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…
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’.
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.
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’
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.
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:
- 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.