When you spot abnormal or aggressive behavior, you need to stop it in its tracks. Over time, you will be able to step in before things get out of control and the dog will learn to calm down. While instilling these new habits, it’s crucial that the dog stays away from situations that will get it too excited and on edge. After a while, it should be able to practice its better behavior in busier environments.
Abnormal Dog Behavior will be defined differently by dog owners. One owner may consider a certain habit by their dog abnormal while another dog owner will not be worried about their dog’s behavior. Abnormal dog behavior will fit into a number of categories and here are just a few of them: Dogs eating poop, Jumping on you and strangers, digging up your yard, plus many other annoying behaviors.
Simple Tricks to Fix Abnormal Dog Behavior
Dogs are the embodiment of pure joy, unconditional love, and endless giggles. They are great companions and protectors, hence their nickname as man’s best friend. While humans feel as though they can relate to dogs in many ways and vice versa, there are some things that pups do that are doggone weird.
Most of the things that dog owners consider strange are typical for the average canine but some habits aren’t normal. This guide takes doggy parents through some abnormal dog behavior to be on the lookout for as well as ways to remedy the situation.
Abnormal Dog Behavior. Stay calm Around Strangers
Everyone has seen a dog that just loses its cool whenever it meets someone it doesn’t know. In some cases, this can cause people to give up on dogs for good. They might deem canines too aggressive and unpredictable but this isn’t true at all.
What is true is that dogs and their owners will cross paths with strangers on a regular basis. Passersby, mail carriers, and visiting friends and family are just a few examples of people a dog might meet on any given day.
. Even dogs that seem giddy and jumpy are reacting out of uneasiness. The fix for this is a confident dog that can control itself in any situation.
Abnormal Dog Behavior. Correct training
There are a few ways to help a dog chill out around people it doesn’t know. Contrary to what many dog owners do, it’s not a good idea to yank the dog’s leash back or yell at it for being reactive. The pup is frightened and punishing it only reinforces its fear.
It’s best to socialize a dog while it’s still a puppy, but even older dogs can be trained to stay calm around strangers. It’s important to keep the dogs away from strangers while they’re learning new behavior habits.
One tactic for fixing this abnormal dog behavior is to simply ignore the dog when it gets hyper around a stranger. It’s best to practice this with a friend who knows that the dog is being trained. The stranger-friend will also ignore the dog and once it calms down, he or she will toss the dog a treat.
Repeating this practice over time should help the overactive pup chill out. Another method is to teach the dog to sit and stay, first at home with no one else around. Then it can practice following this command while there is another person in the room, such as a friend or family member. Owners can repeat this exercise to instill good behavior in their dogs until it becomes second nature.
Abnormal Dog Behavior. Play Nice with Other Pups
Canines communicate through body language and even though they might be biting and pinning each other to the ground, they’re probably just playing. The problem is when a dog starts getting too rough with others and risks injury or harm.
Some things to look out for in aggressive dogs include pinned-back ears, bared teeth, a stiff body, and swift lunges rather than playful bounces.
Every dog owner wants his or her fur baby to get along with other dogs and enjoy a romp at the dog park. Fortunately, there are ways to reverse this abnormal dog behavior so everyone stays safe and happy during playdates.
Ideally, dogs should learn proper play habits when they’re puppies. They let each other know what isn’t okay by letting out yelps and backing away. For older dogs, pet parents will need to study and learn their dogs’ behavior so they know what’s normal and what isn’t.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons such as warning their owners, protecting their environment, greeting others, and seeking attention. Yet sometimes, dogs can bark continuously for seemingly no reason at all and this is a problem.
Dogs sometimes bark incessantly if they’re left alone for long stretches of time or out of boredom. It takes repeated practice to break this bad habit but with dedication, it is possible.
First of all, owners should not raise their voices at their pups because it only makes them think that they’re barking along. Shouting for them to be quiet or stop is a fruitless effort. Instead, use some tried-and-true tricks from the dog training experts.
Teach them commands
It’s helpful to teach the dog a word such as “quiet” so it can stop barking when it hears the word. To start, owners should use calm and firm voices, look towards their dogs, and say “quiet”. Once the dog stops barking, it can get a treat.
If owners repeat this process, their dogs will eventually realize that when they stop barking at the word “quiet”, they’ll be rewarded. If a dog is barking out of aggression towards other people, it might be a good idea to try the tips described for dogs and strangers.
Sometimes dogs bark out of boredom or because they’re lonely. Owners should take the time to hang out with their dogs and tire them out with walks and playtime.
This is one of the more disgusting habits of some dogs but it has some historical context. Eating poop (also known as coprophagia) may seem to be an abnormal dog behavior to humans but for some dogs, it’s totally normal.
