Dog Behavior

Dogs serve as delightful companions, yet occasionally they may display specific behaviors that can pose challenges for both themselves and their owners. It is crucial to comprehend and tackle these prevalent dog behavior issues in order to establish a content and harmonious connection between humans and their furry companions.

Dog Behavior Description
Tilting head to one side Curious or inquisitive behavior
Shaking head Could indicate discomfort, ear issues, or trying to dry off
Yawning May signify stress, tiredness, or anticipation
Closing/opening mouth Can be a sign of relaxation, contentment, or readiness for action
Licking lips May indicate anxiety, nervousness, or anticipation

Whether it is excessive barking or leash pulling, each behavioral problem necessitates its own distinct remedies. By acquiring knowledge about these problems and implementing successful approaches, dog owners can cultivate a favorable atmosphere for their pets, nurturing a strong bond and encouraging exemplary conduct in their canine friends.

List of Dog Behaviors

Here are some common dog behaviors:

  • Tilting head to one side
  • Shaking head
  • Yawning
  • Closing mouth or opening it slightly
  • Licking lips
  • Showing teeth and biting
  • Panting
  • Barking and yelping
  • Growling
  • Howling
  • Crouching
  • Opening eyes and staring
  • Pricking ears
  • Flicking ears
  • Wrinkling muzzle
  • Sniffing the air
  • Exposing belly
  • Raising hackles
  • Raising paws
  • Digging
  • Holding tail straight
  • Wagging tail
  • Tucking tail between legs
  • Walking in circles before lying down
  • Pacing
  • Licking genitals
  • Circling
  • Bad breath
  • Biting
  • Eating poop
  • Head pressing
  • Sitting on your feet or between your legs
  • Mouth nip at or bite
  • Spin or chase their tail
  • Drag their bum

Dog Behavior Problems and Solutions

Dog behavior problems can exhibit a wide range of variations, and effectively addressing them often necessitates patience, consistency, and understanding. Presented below are several common dog behavior problems along with potential solutions:

1. Aggression:

Solution: Identify the trigger and focus on desensitization. Seek personalized guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

2. Excessive Barking:

Solution: Teach the “quiet” command. Address the underlying cause of the barking, such as boredom or anxiety. Ensure your dog receives sufficient mental and physical stimulation.

3. Separation Anxiety:

Solution: Gradually acclimate your dog to being alone. Utilize puzzle toys or treats to create positive associations with alone time. Consult a professional if the issue is severe.

4. Chewing:

Solution: Provide appropriate chew toys. Apply bitter sprays on furniture to discourage chewing. Make sure your dog receives ample exercise and mental stimulation.

5. Jumping Up:

Solution: Ignore the dog when it jumps and reward it when all four paws are on the ground. Train an alternative behavior, such as sitting.

6. Digging:

Solution: Establish a designated digging area in the yard. Offer mental and physical stimulation. Supervise your dog while outdoors.

7. Pulling on the Leash:

Solution: Use positive reinforcement to reward loose leash walking. Consider utilizing a no-pull harness. Train basic obedience commands.

8. Fear or Anxiety:

Solution: Gradually desensitize your dog to the trigger. Employ positive reinforcement and consider using calming aids like pheromone diffusers or calming wraps.

9. Not Coming When Called:

Solution: Use high-value treats and positive reinforcement. Gradually introduce distractions during training. Avoid punishing your dog for coming when called.

10. Inappropriate Chasing:

Solution: Train a reliable recall command. Utilize a long lead for safety. Provide alternative outlets for the chasing instinct, such as playing fetch.

11. Counter Surfing:

Solution: Remove tempting items from counters. Train the “leave it” command. Utilize baby gates or restrict access to certain areas.

12. Excessive Excitement:

Solution: Redirect excessive excitement towards appropriate outlets, such as interactive toys or playtime. Establish consistent boundaries and reinforce calm behavior.

13. Marking or House Soiling:

Solution: Exclude any potential medical problems. Thoroughly clean the areas that have been soiled. Employ positive reinforcement for proper elimination. Establish a regular bathroom schedule.

14.Food Guarding:

Solution: Seek advice from a certified trainer or behaviorist. Gradually desensitize the dog to people approaching during mealtime. Utilize positive reinforcement techniques.


Solution: Enhance physical exercise and provide mental stimulation. Establish a structured daily routine. Consider engaging in training activities that redirect and utilize the dog’s energy in a positive manner.

Dog Behavior

Dog Behavior Problems at Night

Dog behavior problems during the night can stem from various factors, such as medical issues, anxiety, boredom, hunger, and environmental factors. Some common causes of restlessness in dogs at night include:

1. Medical conditions: Dogs experiencing hyperthyroidism, cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), arthritis, or declining senses of sight or hearing may feel discomfort and anxiety, leading to restlessness at night.

2. Changes in sleep-wake cycle: Dogs may become more restless at night when they should be sleeping or sleep more during the day instead.

3. Anxiety: Dogs thrive on routine, and any disruptions to their regular schedule, such as changes in walk time, feeding time, playtime, or bedtime, can cause anxiety and restlessness at night.

