The Reasons Behind Bad Behavior in Dogs

Bad Michigan dog tearing up pillow

Every dog has his days, right? And depending on the day that may lend itself to chewing on a sofa pillow, scratching up a door, or peeing on your new pumps. Dogs, especially puppies and adolescents, will participate in some not so welcome behaviors during training and learning the rules of the home. 

All this chaos should come to a stop after they’ve had adequate training and socializing. Unfortunately, some dogs continue to behave poorly in their adult life and it can be both unsafe for them and upsetting for the owner. 

The team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here to explain the reasons behind bad behavior in dogs, and what you can do about it.

Help! My Dog Is Acting Up

Bad behavior in dogs is one of the main reasons why they are returned to shelters. But many of these behaviors can be remedied by understanding the cause. Here are some of the most common reasons behind why a dog might misbehave. 

  1. Separation anxiety – Separation anxiety creates anxiety and fear when a dog is left home alone. This condition can lead to a serious phobia in some pets and can be devastating to their quality of life. Separation anxiety is caused by under socialization, trauma, and sometimes genetics. 
  2. Boredom – If you are leaving your pet alone much of the time, chances are they will act up. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise and attention, as well as things to do, often experience boredom. Just like us, dogs are drawn to novelty and new games, toys, and ample amounts of exercise.
  3. High energy working breeds – Working breeds and those with a higher level of energy to burn, like border collies, Australian Shepherds, and Jack Russell terriers, need to do much more each day. They require energy burning activities, like jogging, hiking, or playing frisbee.
  4. Stress or other mental health issues – Stress or generalized anxiety, as well as mood swings, can occur in dogs, too. Many dogs experience stress from noise like thunderstorms, fireworks, sirens, and loud music. If a pet has a serious phobia, this may cause them to behave poorly in an attempt to self-soothe. 
  5. Attention – Dogs want our attention and will attempt to get it in any way they can. By overemphasizing your focus on your dog’s bad behavior, they may assume your attention comes from those destructive ways. Instead, redirect your dog to a behavior you want from them and reward with praise and treats.
  6. Teething – Puppies who are growing in their adult teeth will chew often, and on everything they can! To keep them from ruining shoes or other inappropriate items, offer them puppy teething rings and soft dental chews, so they can ease their teething discomfort and frustration.

Destructive Behavior from Dogs…It Could Mean Something Else

If your normally relaxed pooch starts behaving oddly or doing destructive things, please contact us. Some medical concerns that cause pain can lead to behavior changes, as well as getting older for dogs who experience arthritis and other conditions. Let us rule out any health issues that need to be addressed, so we can focus on creating better behaviour through training and socialization.

We look forward to hearing from you!