Dog Behavioral Issues

Our dogs all have their quirks. When our furry friends’ quirks become problematic behaviors that create a threat to the dog, our family, others, or property there is a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed.

Types of Behavioral Issues

Behavioral issues are most commonly found in the following areas:

Aggression – Aggression issues include mouthing, nipping, biting, play biting, and predatory behavior.

Chasing – Chasing bikes, cars, skateboards, or other moving objects can be a serious behavioral issue.

Eating – Eating issues include begging, coprophagia (eating feces), food guarding, and pica (eating non-food items i.e. rocks).

Fearfulness – Fearfulness issues include a dog being hand shy or a fear of children, nail clipping, noises, objects, other animals, people, or riding in cars. Separation anxiety also falls into this category.

Vocal – Vocal issues include barking, howling, and whining.

General – General issues are those that don’t fit into other categories. These issues include charging through doors, chewing, compulsive behaviors, digging, escaping, and jumping on people.

What is Behind Behavioral Issues?

There are fifteen main sources of behavioral issues.

  • Alert / Warning
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Seeking
  • Boredom
  • Comfort
  • Curiosity
  • Dominance
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Gain Access / Escape
  • Hide Possessions
  • Hunting
  • Physical Ailments
  • Protection
  • Response to Others (Animals and Humans)

Some of the sources of behavioral issues are easy to identify and to resolve. For example a dog that incessantly barks, digs, or constantly tries to escape may just be bored or seeking attention. A realistic evaluation of the dog’s environment and lifestyle will help to identify a potential source. If the evaluation were to show that there is little for the dog to keep itself busy then maybe it is just bored. Once this source is identified a plan can be put in place to help remedy the situation.

How to Deal with Behavioral Issues

The first step in dealing with behavioral issues requires is to correlate the issue with the root cause. Once this has been accomplished a comprehensive plan that identifies needs resolution and behavior modification must be developed. This process can be very complex and often requires a professional who can identify core causes and develop the detailed plan for the mitigation of the sources and modification of the behavior.

Properly identifying the root cause of a behavioral issue and establishing a plan most often requires a professional. A mobile veterinarian with experience in behavioral issues can provide an excellent source for consultation. Rolling Vet provides expert compassionate service in areas near Salem, Oregon. Rolling Vet can be contacted via their web page at, on the phone at (503) 400-7992, or via the ‘Contact Page

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