Everybody loves a well-behaved dog, so understanding why our dogs do the things we consider as bad and finding a way to steer them away from this behaviour can not only improve their quality of life but it can also make things a great deal easier for us, too! A pet’s behaviour depends on a number of factors, such as age, breed, personality and past experiences. It is, therefore, very difficult to generalise. Many pets show unwanted behaviour, but there are some common factors that could create problems in dogs. Behavioural problems can include digging, barking, stealing, pulling, eating plants and nervousness. A behavioural problem is usually a symptom of something being wrong and the behaviour that we see is the pet’s way of trying to cope with the stress that he feels. The kinds of things that could cause a pet to show unwanted behaviour include pain or illness, incompatible behaviour and attitudes from both owner and dog, fear and the need for safety, and issues surrounding food/eating, comfort and sleep.
How can you help?
There are a number of ways in which owners can help their pets to behave normally, including training them to behave well using rewards, teaching them where to toilet, providing them with plenty of regular exercise and safe toys, giving them constant access to a safe hiding place and being consistent in the way they react to their dog. In the case of puppies, early socialisation is important as it can prevent many of these behavioural problems.
If your pet is exhibiting behavioural problems, it is important to have him assessed by a vet in order to rule out any possible physical causes. Our qualified veterinarians here in Doha, Qatar, will be happy to do this, and will also be able to provide you with expert advice on how to deal with any behavioural-related issues.
For more detailed advice on specific behavioural issues, please consult our library in the pet health section. It includes a selection of professionally-written articles on a wide range of behavioural problems, providing you with up-to-date and reliable pet health information. If you still have questions, please call our vet clinic on 4411 8850 for further assistance.
The team at the Canadian Veterinary Hospital, Doha, Qatar