Puppies might try eating some poo as part of the exploration of a young dog, and mothers eat the poo of their young. Other dogs, however, continue eating feces as they get older. A dog might snack on poo out of boredom, attention-seeking behavior, or a scavenging or cleaning habit (as mama dogs do).
. The dogs might become ashamed if it happens and eat the poo to hide any evidence of their accident. This can develop into a regular habit.
Why eat poop?
There are also health reasons for dogs eating doo-doo. Canines in the wild feed off of living prey and consuming it provides them with digestive enzymes they don’t get from store-bought food. A dog might resort to eating poo if its kibble isn’t providing these enzymes and nutrients. In extreme cases, this can lead to pancreatic insufficiency or EPI.
There could be other deficiencies in a dog’s regular diet that cause it to eat poo, such as a lack of hydrochloric acid in the diet or even parasites that cause malabsorption. Some dogs might not be getting enough food due to underfeeding or a medical condition such as diabetes or thyroid disease.
Clearly, there are many reasons why a pup eats poop. The first step to solving this is ruling out any medical conditions or illnesses. If Fido is healthy, consider its eating habits and the environment it is living in.
Things should be clean, there should be toys for it to stay engaged, and exercise should be a regular activity. Owners might also want to take a look at the kibble they’re feeding their dogs; chicken and dairy are common allergies in canines.
Dogs chew stuff; it’s a natural part of owning a pup to spot Rover noshing on a shoe or cushion. Puppies usually chew more frequently because they’re exploring their surroundings and learning what’s food and what’s not.
They also have teeth growing in and chewing on objects can relieve some of the pain associated with that. If a dog is older and continues to chew on things, it could be that it enjoys this activity, it’s boring, or it likes the smell of a certain object (maybe mom or dad’s favorite shoes?) Dogs might chew for medical reasons, such as a poor diet deficient in nutrients or even a toothache.
Prevention is the best medicine and puppy parents should pay attention to chewing behavior when the dog is young. Surround it with chew toys and keep them away from other objects. It’s also a good idea to spend some time observing its behavior and praising it when it chews on its toys.
A proper diet and regular exercise are essential and will keep it engaged so it doesn’t resort to excessive chewing. If the dog is attracted to the owner’s scent, he or she can try rubbing his or her hands over a chew toy or keeping it in his or her pocket for a bit.
Some dog owners find their furry friends chewing on themselves. In this case, the cause could be allergies, dry skin, an infection, body aches, fleas, or even a psychological condition.
Rule out any of these causes or get the proper medication to alleviate the symptoms and the chewing should die down. In terms of doggy psychology, canines are pack animals meant to live, hunt, and play together. A dog who chews itself may be bored and in need of a companion. Spend time playing with it or consider extra toys or puppy playdates.
Take it Easy During Thunderstorms
Dogs can be the epitome of fearlessness and loyal protectors but when a thunderstorm hits, some dogs get into a panic. In severe cases, owners might see abnormal dog behavior such as tearing or biting at walls or objects.
Some more common behaviors in storm-phobic pups include hiding under tables or close to their owners, barking, panting, or running in circles. This often happens before the storm even hits because dogs are attuned to the barometric pressure changes, low-frequency sounds, and static electricity.
Treat them with respect
Their human counterparts might not be able to recognize these triggers but they certainly know when their pups are freaking out. Dogs that otherwise are calm, cool, and collected can become completely different animals when the storm clouds roll in. If pet parents don’t address the problem as quickly and possibly, it can accelerate and Rover’s reactions can get worse over time.
Some breeds, particularly those in the herding category, may be more likely to fret over lightning and thunder. In addition, dogs with separation anxiety or that are afraid of other loud sounds such as fireworks may also find storms downright terrifying.
The first place for pet owners to start is by praising their dogs for calm behavior all year round. This will come in handy when trying to calm their pups down during a thunderstorm. Owners might also want to train their dogs to relax and stay calm in the house. Once Fido learns this command, it will be more likely to obey when a storm hits.
During a thunderstorm, encourage the dog to go to a safe place such as the bathroom, basement, or even a crate with the door open. Have some comfort items on hand for it to snuggle with or chew while the storm passes. The goal is for it to associate this time with positive, comforting feelings rather than fear and anxiety.
Notorious dog breath is something all dog lovers deal with at some point. Considering that doggies eat different food, lick themselves, and rarely brush their teeth, it makes sense that humans can find their breath repulsive.
Persistent bad breath can be a sign of an underlying medical condition so it’s a good idea to bring Fido to the vet or doggy dentist. Gum disease, cavities, and infections can cause not only bad breath but pain and discomfort for a dog.
