Cozying up next to the fire with your best friend lying at your feet, play fetch or having a companion that loves you unconditionally. These are the images most people think of when they decide to get a dog. But the reality can be much different. Chewing your most expensive shoes or furniture, barking incessantly, or even biting and aggressive behavior.
It is important to remember that dogs are animals with natural instincts and behaviors. However we tend to humanize them and this can lead to unwanted dog behavior problems. Some problems can be relatively minor such as chewing, peeing, barking or chasing but left alone these behaviors can turn into destructive and even dangerous activities.
Many dog behavior problems have their root causes in frustration. Dogs are social pack animals and their nature is to travel, explorer, hunt and scavenge with their pack. When they are not able to do this, such as when they are left at home alone, they get a build-up of pent-up energy. If they do not release this energy through structured exercise they can become frustrated and this frustration is released through these destructive behaviors.
Training and exercise is the key to solving most dog behavior problems and will have the added benefit of having a balanced, calm dog and creating a stronger bond between you and your pooch. For example, for dogs that are chewers you should provide them with lots of toys that you can direct their energy towards. If your dog pees on the rug when it gets excited you may want to make sure it is getting enough exercise so that you drain it of excess energy.
If your dog is showing aggression then you should seek the help of a professional trainer that has experience dealing with aggressive dogs. Aggression can escalate very quickly and a professional dog trainer will guide you through the steps necessary to unsure that you and your dog are safe. Nintey-nine percent of the time dog aggression can be fixed and many dogs are put down needlessly. You may need to work with a couple of different trainers before you find the best one for you and your dog.
Never give up and take the time to train, exercise and discipline them. You will be helping to create a balanced and happy animal as well as a long and fulfilling relationship with them.