What constitutes a dog’s behavior, what influences him. What problems can arise in the process of education and how to prevent them. How is the correction of dog behavior carried out? Your pet’s behavioral models.
Today many families cannot imagine their life without pets. They give us a lot of pleasant sensations, make our children kind and responsible. In order to quickly achieve mutual understanding and make friends with them, it is useful to know some of the features of their psychology.
Among domestic animals, the dog is the most obedient and close to man. This is the result of the voluntary process of domestication. Since ancient times, people have shared housing with her and shared food. And she paid him with affection and love.
The most important thing to realize before buying a dog is responsibility for the pet. Including for the behavior of the dog. And no one, except the owner, is responsible for his dog. So how do you learn to understand and educate your four-legged friend so that you don’t blush for him later?
Family factors affecting dog behavior
For a dog, a community of people is the same pack, and its owner is a leader. And the owner’s place of residence is the territory of this pack. A dog that has lost its owner and home is in complete confusion. Often, in order to return to normal life, she needs a different owner. Therefore, one of the characteristic features of the canine psyche is jealousy. It is clearly manifested when a lonely owner brings a woman into the house and pays a lot of attention to her. Or a child appears in a childless family, and all attention is paid only to him. It’s always stressful for a dog.
If there are other members in the family besides the “leader”, competitive relations arise, attempts to influence the tables of ranks. The dog will strive to take a higher position in the family than others. Although she will completely obey the head of the family, or rather, the one whom she recognized as the “leader of the pack.” Hence the appropriate behavior of the dog.
The third factor is the process of education and training. After all, a dog does not live in a house by itself. They are trying to educate her, to subordinate her to some kind of intra-family rules of the hostel. The dog is trained, taught to do something for which it is brought up. And these processes can proceed in different ways: right or wrong, adequate or not quite. There may be distortions, side effects or just a marriage of such training, if it is done unprofessionally.
As a result, we often get not quite what, or even not at all what we were striving for. We get a pet with bad habits, with altered behavior. And we are trying to fight it.
Dog behavior in a modern urban environment
It is noteworthy that every year the structure of the composition of dogs in urban owners is changing more and more. Fewer and fewer representatives of large service breeds. As a rule, they are organized in training clubs, which means they are more professionally educated and trained. More and more smaller dogs, less manageable hunting or decorative in the city. It has become fashionable to take puppies from overexposure, nobly saving them from euthanasia. And then also adults, formed dogs. Outbreds and mestizos. Who takes these pets? Not professional cynologists. Hence – the appropriate education … And immediately a lot of bad habits. And the dog’s behavior inevitably requires correction.
Who is more in training centers now? Sheepdogs or Rottweilers, ceremoniously learning the basics of OKD? Elite show dogs of show class? No, no. There are more and more problematic, vicious and biting mongrels that have grown up somewhere on the street. And then taken from the shelter by compassionate women. Which, instead of correct education, begin to do everything in the opposite way.
Problematic dog behavior associated with improper parenting
Inadequate hierarchical relationships in the family
Most common problems. Errors in upbringing are excessive permissiveness, lack of rigor and impunity. The result is the dog’s leadership over family members. With all the ensuing manifestations. From disobedience to aggression.
The opposite bias is despotism and cruelty towards the dog. The result is a cowardly dog with a broken psyche and other unpleasant manifestations.
Improper training of the puppy to its place
As a result, the dog does not lie down or does not like to be on it for a long time, not considering it as its place. The value for the dog of this item is lost and the benefits of its availability and correct use.
Problems with toilet training
Incorrect teaching methods in this matter inevitably lead to problems. From the very moment a puppy appears in the house, you need to immediately begin to teach him to fulfill his needs only on the street. Regardless of the season and weather. Show patience and perseverance. And then there will be the right groundwork for the rest of the pet’s life. It is much more difficult to change the already established behavior of a dog! For example, if a dog is accustomed to shitting in a cage or aviary, or she was accustomed to a diaper.
Improper training of a dog to a leash and a muzzle
Or rather, the lack of such a skill. Very important for walks, when visiting public places, veterinarian, in transport and in other situations.
