How to deal with problem behaviour
All dogs can be naughty, some worse than others. While early training can help puppies learn right from wrong, it’s important to remember that rescue dogs may not have had that important early care. For example they may not have been socialised with people and other dogs as a puppy, or they may have missed out on training. They may have been bored, over-boisterous or destructive because of insecurity and anxiety. By getting to know why your dog behaves the way they do, you can help rectify their problem behaviour.
Some of the triggers for problem behaviour are:
• Being left alone
• Car travel
• Fear and nervousness
• Boisterous and status-related behaviours
• Breed traits
Being Left Alone
Dogs are pack animals and enjoy company. So, when they’re denied it, some resort to destructiveness, howling or messing. This is usually down to boredom, attention seeking or insecurity and anxiety.
• If your dog gets bored, invest time in creating games and toys that keep their minds occupied, both when you’re with them and when you’re not.
• Hard as it can be, it is important to praise good behaviour and ignore bad. By responding to disruptive behaviour, like barking or whining, the dog thinks they’re getting attention. So they do it again. And again.
• There’s a fine line between overprotecting a pet dog and being supportive of an insecure dog. Spend time with the dog gently guiding them to build up their independence.