It is very rare to adopt a dog and not have to deal with any sort of behavior training, as you should know, dogs think differently from us humans. Things that are unacceptable to us can be natural behavior to a dog. It is important to understand this and take the right steps to solving whatever problem you may be experiencing with your dog. There are many dog behavioral problems, some more common and specific to certain breeds of dogs.
Tips and guidelines for solving behavioral problems
- Some behavioral problems are as a result of instinct this may be a natural behavior for your dog, as he/she would in the wild.
- Lack of communication. Your dog may not know that his behavior is unacceptable or what is expected.
- To solve almost any problem experienced with your dog can be done by having your dog properly obedience trained preferably at the younger stages where he/she is still in "learning mode" it is often more difficult (not impossible) to train an older dog.
- Most importantly, be consistent, for solving behavioral problems and many other issues with your dog it is important to be consistent. Since your dog cannot communicate with you on the same level it is important to reinforce what is acceptable and what is not so that your dog begins to understand what you are trying to convey. Remember to yell the same commands (Stop, No, Down) when caught in an undesired act EVERY SINGLE TIME so that he/she begins to associate the word or phrase with negative behavior.
- Be careful not to inadvertently reward your dog for undesired behavior. E.g. if your dog is barking excessively at the door or when the phone rings, you pet him so that he calms down or give him a treat. This actually rewards the dog for the behavior and ensures that he does it again.
- Understand that your dog isn't trying to spite or annoy you. It simply doesn't understand. Taking the time to train your dog will be mutually beneficial.