Problem behaviourswith dogs can range from not coming when called (this is your fault!!) to "impulse control" aggression (used to be called dominance), some dogs 'hump' cushions, some dogs rip washing off the line, and some dogs are fussy eaters. Dogs that dig, chew and bark etc are all perfectly normal dog behaviour but if it is obsessive behaviour or making your life a misery, then there are some things you can try to keep everybody happy! If you have a problem, please either contact an Vet Behaviourist or see below on how to contact me. I aim to help you with problem behaviours NOT behaviour problems that may need medication and a behaviour modification programme - for this, I will refer you to a Vet Behaviourist.
A dog that jumps up, a dog that chews your things, digs etc probably hasn't got a behavioural problem - it is probably just bored and lonely! They are also only dog-like. You may hear that a dominant dog will charge through a doorway in front of you but this is more likely to trip you up rather than anything else more serious! It could always benefit from some training and learning a few manners!
Most problems arise from people trying to anthropomorphise (great word, huh?! It means putting human emotions onto an animal) - don't do it!. Your dog will not reason - it sees what benefits it i.e. if you are in a good mood, things are fun - if you are in a bad mood, it is probably bad for the dog. Dogs can't reason and don't do things to punish you .... e.g. if your dog is eating the furniture ... it is probably bored and doesn't see it as a personal affront to you - its just something to chew because that's just one of the things dogs do! There are things that I can suggest to help if it is getting out of hand.
If your dog growls at you when you are near his/her food (although this guarding instinct is perfectly normal) or when they are 'asleep' (i.e. they growl at YOU because you have the audacity to disturb them ... not just normal dreaming sounds and movements, 'cause that's cute!), stalks you or your children, or eyeballs you and will not divert their glare, bites you (hard - not just puppy play) etc - then you could have a problem. Either see a Vet Behaviourist, your Vet or let me know if you need some help - see below.
Since February 2000, when I started this site, I have written back personally to thousands of emails free of charge but I have now included (and added to) a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) Page where hopefully you can find an answer to your question and there is a lot of information that can be found around the site. If you cannot find your answer, please include whatever you think is relevant in your email - the more you tell me, the clearer the picture I will have of your situation. I do reply to every one but if you have not received a reply within 2 weeks, please email me again as I may not have received your email or been able to access your email address.
Please Note too that I do not receive emails that contain viruses, worms etc - my Server stops them before they get to my 'inbox' - if you receive a notice from WestNet, please email me again once your computer is virus free. Thank you.
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