As any dog owner will tell you, dogs can be very complex animals and can have very individual personalities. This can manifest itself as bad behavior at times but there is no reason why good behavior training cannot put your dog onto the right path to being the perfect pooch.
Before considering training your dog to improve its behavior, it is important to look into the background of what makes your dog. . . . . . a dog.
It is estimated that in the Western world alone, there are probably 800 or so different types of dog breeds. Although it could be said that the difference between some of these breeds is often very little, it is still an amazing concept from a human perspective. Especially when you consider that all modern dogs are believed to have come from one single mating pair of wolves thousands of years ago. Who could imagine that a St. Bernard could be related to a Chihuahua!
Dogs are predatory animals.
Now this doesn't mean that your dog will try and hunt every moving thing but the instinctive desire to hunt is always in them. This behavior is originally why humans and dogs became such close partners in the first place.
Understanding this behavior is the key to successfully training your dog.
Acute hearing enables them to pinpoint potential prey and coupled with their other abilities they can be very successful predatory animals.
The field of vision for a domestic dog is much better than that of humans - 180 to 270 degrees. If you compare this to a human who has a 100 to 150 degree field of vision it's easy to see why a dog can easily track prey.
Let's not forget a dogs amazing sense of smell. A dog is capable of detecting scents 100 million times smaller than that which a human can sense. A Golden Retriever can smell its prey through feet of frozen snow and a foot of frozen earth!
That is why your family dog will often exhibit predatory behavior.
Dogs will exhibit very social behavior.
Although everybody knows that dogs are very sociable animals, it is often overlooked by dog owners. This can lead to problems in the way they behave and can cause disobedience and bad behavior. People will often lock a dog away in a pen or on a leash outside for long periods of time. This isolation can often lead to fear, aggression, over excitement etc. Dogs need companionship in order to maintain healthy behavior.
Prolonged periods devoid of social contact with another dog, human or even a cat will harm the dogs’ personality and ultimately lead to unwanted behavior.
Dogs love to explore.
An adult dog is said to have a similar mental level of a two year old human. Similarly, dogs will learn through exploration of their environment. Unfortunately, what a dog perceives as exploration, you may perceive as chewing the furniture, eating shoes etc.
A quick and effective way to avoid this is to ensure that your dogs’ toys and chews etc are distinctly different from any human toysshoes etc. that may be lying around. Providing rawhide bones as oppose to rubber balls and plastic toys is one option.
Adequate behavior training for your dog will overcome these issues and lead to a better relationship between you both. Your will get a long lasting trusting relationship that you can both enjoy.
Article by Andrew Strachan. Find out more about dog behavior training and types of dogs at http://www.types-of-dogs.com