Dog Behavior vs. Dog Training

By June 28 | See Comments

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Dog Behavior vs. Dog Training

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Pet owners often face behavioral issues with their dogs – he snaps, growls, bites, bolts out the door, pulls on the leash, barks obsessively, starts chasing cats, cars and his own tail, becomes possessive, over protective, jumps on humans and a whole lot more. Most people tend to look for a dog trainer at this point to rein him under. However, they also discover that training does not completely solve their issues.Pet owners commonly address individual behaviors instead of looking into the reason behind it. Often there are deep rooted issues that lead to the bad behavior. When you address them, the behavioral issues disappear. You need to think about the instincts that are not being addressed and satisfy them to rectify the overall behavior.

What is the difference between behavior and training?

Dog training consists of activities and cues like ‘roll over, sit, fetch, close the fridge, agility, herding trials, hunting trials’ and so on. When you are trying to teach tricks to your dog, positive reinforcement is the best way to go. These activities really challenge their minds and provide a lot of great bonding time.Dog behavior, on the other hand, has more to do with discipline. ‘Stay, heel on the

leash

, wait at the door till I come, do not bolt out the front door, no jumping on humans, do not cross the line, stay out of the room’, are rules that provide structure and leadership. Canines crave leadership as their instincts tell them that they need structure and rules to survive. The life of their pack depends on it. They constantly challenge the established order. They test their masters and expect to be tested back. From their point of view, the order is not set in stone. If the master shows weakness, the next person in the hierarchy will challenge the dog for that position.If you have more than one dog, consider their dynamics carefully. There have been many instances where owners have believed that one particular dog has the behavioral problems, when it turns out that the other dog is the one really causing the trouble. Owners often blame the big dog for bad behavior while ignoring the behavioral issues of the smaller dog, without realizing that the smaller dog is the one causing the problem. Always look into the pack structure to get a proper assessment of the situation.It is always better for you to take control as pack leader as it is stressful for them to be the pack leader. Humans don’t always listen to them and this can cause them to turn destructive. But if you take charge, they will begin to relax and relinquish the bad behavior. So, if your dog has behavioral problems, make sure that you are addressing the instincts that are not being met. Otherwise, you are just putting a band aid on an infection.

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