prolonged periods of time since it leads to boredom, which in turn causes dogs to resort to chewing or biting behavior problems incessantly to beat these pangs of loneliness.


Dog Behavioral problems such as Digging


Dogs dig out earth when they feel anxious, smell rodents, suffer from pain, or from boredom.

Dogs also take to digging when they suffer from separation anxiety.

If nothing, digging is a natural hunting behavior for a dog and is associated with hunting for food.

Some of the simple steps you could take to prevent your dog from this digging behavior problems is to make sure that there are people at home to take care of it, control or reduce the rodent population at home, give your dog plenty of exercise, attend to any separation anxiety or neurological issues it might have.


Dog Behavioral problems such as Urinating


Is your puppy or your dog urinating in the house? Sometimes, these common dog behavior problems could stem from a submissive behavioral pattern, excitement, fear, and even insufficient (or lack of) proper house training.

In some other cases, dogs could urinate to mark their territory. If the fire hydrants and car tires don’t show up on time (or if your dog stays indoors most of the time), your bathroom potty, furniture, or anything else could be the marking point.

Take your dog to the vet, get some urine tests done, check the medical history, and invest in proper house training for your dog.

Further, take your dog out every day but minimize the externalities that stimulate your dog’s yearning to urinate and the common dog marking behavior.


Dog behavior problems such as licking


Some dog behavior problems can get “icky and wet”. If your dog is prone to any sort of neurological disease, stress, boredom, and when in pain, they would begin to lick incessantly.

Dogs also resort to licking when they feel itchy, due to insect bites, and due to other irritants.

Trying to figure out whether the licking problem in your dog is a one-off, natural reflex or a compulsive behavioral disorder.

If it were the latter, you’d then have to take your dog to a professional veterinarian.

Check to see if the licking behavior is due to a problem in the area of your dog’s body -- it could be a wound, fleas, or some sort of irritation due to contact with plants.

Something in your dog’s diet could also cause skin irritation, which could be the problem (you may have to change the diet?).

If the licking is due to boredom, you might want to keep your dog engaged by spending time or playing.


There are some other common dog behavior problems such as dog barking problems, dog behavior problems that stem from separation anxiety, etc.

There are solutions to most of these problems as you have seen.

If nothing you do seems to help, you’d then have to resort professional help.

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