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Behavior

  • Dogs are social animals whose evolutionary history makes them willing and able to live in groups. Group living enabled the dog’s ancestors, wolves, to work together to obtain food, raise their young and defend their territory.

  • Most male animals (stallions, bulls, boars, rams, dogs, and tomcats) that are kept for companionship, work, or food production are neutered (castrated) unless they are intended to be used as breeding stock.

  • Play with owners and with other dogs provides your dog not only with an outlet for physical exercise, but also helps to fill your dog’s social needs.

  • 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.