"Through positive, humane training a dog can reach its owner's vision of an ideal pet."
Canine Training and Behavior Modification
Cause of Behavioral Problems
Breed or Individual
The temperament of a dog varies by breed and the dog itself. In both cases, all dogs need structure
and socialization to avoid potential behavioral problems.
There are a range of medical problems that can cause dogs to exhibit behaviors that are not
acceptable (e.g. urinating in the house) or too aggressive.
Unintentional reinforcing of bad behaviors
Reacting to a problem by yelling, hitting, pushing away-unintentionally reinforces undesirable
behaviors in the mind of the dog
Late recognition of bad behaviors
Bad behaviors when recognized too late become learned behaviors (e.g. puppies jumping becomes
big dogs jumping, growling and nipping can turn into a bite).
In some cases, a dog may have been abused or mistreated. In this case, the dog will need to
unlearn old behaviors and build a bond of trust with its new owner.
Solving Behavioral Problems
Have your veterinarian examine the dog for medical problems
Always begin by having your veterinarian rule out any medical problem that may be the cause for
the undesired behavior.
Have your dog neutered or spayed
Not only is this good for dog’s health , but it may also prevent the top behavioral problems of
aggression and territorial urination caused by sexual maturity.
Perform basic obedience training
This builds your dogs confidence, builds a bond between you and your dog and lets your dog
understand your role as leader. This should be done during puppy hood and with adult dogs that are adopted and need training.
Socialize your dog with other animals, people and environments
This will help to prevent behavioral problems in the future, especially when started at an early age.
However, adult adopted dogs can benefit from this practice also.
Allow pharmaceutical intervention under the supervision of a vet and behavior counselor
There are some cases, such as separation anxiety, where pharmaceutical intervention will help in
the behavior modification program.
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