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Common Dog Behavior Problems And How To Solve Them

Apr 26, 2008
Many dog lovers and dog owners are horrified to find out that the dog of their dreams is not what they have in the real world. Whenever we watch dog shows live or in television, we are swept away with their gracefulness, manners, and intelligence. Little do people know that just like any other animal, dogs have several behavioral problems that an owner must live by, and that these graceful manners seen on tv are the result of extensive dog behavior training.

One common thing we see in stray dogs--and even house-broken dogs--is the disgusting habit of eating other animals' fecal matter. Or perhaps, sometimes, their own. This repulsive and revolting dog behavior problem is known as coprophagia. Coprophagy--or the act of eating fecal matter--is associated with hunger and other internal diseases such as pancreatitis, food allergies, intestinal infections, and etcetera. Some people go as fas as saying that this dog behavior is associated with a level of advanced evolution. They believe that dogs eat their fecal matter because they used to do so in the wild to prevent their predators from finding them, therefore by eating their feces they would not leave traces of themselves behind and will not be found. Sometimes, coprophagia is a dog behaviour that was elicited by its observation of its master picking up its stool whenever the master cleans up the dirt. This is called Allelomimetic dog behavior. The dog imitates the action of picking up the stool by its mouth. If this is the case, the dog owner should clean the stool away from the presence of the dog. Coprophagy is a very difficult dog behavior problem to modify, if the problem has already started, the best way to prevent it from happening is to pick up immediately after your dog. You can also try to add something distasteful to the feces, like hot sauce, and allow your dog to try to eat it, chances are he will not, but you would have to persistently watch your dog, and persistently place the distasteful substance on the feces, if you fail to do so, he will know that there will be times when the feces will be still eatable.

Once you see your dog eats its feces, take the dog to the veterinarian the soonest possible time to address these dog problems, although the majority of the times coprophagy is not related to a health issue.

Another dog problem which drives owners crazy is excessive dog barking. When a dog barks at everything it is a problem that needs some dog behavior modification. Some dogs just bark excessively that it turns into a nightmare not only to the owner but for their neighbors as well. If this is the case with your dog you need to train your dog to stop barking to prevent future problems. Some people go as far as using dog barking collars. This is not always necessary, but if you choose to go that route, be certain to look for dog bark collar reviews on the net.

Barking is a dog's most basic means of communication. This is how a dog expresses anger or acknowledgement of someone's presence. One common cause is genetics. Some breed of dogs bark more than the others. And another cause is external stimulus that excites the dog--thus leading to the excessive barking.

If barking is your unwelcome dog behavior, you may want to check if it is improperly confined. If a dog is confined and does not feel comfortable, it will be stressed and will bark excessively. Another thing you may look into is lack of physical activity. If the dog has too much unused energy, it will bark non-stop until it gets exhausted. Make sure that you spend playtime with your dog. If you wonder how to stop a dog from barking while crate training, an effective way to do it is by exercising your dog prior to putting him in the crate.

If the cause of your dog's barking is temperamental, you should use the approach of behavior modification to solve the dog problems. You may use punishment so the dog will associate the bad feeling with the action--that is, barking excessively. Just like with cats, you may spray water to your dog whenever it barks. You can do this by using a plant water sprayer. This punishment does not harm the dog at all. Once it stops barking, you should never forget to reward your dog. This way, the dog will think that food will be around whenever it is quiet.

As with other dog training stuff, teaching appropriate dog behavior is something that requires patience, time, and a lot of hard work. Do not be worn out, the fruits of your labor are the very things that will keep you and your dog living together in peace.
About the Author
Increase the happy years of your dog by checking out my free e-book. In it I reveal all the secrets I've used to develop a happy, healthier dog. Visit Dr. Alfonso's dog training blog right now...
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