Articles

Dogs + Behavior

  • Aggression is the most serious and dangerous behavior problem that dog owners may need to face. Since there are many different types of aggression, making a diagnosis, determining the prognosis (the chances of safe and effective correction) and developing an appropriate treatment plan are usually best handled with the help of a veterinary or applied animal behaviorist.

  • Dogs, especially puppies, are extremely playful and investigative. While play with people and other dogs is an important part of socialization and social development, exploration and object play are important ways for dogs to learn about their environment.

  • Fear is a physiological, behavioral, and emotional reaction to stimuli that an animal encounters. The physiological reaction results in an increase in heart rate, increased respiratory rate (panting), sweating, trembling, pacing, and possibly urination and defecation. Behaviorally, an animal will exhibit changes in body posture and activity when afraid.

  • Some dogs continue to guard their food aggressively even after being worked with as puppies (see Handling and Food Bowl Exercises). Punitive attempts to change them, such as making the dog wait and perform numerous tasks for food, or factors that cause increased hunger might tend to exacerbate rather than diminish the behavior.

  • When you bring a new puppy into your home there will inevitably be a period of adjustment. Your goals are to help your puppy to quickly bond to its new family, and to minimize the stress associated with leaving its mother, litter mates, and former home.

  • All it requires are a few basic rules to house train puppies within a short amount of time, sometimes as little as a few days to a few weeks. It is advisable to select a site that has an easy and direct access to the outdoors. By regularly taking the dog outdoors, through the same door, to the same site, and providing rewards for proper elimination, the puppy should soon learn to head for the door each time it has to eliminate.

  • Most dogs seem to take moving in stride, but for some dogs the loss of their familiar home and routine can be traumatic, and settling in to the new home can pose problems for owners and dog alike.

  • This is the period in a puppy’s life where it develops relationships with other living beings and also learns how to behave and act in new experiences. While socialization takes place throughout the first year of life, the first 12 -16 weeks seem to be the most important time for young puppies to learn about their environment.

  • Dogs are highly social animals that make wonderful pets. They can be effective as watchdogs, are excellent companions for play and exercise, and are sources of affection and comfort.

  • While punishment can be effective at decreasing those behaviors that are undesirable (when applied within 1 to 2 seconds), if not administered properly it can aggravate existing problems and cause new ones.

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