Why is My Pet Misbehaving?

Your pet’s behavior is often a direct reflection on how you treat him. It’s true. A dog’s bad behavior is normally caused by negative emotions such as nervousness, fright, and stress. In order to address your pet’s bad behavior you must address those negative emotions first. Here are common errors that leads to their pets’ behavioral problems and how to resolve them.

  Not understanding and disregarding how your pet responds to things. Often times your dog will show you signs through their body language if they need or want something from you. Say for example your dogs wants some personal space, he will move away from you not matter how much you go after and try to cuddle him. That’s his polite way of asking you to give him space. If you disregard or if you don’t understand his body language, he will then escalate to a more noticeable signals, to tell you to back off, such as growling. Get to know your dog and learn to understand his body language so that you can respond better to the messages he’s trying to get across.

  Do not force your pet to face the things he dreads. Remember that, as his owner, your pet trusts you. If you force him to be close to anything he’s afraid of or is uncomfortable with you might just lose that trust. Say your dog is afraid of bodies of water like pool, beach, lake and such, do not push him off the pool or lake, or drag him to the ocean, those will just stress him out and cause behavioral problems. You want to give him time to adjust, to learn, and to ease on things that he is afraid of. Let him gradually get used to those things. Remember that positive reinforcement works better than punishment based strategies. Punishment based strategies will just increase the level of fear and anxiety your dog feels which will result to your dog’s bad behavior, – which could also cause pain and injury on you, other humans, other dogs, or your dog himself. Most cases, if desensitization doesn’t work, eliminating the stressors (if possible) and managing the surroundings is the best thing to do.

  Do not force your pet to be groomed or cared for. For grooming and cleaning related things, it is best you introduce those while your pet is still young. If you have a rescue dog, which you acquired already an adult dog and is scared of being groomed and trimmed, you will have to introduce him to those things gradually. Give him time to get used to it. If he is too frightened, better not force him. He could injure himself or the person handling him. Try training your dog at home. Obedience training can do a lot. And remember positive or rewards based training always work. Teach your dog that if he is calm and cooperative he will get a reward. You can also have a discussion with your vet and groomer about getting your dog comfortable and unafraid of grooming and pet care.

Bear in mind that anything related to your pet, you always want to reach out to your vet first. Yes, including behavioral issues. Your vet will need to check if the behavior is not a symptom of any medical issues. You vet can also give you tips and advice on how to address specific behavioral issue with your dog.


I'm a professional dog trainer who is sharing my journey as I transition to positive reinforcement based dog training methods.

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