Other times, bad breath may be a warning sign for disease or illness in another part of the body. For instance, kidney disease in dogs results in bad breath due to a buildup of waste in the bloodstream. Some dogs with kidney disease or failure have breath that smells similar to ammonia. Diabetic ketoacidosis can make Fido’s breath smell fruity and sweet while tumors in the mouth cause that foul breath stench.
The food (or objects) that a dog eats can also contribute to nasty-smelling breath. If Fido eats a foreign substance or swallows something toxic, seek medical help right away. Dogs aren’t only notorious for their bad breath; they’re also known for eating anything. They might unwittingly swallow car fluid, antifreeze, and other unusual items. Emergency vet care is often necessary in these cases.
Of course, sometimes the culprit for the bad breath is their kibble. Dogs can get food stuck in their teeth or around the sides of their mouths. Moreover, wet food can have a distinctly strong odor that can linger in a pup’s mouth.
It’s important for dogs to stay hydrated for many reasons but one of them is for oral health. Saliva helps the digestion process get started and keeps the mouth clean and moist. Bacteria thrive in a dry mouth so encourage Fido to drink up.
Most pet parents will deal with fleas on their furry companions at some point. fleas are tiny, aggressive biters and once they show up, it seems almost impossible to get rid of them. Of course, there are ways to treat flea bites and maybe even prevent an infestation in the first place.
First, read a bit of information on fleas. They thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees and prefer higher humidity levels. They usually find their way to dogs by jumping from one animal to another. A pup might also contract fleas by hanging around outside during the summer months.
Flea bites cause redness and itching in dogs and it can be severe for those who are allergic or especially sensitive. Some dogs scratch and chew at their bites so much that it leads to hair loss, rashes, and infections. Even a single flea bite can lead to itchiness all over the body in sensitive dogs.
Fleas are tiny but they’re not impossible to see. Pet owners who think that their dogs have fleas should pay extra attention to the belly and inner thighs were the culprits like to hang out. Fleas can leave their feces, which resemble specks of black pepper, on a dog. It’s gross but it could be the telltale sign that Fido is scratching because of a flea invasion.
Since fleas are such a common problem, there are several remedies for dealing with them. Chewable tablets and pills, as well as medicine applicators, can prevent fleas or treat their bites. There are also sprays, shampoos, and flea collars that can keep the tiny biters away from dogs.
If an infestation already broke out, dog owners should wash bedding and give their pups a warm bath. Sometimes a chemical treatment or spray for the entire house may be necessary. There are some natural remedies on the web that other pet owners have tried. One is a spray mixture of vinegar, water, lemon juice, and witch hazel to use around the house. Citronella essential oil is a common natural ingredient in DIY flea sprays.
Canines are meant to be in constant contact with other animals so it’s understandable that some dogs experience separation anxiety. However, owners sometimes egg this abnormal dog behavior by making a big show of leaving the house and coming back home after a long day.
While seeing a smiling happy dog greet its owner after work is a welcome sight, it’s not always the healthiest. It can lead to dogs feeling downtrodden and nervous when their owners are out of sight. An excellent way to break this habit or prevent it in the first place is to practice discipline first, then affection.
Actual separation anxiety can be confused with simulated separation anxiety in which a dog lacks leadership. Sometimes a lack of self-control is involved and the dog begins to crave attention whether it’s positive or negative.
Simply knowing that its owner will pay attention to it if it misbehaves is an incentive for acting out. This is typically resolved through obedience training and slowly introducing new habits and commands into the dog’s life. A healthy dose of exercise, discipline, and love goes a long way in dealing with both simulated separation anxiety and the real thing.
Helping a pup with this condition involves getting back to basics. Canines begin to lose their natural instincts once they get accustomed to domestic living. Owners can help them get their confidence back while building trust with their furry companions.
As pack animals, dogs are used to there being a leader and in the household, that’s the owner. Establishing trust and authority will help dogs feel better when they’re left alone. Moreover, it will ease their anxiety or fear of the unknown, and owners can leave the house without worrying about their pups.
These tips and tricks are a great starting point for analyzing doggy actions and habits. The best course of action is instilling good behavior and positive reinforcement when they’re still puppies. This isn’t always an option for some pet parents and that’s okay because there are still strategies and techniques that can help.
Dogs are social creatures that require attention, love, and exercise. Anyone who is or wishes to be a doggy mom or dad should read up on different breeds and basic training commands.
The old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” isn’t totally true and these tips will prove that. Even older pooches can learn to behave themselves and trust people; it just might take more time. Each animal will respond differently to these techniques, which is why it’s good to try a variety or to keep at it for the long term. The results will be worth it and nothing beats a happy, healthy, and obedient dog.