Lack of habit of basic hygiene procedures
This is especially common in dogs taken from a shelter. Such gaps in upbringing need to be eliminated especially carefully and correctly. After all, this is the key to the future health of the dog. Such procedures include bathing, hair clipping, combing, cleaning ears and teeth, eye care, clipping. Inappropriate attempts to accustom a pet to the procedure can permanently turn it into severe stress, both for the dog and for its owner.
Problems associated with improper training
- Lack of basic obedience as a result of lack of initial training.
- Problems with obedience, improper execution of commands and refusal to comply with them due to improper training.
Any training is the process of using some instincts (unconditioned reflexes) and instilling new ones. Conditioned reflexes based on unconditioned ones. Using incentives, negative or positive. The process is not easy, time consuming, depends on many factors and requires professionalism. Since mistakes will be difficult to correct, they are often expensive in the future. Therefore, only a specially trained dog handler should do this.. It is very important to lay the foundations for good behavior early on. Correction of the behavior of dogs in the future, if it is incorrectly formed, will require much more effort.
Bad habits at home
Now about the home bad habits of adult dogs.
An insistent demand for attention
This happens in dogs that have not been raised and trained to the extent necessary. Often this is a dog acquired as an adult. These are called “tyrant dogs.” This can grow in a family with a general excess of pampering.
It manifests itself in different ways: the dog persistently “pesters”, puts its paws on the shoulders or muzzle on its knees, pokes its nose, the small one jumps on the arms. She does not want to be left alone, interferes with the communication of family members with each other, and in general she tries to be the center of attention.
Sometimes intraspecific – to other dogs in the house, and interspecific. That is, to other family members or strangers who come to communicate with the owner. The reason is shifting attention from the dog to another object. The manifestations of this are also different: the dog can spoil and gnaw things, shoes and furniture, shit right in the apartment, steal food from the table, stop obeying.
Excessive emotion when meeting
It is also not always a pleasant phenomenon if the dog is allowed to meet all the guests too joyfully. These are jumping with paws to the chest, licking the face, biting hands and other similar manifestations of joy. At the same time, you can stain or damage the guest’s clothes, scare the child. And although, in fact, these are quite natural manifestations of the joy of meeting, the excess of such emotions may require correction. This behavior of the dog can also be uncomfortable.
The reasons may vary
- Disease. The dog howls suddenly, for no apparent reason, in the presence of the owner, which has never happened before. In such a situation, it is better to consult a veterinarian, although such manifestations of diseases in dogs are rare.
- Anxiety in a new environment, when feeling some smells. Also a rare occurrence. It is inherent in generally restless, emotionally unstable pets.
- Deficit of attention. Although more often this is manifested by whining, squealing.
- Spoiledness is the most common reason. The sharp contrast between constant attention and loneliness is a great stress for such a dog.
- A rare cause of howling is fears and phobias.
- Remote communication with other dogs. Interspersed with barking.
Damage to shoes, things, furniture
In a puppy, this usually occurs when changing teeth. In an adult dog, this may be purely instinctive, because a dog is essentially a predatory animal. And teeth for her are the most important working tool. This can intensify with a lack of attention or fear of loneliness. Careful correction of the dog’s behavior will solve the problem. But it will take a lot of patience.
Typical for small breeds. They do not perceive the apartment as a dwelling (aviary or booth). Due to its small size, for them an apartment is a whole vast territory. Which needs to be designated. An ancient instinct that the dog inherited from its ancestors. This behavior of a dog is characteristic of an individual with leadership qualities, striving for the status of the leader of the pack.
Although this happens when the dog is afraid or in the house the smell of guests, a strange dog or a bitch in heat is somewhere nearby. In these cases, no behavior correction is required.
Theft and / or begging
Very common and at the same time unpleasant bad habits!
- Feeding from the table. By his own and guests, outside of the time of the usual feeding.
- Improper and poor feeding (the dog is simply hungry).
- Natural pronounced food instinct. More pronounced feeding behavior of a dog of hereditary nature. “Food dog”.
- Attachment to family members (dog behavior is often similar to begging).
Incorrect dog behavior while walking
Reluctance to walk
For most dogs, walking is a pleasure. But not for everyone. There are couch potatoes, which to take out into the street means to endure the protests of your pet over and over again. The reasons are also different.
