5 Common Dog Behaviours

All dogs are different. They like different games, different smells, and interact differently with people and other animals.

But, there are certain behaviours which are commonly present in the species, and whether they are wanted or unwanted is a different matter! Behaviours which are completely natural to dogs can sometimes be undesirable to their owners.

We’ve identified 5 of the most commonly presented behaviours and look into ways to discourage the unwanted…

Black and tan barking dachshund in snow

1. Barking. Lots of barking.

Barking is the most common, and most complained about dog behaviour. Though it’s their way of communicating with you, it can sometimes develop into a problem.

There are five types of barks which can be categorised into:
• Alert barking – letting you know he has seen or heard something
• Defensive barking – make something he is afraid of or doesn’t like go away
• Attention barking – wanting attention
• Frustration barking – doesn’t understand what’s going on
• Boredom barking – amusing himself

To curb barking when it becomes excessive, it is important to stay calm and firm to discourage further barking.

For more information, read ‘Why dogs bark and what to do when barking becomes a problem’.

Tasty!

2. Chewing (the destructive kind!)

Chewing is important for puppies during the teething process, and becomes more frequent in adults when they are bored.

Chewing can be a destructive habit if your dog is chewing the wrong thing, but there are ways you can redirect this behaviour:

  • Manage the environment – remove anything chewable from their reach!
  • Interrupt the behaviour – replace the inappropriate item with a tasty chew toy
  • Exercise – this produces endorphins which has a calming effect and helps to release pent-up energy

Our Busy Buddy® dog toys include a Treat Meter™ to encourage engaging and rewarding play.

Dog Digging At The Beach

3. Digging. Just Digging.

Some breeds of dogs have more energy and more of a penchant for digging than others. It’s a form of exercise and a distraction from boredom, but it can sometimes be disruptive and unwanted.

Ideally, your dog will have a space to dig and use their energy up somewhere in the garden or on a walk, so that there is an appropriate redirection for their digging if they are currently doing it somewhere unwanted.

The best way to avoid digging as a reoccurring issue is to ensure there has been sufficient exercise to tire out your pup.

Read more about ‘Why dogs love digging and how to manage it’

Reward from the veterinarian

4. Biting (wait, there’s more…)

Biting is one of the most basic of canine behaviours, and begins from a very early age.

But did you know there is more than one type of bite? They can be categorised as:

  • Possessive biting
  • Fearful biting
  • Painful biting
  • Maternal instincts
  • Prey drive

Discouragement of play biting from the beginning will lead to less-frequent adult biting behaviours. Do this through creating a strong human-animal bond by exercising and playing with your dog, training them to respect and establish your role as the rule setter and enforcer.

Pug laying on laundromat floor

5. Separation Anxiety. They just miss you!

It can be common that when an owner leaves the house or room that a dog can become stressed and present behaviours such as:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Destroying items
  • Scratching at walls and floors
  • Attempting to escape from the crate

To deter these signs of separation anxiety, praise good behaviour to encourage them to make a habit out of it, and give a consistent response to the behaviours so that your dog is confident in you as the Pack Leader.

If there is a deeper root to the issue, such as panic due to previous experiences, we suggest speaking to your vet or seeking help from a professional.

If you have any concerns or tips for how to deal with your dog’s behaviour, let us know in the comments.

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Hydration Month in Australia [Infographic]

pet hydration infographic

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National Pet Diabetes Month

November is National Pet Diabetes month, aimed at raising awareness of pet diabetes and promoting diabetes testing.

Diabetes is becoming more common in recent years, it is estimated that 1 out of every 100 dogs and between 1 in 50 and 1 in 500 cats will develop diabetes.

It may be a concern that your pet is living with diabetes, but it can usually be diagnosed by using a simple urine test and managed by maintaining an appropriate lifestyle.

What is pet diabetes?

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Diabetes mellitus is a condition that affects the concentration of glucose in your pet’s blood. It is caused by a shortage of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to be absorbed from your pet’s bloodstream into body cells to be used as a source of energy.

As a result, a diabetic cat or dog may want to eat constantly, but will appear malnourished because its cells can’t absorb the glucose.

How can diabetes affect my pet?

There are different tell-tale signs to lookout for whether you have a cat or a dog, let’s take a look at how they can be affected.

Diabetes in cats

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Diabetes in cats is more common in older and neutered male cats, and can be found through vet’s examinations which are recommended annually.

Between check-ups, there are signs to look out for which can point towards diabetes, such as:

  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Urinating more frequently, producing more urine per day, or having “accidents” outside the litter box
  • Always hungry but maintains or loses weight
  • Less active or sleeping more
  • Has thinning, dry, and dull hair

If your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Your vet will help you to determine how to keep your cat’s diabetes regulated. Diet plays a vital role, and ideally your cat should be offered the same amount of food at the same time every day.

Many experts suggest a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, but overall anything that minimizes fluctuations in blood glucose is important for managing diabetes.

Diabetes in dogs

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Canine diabetes typically occurs when dogs are between 4 to 14 years old. Unspayed female dogs are twice as likely as male dogs to suffer from diabetes.

There are some breeds that appear to be at greater risk for developing canine diabetes. These are:

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Pomeranians
  • Terriers
  • Toy Poodles
  • Keeshond

It is important to know the signs of diabetes so if you see any of these symptoms in your dog, it is important that you contact your vet:

  • Drinks more water than usual
  • Urinates more often, produces more urine per day, or has accidents in the house
  • Always acts hungry but maintains or loses weight
  • Has cloudy eyes

With a diagnosis from your vet you can begin monitoring your dog’s diet and regulate their diet to include the same diet at the same time every day. Their exercise should be regulated to avoid sudden changes in required energy, so create a consistent routine for you and your dog to keep them healthy and active.

If you want to assess how likely your pet is to have diabetes take the survey provided by Pet Diabetes Month and if you have concerns about your pet’s health, call your vet to schedule an appointment.

Have a story or tips to share on pet diabetes care? Let us know in the comments.

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