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Dogs + Behavior

  • Many behavior problems have a component of fear, anxiety or excessive arousal so that retraining cannot begin until a calm, relaxed state can be achieved on cue. Training should focus on both the behavioral response (sit, down, walk, stay on your mat) as well as the emotional state (calm, relaxed).

  • Exercises that use gentle and positive handling can help to increase the enjoyment and decrease any fear associated with handling and restraint.

  • The goal of training is to teach your dog a desirable behavior and to associate a command word with that behavior. To be successful, you must first be able to get the pet to exhibit the desired behavior reliably before adding the command.

  • An increasing number of pet owners are taking their dogs with them when they travel by car or airplane rather than leaving them behind. On a day to day basis, there may be some places where your dog may accompany you, whether you are visiting friends, going to work, or taking the dog to the groomer, veterinarian or doggy day care.

  • Dogs are highly social animals that make wonderful pets; however, with the lifestyle and schedule of the majority of families, dogs must learn to spend a portion of the day alone at home while their human family is away.

  • Chasing and running after prey, nipping at heels and herding are normal dog behaviors. These behaviors are more strongly motivated in some breeds of dogs than others. In addition, some dogs may be motivated to chase off intruders (people, other dogs) from their property and, when the intruders leave, the behavior may appear to the dog to have been successful.

  • While most cases of coprophagia appear to be purely behavioral, there are indeed numerous medical problems that can cause or contribute to coprophagia. These problems must first be ruled out before a purely behavioral diagnosis can be made.

  • Sometimes it is necessary to use a special type of collar to prevent your pet from attacking a particular area (e.g., a wound or bandage dressing). They take two forms: Elizabethan collars and tubular collars.

  • There are numerous reasons that a dog might soil the house with urine and/or stools. Determining the specific reason is essential for developing a treatment program. Dogs that soil the home continuously or intermittently from the time they were first obtained may not have been properly house-trained.

  • Separation anxiety occurs when dogs become distressed when separated from their owners and cannot relax while being home alone. Many dogs with separation anxiety follow the owner from room to room in the home and rarely spend time alone outdoors.