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common behaviors of dogs

Common Behaviors of Dogs

Collie barkingToday I’m going to talk about four common behaviors of dogs. Not all common behaviors of dogs are problems, but some can turn into a problem for you.  Some of the behaviors are more common in specific breeds, such as digging. Many dogs love to dig which can become a problem. So, some behaviors can create problems, but they can be corrected with time, patience, and positive reinforcement.


Barking

How does your dog bark? Dogs will bark for different reasons. Barking is a form of communication for a dog. Your dog may bark because they sense danger and they are alerting you to the danger. Dogs protect their territory.

When an animal or a stranger approaches, your dog will bark proclaiming it is his or her territory. Or your dog could be announcing someone has arrived. Sometimes dogs will bark because they are bored or they are lonely.

You can listen to your dog barking and distinguish the different types of barking that occur in different situations. Just as people use different tones of voice, a dog has different tones of barking. For more information on barking, click here.


Digging

A dog will dig because of instinct. It’s in their DNA. They may dig to hide food or toys. Sometimes your dog may dig to have a cool place to lay. Some breeds of dogs dig for fun and they enjoy digging and will be playful while they are digging creating random holes.

Some dogs will dig to escape. You don’t want your dog to dig under a fence to escape because they will be in danger roaming free. Create a digging area if you can, and encourage your dog to dig in this area. A digging area will allow your dog to dig without creating random holes and both of you will be happy.


Chewing

puppyPuppies that are teething will chew on something to make them feel better. You need to provide you puppy with safe toys and bones to chew on and some toys can be frozen to help relieve the pain of cutting teeth.

Adult dogs chew for different reasons, such as boredom and anxiety. Provide your dog with toys that you can put treats in. Your dog will have to work to get the treats and will keep your dog busy and entertained.

Chewing helps keep their teeth clean and their jaws strong and can relieve boredom and mild anxiety.


Separation Anxiety

Dogs are pack animals, they live and travel in packs, so it’s natural for dogs to feel some anxiety when they are alone. Take your dog for a long walk before you leave them. While you are walking your dog, they are releasing energy and more likely to go into a resting mode when they return home. When you leave, give your dog some safe toys to chew on or play with. You can also try the Thundershirt for Dogs which provides a calming effect for 80% of dogs, reducing anxiety. I bought one for my dog and it makes a big difference.


More information about canine behaviors will be added in future postings. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist. Feel free to leave a comment below about your dog’s behavior.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi, very interesting topic. I have two dachshunds that were born together. And no matter what we do they constantly bark. We even tried using those electronic collars that we control, still didn’t work. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Your site looks like it could go viral nice job. Keep up the good work.

    • Alice

      June 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Dachshunds were bred to be hunters and are inclined to bark. Many of them suffer from separation anxiety from their owners and they bark out of frustration. They need a steady routine every day so they know what to expect. Regular exercise is necessary. They have plenty of energy and you want them to be tired at the end of the day. A tired dog is less likely to bark.

      You could try rewarding them with a small treat when they are not barking. Pet them and say the word “quiet”. Some dogs will respond to being sprayed with a water bottle. If they are barking, spray water on them. If they don’t like being sprayed with water, they will associate the negative association with the barking. I hope this helps. I will be posting more information on barking in the near future.

  2. I used the water bottle. All I have to do is pick it up. Don’t even have to use it. I had a husky who lived 14 1/2yrs. She was still afraid of it. She had her days when she would just lift her nose for the spray then go put her front legs into the water bucket. I miss her

    • Alice

      August 19, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, I have found that a spray bottle with water works well to curb barking. Dogs learn very quickly, don’t they? After a few times, all you have to do is pick up the bottle.That’s funny that she would put her front legs in water! I’m glad she had a good long life with you!

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