I have my own experience with dog behaviour issues, but to make it fairer, I thought it might be useful to look at what a ‘regular owner’ might consider to be the major issues out there.
I came across one survey and was shocked by the answers. They almost all appear to be not serious or issue that can be resolved by dog walking their dog enough! Can it be that simple? You be the judge:
1 Dog Behaviour issue – anxiety fearful in public
It is true that a lot of rescue dogs are given up because of this issue leading to fear aggression. In its most extreme form this leads to snapping and biting by a dog, which then gets left home and its behaviour is reinforced.
Flooding (over exposing the dog to public events) before it is ready does not necessarily resolve this issue – that is a human quick fix.
Anxieties are rarely inherent in a breed or a real mental issues in dogs. They are usually a result of lack or socialisation and regular exposure to things that make the dog fearful from a young age. How can a dog be desensitised when it has never experience the real world before (outside its back yard).
There are drugs that can quieten dogs down, but that vet solution should only be a short term resolution. This problem takes time to over-come and is often a result of the owner being too lazy to walk their dog each day, where there are people, let alone allow the dog off lead to learn how to be social.
A social dog rarely has anxiety in public because it has learned to enjoy itself and the joy of socialisation with other dogs. it is VERY remarkable that this was the top dog behavior issue reported by the group!
1 Dog Behaviour issue – Barking
This might be an issue for the owners, but it only seems to become REAL when neighbours complain and the council tries to fine a person or take their dog away.
If you are not regularly home during the day, how else would you know that your dog is barking its brains out unless you are told by someone else or you have a dog cam via the internet?
Dogs can bark for a variety of reasons, but the number one reason is that they are not walked, have not drained their energy and they are bored out of their brain, in their tiny house or yard. Dogs are social, dogs need to walk, dogs need to drain energy, just like humans or they become obese and anti social like their humans.
Vets will either recommend tying the dog up or drugging it, but invariably this fails and in some dogs can even make them more aggressive, wouldn’t you be?
There are various techniques that can be used to prevent barking, on top of long off lead walks in the morning before going to work, and these will be discussed later.
Avoid shock collars, drugs or any negative techniques that punish a dog for having its natural outlet. Don’t fix the problem, fix the cause, and the problem will go away.