4. Lack of exercise: Insufficient physical activity during the day can make a dog feel restless at night.

5. Noise phobia: Dogs may be more sensitive to noise phobias at night when visibility is limited.

To address and prevent dog behavior problems at night, consider the following tips:

1. Consult a veterinarian: If your dog’s restlessness is sudden or persistent, consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

2. Establish a routine: Create a consistent daily routine for your dog, including designated times for walks, meals, and bedtime.

3. Exercise: Ensure your dog gets enough exercise during the day to help them expend energy and feel more tired at night.

4. Create a calm environment: Make your dog’s sleeping area quiet, dark, and comfortable to help them feel more relaxed.

5. Use calming aids: Consider installing a night light near your dog’s sleeping area, using a pheromone diffuser to ease anxiety, or introducing a thick, high-sided bed for added comfort and security.

6. Consider canine cognitive dysfunction treatment: If your dog’s restlessness at night is related to CDS, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment options.

How to Correct Aggressive Dog Behavior

Addressing aggressive dog behavior can present both challenges and rewards, and the most reliable and efficient approach is to seek guidance from a certified professional. These experts can assist you in identifying the underlying cause of the aggression and creating a customized plan for your canine companion.

In the meantime, here are some general suggestions to keep in mind:

  1. Understand the cause: Aggression in dogs can arise from various factors such as fear, anxiety, frustration, pain, past trauma, or genetic predisposition. It is crucial to identify the trigger in order to effectively address the root cause.
  2. Positive reinforcement: Reward your dog for exhibiting calm and positive behavior through the use of treats, praise, or gentle petting. This method helps build trust and encourages desirable behavior.
  3. Avoid punishment: Punishing your dog for aggression can potentially exacerbate the problem, leading to increased fear or confusion. Instead, focus on redirecting their attention and rewarding moments of calmness.
  4. Manage triggers: If your dog displays aggression towards specific stimuli such as other dogs, strangers, or certain situations, try to avoid those triggers or gradually expose them with the assistance of a professional.
  5. Socialization and exercise: Proper socialization from an early age is essential in preventing aggression. Ensure that your dog receives regular exercise and mental stimulation to manage their energy levels and reduce stress.
  6. Body language: Learn to interpret your dog’s body language to understand their emotional state and potential triggers. Look for signs such as a stiff posture, raised hackles, flattened ears, or excessive barking.
  7. Prioritize safety: Always prioritize safety for both yourself and others. Securely use leashes, consider muzzles if necessary, and avoid placing yourself or your dog in risky situations.
  8. Seek professional assistance: As previously mentioned, consulting a qualified dog trainer or animal behaviorist is vital in effectively addressing aggressive behavior. They can evaluate your dog’s specific needs and develop a personalized training plan.

7 Dog Behaviors that are Not Normal

Here are seven abnormal dog behaviors:

  1. Excessive Barking: Although barking is a natural behavior, excessive or constant barking may indicate an underlying issue such as anxiety or boredom.
  2. Aggression: Unprovoked aggression towards people or other animals is not a typical behavior and could be a sign of fear, anxiety, or a medical problem.
  3. Separation Anxiety: Destructive behavior, excessive barking, or howling when left alone can be signs of separation anxiety, which is not a normal behavior.
  4. Inappropriate Elimination: If a house-trained dog starts urinating or defecating indoors, it could be a sign of stress, anxiety, or a medical issue.
  5. Excessive Licking or Chewing: Constant licking or chewing of paws, legs, or other body parts may indicate allergies, skin irritation, or anxiety.
  6. Pacing or Circling: Aimless wandering, pacing, or circling without a clear purpose can be a sign of discomfort, anxiety, or cognitive dysfunction.
  7. Compulsive Behaviors: Obsessive tail chasing, chasing shadows or lights, or engaging in repetitive, non-functional behaviors can be signs of compulsive disorders and are not considered normal.

Most Common Dog Behavior Problems and Solutions

Most Common Dog Behavior Problems

The most prevalent behavioral issues in dogs encompass:

  1. Aggression: This is the foremost and most severe problem, which can manifest in various ways and necessitate different treatments.
  2. Separation Anxiety: Dogs may display destructive behavior, excessive barking, or howling when left alone, indicating separation anxiety.
  3. Inappropriate Elimination: Indoor urination or defecation, particularly if the dog is house-trained, can indicate stress, anxiety, or a medical problem.
  4. Excessive Barking: While barking is normal, incessant barking can be a sign of an underlying issue such as anxiety or boredom.
  5. Destructive Behaviors: Chewing, stealing, rummaging through garbage, and digging are normal exploratory behaviors that can become problematic when the dog is unsupervised and not otherwise occupied.
  6. Compulsive Behaviors: Obsessive tail chasing, chasing shadows or lights, or engaging in other repetitive, non-functional behaviors can be indications of compulsive disorders.
  7. Ingestion Disorders: Behavioral problems related to food intake, such as excessive eating or eating too quickly, can also be common issues in dogs.

Addressing these behavioral issues may necessitate a blend of training, behavior alteration, and, occasionally, seeking guidance from a veterinarian or a certified dog behaviorist.

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