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When it comes to dog ownership, no one wants to be that annoying person whose pet drives everyone nuts. Sometimes, however, our dogs end up following their own guidelines for behavior. It isn’t that they wish to be naughty, they simply do not understand some of our rules. In their minds, it probably seems quite arbitrary that they are allowed to do their business here, but not over there by the neighbor’s doorstep. Even though you know your pup and have patience for their quirks, other people may not feel as tolerant.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, Dog Behavior Blog is likely going to become your new favorite website. Canine biologist, cancer specialist, and author Amber Drake offers practical advice on a range of needs, from helping your dog with separation anxiety to finding suitable products and gear. Part of teaching your dog to behave better is understanding the underlying cause of some of their problematic behaviors.
Getting Into Your Dog’s Head
Fortunately, you do not need a degree in animal psychology to help determine some of the reasons your dog acts the way they do. A post on the Dog Behavior Blog outlines twelve behaviors dogs sometimes exhibit and some helpful hints as to what may be sparking that behavior. Excessive barking, biting, or self-harm behaviors may indicate that your dog is experiencing anxiety.
A lot of signs and symptoms may indicate stress, agitation, or fear. Dogs can even become depressed, which can manifest in excessive sleeping, paw-licking, or hiding. It is important to understand the issues that may increase distress or unhappiness. If the source of stress is obvious, such as loud noise, remove him from the situation and help him calm down in a separate location. Distract your dog by offering a command like “sit” and then reward that behavior with a treat or extra snuggles to reinforce that healthier response to stress.
Helpful Interventions for Mystery Stressors
There may be times when it is impossible to determine why your dog is barking excessively or exhibiting other behaviors that indicate stress or agitation. Seeking support from an animal behaviorist or trainer may help in these situations. Medications or natural supplements can be prescribed by a vet if the issue is impacting your dog’s quality of life or negatively influencing your relationship with your neighbors.
Some dogs may respond well to a weighted vest during times of stress. Try to keep as much consistency with routine as you can, as this may also help reduce acting-out behaviors. Set aside snuggle and grooming time daily to reassure your pup. It may also be appropriate to establish boundaries for your dog in your yard to reduce neighborhood roaming.
Establishing Boundaries for Your Dog
Maybe your dog is extroverted or has a difficult time reigning in their enthusiasm when the mailman is coming. Perhaps your pup struggles with understanding that your neighbor isn’t actually their buddy, or that he should not pee on their car or use their lawn as a dig site. Boundaries can be difficult to teach to a gregarious, curious pup, but there are methods to try that may preserve your relationship with neighbors.
Installing a fence acts not only as a boundary to prevent your dog from wandering, but also may reduce stimulation of monitoring the events of the neighborhood, depending on the type of material you choose. If you are considering a fence, it may be helpful to hire someone to install it for you. Since it is not a service you may have hired out for in the past, you may wonder, “Are there inexpensive fence companies near me?” Shop around and check installer reviews to ensure that you are getting a decent price and a skilled worker.
Using a dog run in your yard is another way to prevent him from visiting neighbors. If you opt to use this method, limit the amount of time the dog spends on the run and make sure they have ample room to explore, access to shade, and plenty of food and water. Make sure you interact with your pup and play often.
Remember, your dog wants nothing more than to make you happy. He may just need a little help curbing some behaviors to stay in the good graces of your neighbors.
For a ton of helpful tips for raising your dog, visit Dog Behavior Blog today!