At some point in every dog owner’s life, their pet will go through a stage of destructive or undesirable behaviour. This will typically come between puppyhood and adolescence and can involve anything from chewing and play biting to jumping on people or furniture. Although these behaviours are perceived as common traits displayed by all dogs, they are referred to as paediatric behaviour problems and should be stopped before they become a constant behaviour.
As soon as you first notice these behavioural traits, you will need to address them with behavioural modification therapies while your little pup is still impressionable. By starting early with basic training, you will have more of a chance to stop them cementing this behaviour in their mind set.
Some of the most common types of behavioural issues are:
Destructive chewing: this can involve chewing of furniture or items of clothing
Play biting: often starts due to the owner messing around with the pup, although may grow into something more serious as they get older without proper training.
Jumping on people: this may occur when excited and meeting people, but can also happen when they want attention – you may find it cute at first but not everyone appreciates dirty paws on them
Getting on furniture: if they can a dog will jump on anything when it comes to food or getting attention and therefore should be trained to know right from wrong
Most pups will go through a stage of unruly behaviour at some point in their life; however genetics do play some role. Certain breeds are more susceptible to develop types of behaviour, although behavioural problems tend to be more common in urban areas where there are reduced opportunities for exercise and play.
While there is a number of behavioural issues that your dog can demonstrate, there is often a very common causes or causes for this behaviour. It is important to consider the whole picture and determine what could possibly be the explanation for such behaviours. Some of these causes are:
Lack of exercise: dogs especially need to be exercised at least once a day, and without this they may turn to destructive or unruly behaviour to either get your attention or to release some built up energy. Take your dog on big walks or to places where they can interact with other dogs and allow them to release as much energy as they possibly can
Mental stimulation: being home for most of the day can lead your pet to become bored with the lack of stimulation. Simple things can reduce their boredom and stop their unruly behaviour such as hiding their food, giving them puzzle games, or playing hide and seek with them!
Separation anxiety: without meaning to, many owners bring up their pets to become too attached to them which can lead to separation anxiety. This can lead to a number of odd behaviours in your cat or dog which can be quite hard to get out of their system, especially if directly related to separation.
In the end, the behaviour that your pet exhibits will determine how to best control it. There are ways to ween them off the behaviour, however it may come down to using a behavioural specialist to best help your four legged friend.