Dog behaviour

Dog behaviour is different from, but connected to dog training. Obedience and sports training classes usually teach you basic training skills and help you teach your dog to respond to cues like sit, down, wait, come, and walk on a loose leash. The dog usually learns sit, down and wait reasonably well, and will come when there is nothing very exciting going on. They haven’t actually learnt to come away from distractions or to walk on a loose leash in public, because classes aren’t real life. Real life skills take a lot of practice.

It’s easy to think of ‘disobedient’, ‘partly trained’ or ‘untrained’ dogs, as having a behaviour problem, but usually they just need more training. Even an obedient dog might have behaviour issues like anxieties, house training issues, resource guarding, trash raiding, reactivity to people or dogs etc.

When does a problem behaviour become a behaviour problem? When it causes us enough grief to be motivated enough to do something about it.

Unfortunately the dog may have been practising the unwanted behaviour for a very, very long time by then and change is hard.

It’s hard for you – because the dog’s behaviour won’t change if your behaviour doesn’t change.

It’s hard to get a quick fix using positive reinforcement, and punishment which might seem to give a quick fix, carries risks.

Dog behaviour links