Behavioral issues are not uncommon in dogs and can originate from issues with any of the factors listed below. The good news is that the majority of behavioral problems can be resolved or improved upon with obedience training. Other issues will require more intensive behavior modification work. We cannot change genetics, but we can influence behavior in spite of genetics in some cases – if initiated early enough and done so correctly.
Regardless of breed, each dog will have challenges at some point in their lives. Many factors go into the make- up of an individual dog:
- genetics passed from the parent dogs
- breed characteristics
- individual personality
- quality of mother dog’s nurturing and mothering ability
- environmental factors
- quantity and quality of socialization and at what age was it started
- the age at which they left their litter (left mother and siblings)
- life experiences (with other dogs, people, situations).
At WDU, we first get to know you and your dog through a one-on-one consultation. Addressing behavioral problems often involves some detective work on the part of the CPT (certified professional trainer) initially, before a plan can be implemented. The longer an issue has been going on, the more difficult it is to successfully extinguish and the best we can hope for is to manage the unwanted behavior. It is very important to address behavioral issues early – as soon as they arise. Unrecognized or ignored problem behaviors will mean those behaviors are more entrenched, therefore, will be harder or perhaps impossible to correct.
Common behavioral problems we deal with:
- Food possessiveness
- Toy possessiveness
- Play biting / nipping
- Pulling on the leash
- Eating too fast
- Separation anxiety
- Inappropriate marking (urination)
- Housebreaking issues
- Destructive (property) behaviors
- Not listening
- Jumping Up
- Playing too rough with human companions
- Dog on dog aggression
- Aggression toward strangers / guests
- Leash Reactivity
Our philosophy at Whole Dog University, LLC when dealing with behavioral issues is to consider the whole dog. Correcting a behavioral problem takes time, patience and understanding of things from the dog’s perspective as much as is possible. Together, with you (and perhaps your veterinary practitioner) and your dog, we will seek a reasonable and successful solution to the behavioral problem.