- Fear. This behavior of the dog is due to the strong fright during the walk.
- Disease. More often the joints of the paws or spine. Walking is associated with pain when walking, climbing stairs.
- Weather conditions. Small short-haired dogs often dislike frosty or rainy weather.
- Inconvenience of ammunition. At the sight of a collar, muzzle or leash, growls or runs and hides.
Leash jerking. The dog pulls
Not very pleasant behavior of the dog while walking. It occurs mainly for two reasons. It can be bad manners, lack of training in a leash and collar. Or this is the behavior of a dog striving for leadership. Then it will be combined with other manifestations of this nature. Correcting the behavior of dogs will require accustoming to dog harness.
Picking up from the ground
Something potentially edible. Or maybe just something like that. Or just something new that puppies have. As a manifestation, try everything to the teeth, and through this to cognize the world around you. But this behavior of the dog is associated with possible poisoning or swallowing completely inedible objects. For example, glass.
In an adult dog, the reason may be hunger, increased food instinct, and also simple bad manners. When eating something from the ground is not forbidden. Fighting the ancient instinct to get food can be very difficult. Correcting dog behavior is difficult. Not all dogs can achieve the desired effect.
Also, usually hereditary determined behavior of a dog that has a hunting instinct and interspecies aggression. Correction of the dog’s behavior is possible, but more often only partial. You can train your dog to refrain from attacking at the request of the owner. Although, if you raise a puppy initially with a cat in the house, you can solve this problem. There are many examples of the touching friendship of these animals.
Inappropriate behavior of the dog in the car
It can manifest itself as a reaction of expressed anxiety, fear, and sometimes even aggression. This happens when the dog gets into a new unfamiliar environment. Or when creating a negative reaction to the trip. For example, being in a car accident in the past. Or a repetitive violent crash into a vehicle. Maybe the dog was scolded or even beaten for vomiting during the trip. Or maybe once left there for a long time alone in hot weather, without even opening the windows … Correction of dog behavior will require a thorough analysis of past situations.
Felting in excrement, corpse remains and eating them
One of the most unpleasant dog habits. They say that dung, human feces, decaying carcasses are like perfume for a dog. And they taste and smell pleasant to them. But this has not been proven. It is assumed that these are also remnants of ancient instincts. Such behavior of the dog could allow to hunt more successfully, attracting the attention of small rodents and masking its smell. Show the relatives the way to food, because many predators do not disdain carrion in nature. Fight woolly parasites.
Eating – usually involving feces. This is typical for puppies. Dogs adopt this behavior from their mother while still in the nest. Which eats puppy excrement, “putting things in order and cleanliness in the house.” Such a bad habit can take hold at a young age if it is not stopped in time. The reasons for its manifestation often lie in the low calorie content of cheap dry food used for nutrition. Therefore, other people’s or their own excrement looks appetizing and nutritious for the dog. Also, the causes of coprophagia can be pancreatitis or a lack of vitamins and minerals in the dog’s diet.
Aggressive dog behavior
Fears, cowardice, phobias
General cowardice is an innate trait of a dog’s character. More often than not, it is almost impossible to fix. Except for some of its individual specific manifestations. Phobias (fears) are another matter entirely. These are more often acquired reactions. And they apply to a specific factor. Or there may be several factors. But this is a persistent reaction of the dog in the form of fright, uncontrollable fear. Which is manifested by an active (attempted attack), and more often by a passive defensive reaction. That is, the dog is trying to run away, to hide. She often seeks refuge at the feet of the owner. Let’s name only the most common varieties.
Fear of loud, harsh sound.
Fear of certain places. Those where the dog was previously very scared.
Fear of transport.
Fear of water.
There are other less common phobias.
The list of all unpleasant problems can be expanded. The behavior of the dog is not always what we expect from it. But what it is – primarily depends on ourselves. After getting acquainted with the various possible problems, you need to understand one thing. A number of rules for raising and communicating with a pet cannot be neglected. Understanding the reasons and following these rules is a kind of prevention of bad habits in a dog. And also the basis for correcting the behavior of dogs. And this is available to all of us, ordinary dog owners, and not only to dog handlers and zoopsychologists. And this in the future can save you from many problems. You just need to know how to do it right and do it right.