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5 most common causes of dog behaviour problems

Dog catching ball

1. Lack of exercise

Dogs are active by nature and as such, not getting out and about enough can have a negative effect on their mood. Dogs typically need half an hour of exercise, twice a day. Bear in mind that letting your dog out to wander in the garden does not count. Dogs enjoy visiting different places, meeting other animals and having the chance to run around energetically off the leash.

 

2. Negative experiences

Dogs have the ability to remember negative encounters and experiences. Many of your dog’s bad behaviours can probably be attributed to fear or anxiety related to a previous negative experience. For example, fear of fireworks or separation anxiety. This is also the reason many dogs hate trips to the vets. These bad behaviours are less likely to develop if you can avoid exposing your pets to negative experiences.

 

3. Insufficient training

Dogs are not born with a sense of what is considered “good” and “bad” behaviour. You cannot expect a dog to learn how to behave without training them. Training a dog takes patience, time and commitment but it will be worth it in the end. You should aim to spend 15 minutes a day training your dog. This can be split into 3 lots of 5 minute segments if that’s more manageable or it can be incorporated into regular activities like on your daily dog walk.

 

4. Sensitive hearing

It can be easy to forget that a dog's hearing is far superior to our own. Dogs are able to hear much higher and much lower pitches than us as well as being able to hear sounds four times further away. This means that owners can sometimes be unaware of how certain sounds are affecting their dogs. Dogs are particularly fearful of sudden loud noises such as fireworks, thunder and vacuum cleaners. To try and combat this, the Dog’s Trust have a range of sound-based treatment programmes available for free on their website to help you ‘train’ your dog to cope better with certain noises.

 

5. Lack of proper socialisation

Between the age of 3 weeks and 3 months, dogs will easily form relationships with other animals and people so this is a key time to encourage them how to interact with others. You’ll also be able to teach your puppy that strange experiences, objects and situations are nothing to be scared of.  A lack of socialisation in a dog’s first year of life can lead to serious fear and aggression problems later on. Take your puppy to meet nice, friendly dogs often and let him experience a range of new things. If a puppy shows a nervous reaction, you must remove him immediately. Remember to always praise your puppy for good, calm behaviour.