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Types of dog misbehaviour: what is okay and what is not


5 min Read

February 23, 2021 | Parenting

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dog misbehaviour

A dog will do what a dog does. They will roll over, they will beg, they will look at you with puppy eyes for some extra cuddles or treats and they will always shower you with wet kisses.

But they will also chew, bark, dig and chase.

While most doggo behaviours are cute, some can prove to be troublesome to both doggos and their pet parents. Some behaviours like humping and mounting also tend to embarrass their owners. In case of new parents, behavioural problems in dogs are often misunderstood and correcting them can get quite challenging. So how do you understand dog misbehavior, and know when a particular behaviour is okay and when it is not?

Types of Dog Misbehaviour

Here are some of the most common dog behaviour problems and the best ways to deal with them:

1. Barking

Just like their hoomans, dogs also need to ‘talk’ and vocalize what they are feeling in some way or the other. This communication is done by barking, whining or howling. As a pet parent, you need to first figure out the reason for their barking. The most common reasons for barking are to show playfulness/excitement, warning/alerting, anxiety, boredom, wanting attention or responding to other doggos.

While all of this is okay, excessive barking becomes a dog misbehaviour and can cause a problem in the household or for neighbours. To tackle this, understand why your doggo is barking excessively. If it is to get attention, they may be insecure and try ignoring them. Once your doggo stops barking, reward them with a treat for being quiet. If the excessive barking is due to a doorbell ring or a knock, it is because your doggo is guarding their territory. Shouting at them to keep quiet will not help in this case. Instead soothe and give the reassurement that the person coming is not an enemy.

Teaching your doggo ‘bark’ and ‘quiet’ commands can also help bring excessive barking in control. Using training treats as a reward will all the more ensure that your furry friends learns these commands quickly.

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2. Chewing

Chewing too is a very natural action for doggos, it is a very important activity for them, which not only provides relief from stress or boredom but also maintains the oral health. The common reasons for chewing include teething season, excess energy, boredom, anxiety and in case of puppies - curiosity.

Chewing is not a problematic behaviour until it leads to destruction of your cushions, shoes, magazines or other household things. To curb this behaviour, provide chew toys and long lasting chewing treats to doggos to keep them distracted. Try to keep your personal items away from their reach. However, if you find your doggo chewing something they shouldn’t, make a sharp noise to distract them and replace that item with a healthy chew. For example, hard bars like Dogsee cheese bars are long-lasting dental chews that keeps your doggo engaged for a long time. The rich flavour and chewy texture of the bars will keep them preoccupied, without causing destruction to other household items.

Long-lasting Dental Chew

As a pet parent, you also need to ensure that your doggo gets a lot of exercise to spend their energy on, else it may be directed towards excessive chewing of inappropriate objects.

3. Digging

Digging is a very happy activity of doggos and instinct behaviour. Some dog breeds like terriers have hunting histories which make them all the prone to digging.

Digging, once again, is a sign of boredom or excess energy, fear, a need to escape or explore a new area, hide possessions like toys, and a natural hunting instinct.  While this behaviour may not be a big problem, it can be a concern if they dig up your whole yard making it dirty, or dig your neighbour’s yard and eat up the grass. Your doggo can also hurt themselves with excessive digging. To control this behaviour, make your doggo exercise more often so the energy is spent there. If they are reluctant at first, use tasty dog training treats to capture their attention. And if your doggo simply cannot stop digging, you can allocate one single area and teach them that digging will be acceptable only in that place.

4. Chasing

Chasing, once again, is a predatory instinct of doggos, and they tend to chase other animals, cars and humans. All of these things can prove to be very risky for your pooch, especially when they are outdoors or on the road.  A stranger who is probably afraid of dogs will also be at risk.

Preventing a dog from chasing can be a very difficult task, but what you can do is keep them on a leash when outdoors, or keep a whistle to hold their attention. People who are jogging or children cycling can be potential triggers for your doggo to chase them, so be aware of the same. Alternatively, you can also train your dog how to stop and freeze with a command. 

5. Biting

It is an instinctive nature of doggos to bite. When it comes to puppies, they tend to nip or bite during the teething time or to explore out of curiosity. This behaviour is normal, but if this behaviour goes beyond puppyhood or can harm others, it can become a concern. 

Grown up doggos do not bite only due to aggression, there can be other reasons too such as fear, defence, pain and property protection. Such behavioral problems in dogs can be brought under control through proper training, responsible breeding and socialization. 

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