What Causes Dogs to Behave Badly?

It’s a fact that most dogs have bad behavior. Expecting a dog to behave well is like expecting a child to behave well, it’s just not realistic. Dogs in many ways are exactly like young children. Dogs are very emotional, and since they cannot speak to us verbally, they act out their feelings and aggressions the same way a toddler would. Unfortunately, your dog won’t ever learn to speak and won’t really ever mature very much over its life like a person does. So the only way to stop your dog from behaving badly is by being able to recognize why your dog is behaving badly.

Let’s start off by talking about puppies, since puppies will behave badly for different reasons than adult dogs. One of the most typical types of “bad behavior” for puppies is biting and chewing. There are not really any emotional or psychological reasons for why puppies chew and bite. Puppies chew because their teeth are growing and their gums are sore. The same reason babies chew.

The easiest way to stop this behavior is by giving your puppies chew toys to chew on instead of the furniture. One trick I used to always use on my dogs when they were puppies was to give them an ice cube. I guess dogs like them because they’re cold and wet. Regardless, anytime I’ve ever tossed an ice cube to a puppy, it’s kept that dog entertained and occupied until they swallow it or it melts.

As far as the biting and nipping, it’s just another thing puppies do, and for pretty much the same reason as chewing. Well, that and because puppies are new to the world and want to touch, sniff, taste, and bite everything. Once again, just give your dog a toy to play with whenever it starts biting you or someone else. If the puppy won’t stop biting, tell the dog “no” in a stern voice, and then punish the dog by putting it in a cage or an isolated area.

Okay, now let’s talk about older dogs. Older dogs typically behave badly for two main reasons: boredom and attention. If your dog isn’t getting enough excitement or attention from you, it’s probably going to pee on the rug, and chew your things, and bark a lot, and jump on furniture, etc, etc, etc… You have to remember that dogs are wild animals no matter how much we domesticate them.

A dog will never be content reading a good book or just relaxing by a fire. There are not people! Dogs need to run around and play. If you live in a tiny apartment, and you work ten hours a day, and then come home, pet your dog on the head, and crash on the couch watching Conan, you’re going to have one very bored and frustrated dog that will do anything, even pee in your slippers, if they think it will garner some excitement.

If you don’t live somewhere with a nice, big backyard that you can let your dogs run around in, you have to walk you dog everyday and play with. Otherwise your dog will have too much pent up energy. Once again, it’s just like a little kid. If you take the kids to the beach and let them run around and build sand castles and all that good stuff, those kids are going to crash as soon as they get home. If you keep the kids pent up inside all day, they’re going to jump on their bed and draw on the walls, etc…

Dog psychology can go pretty far. They may not be as smart as us, but they are still complex creatures. Dogs experience separation anxiety, fear, anger, happiness, jealously and a lot of other emotions. So it’s always hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing a dog’s bad behavior. However, nine times out of ten, it’s boredom and lack of attention.

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