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If your pet has been well behaved for most of his life and is just now developing bad behavior, there are a few things you should know. Yes, dogs have sass. There may somethings you’re not doing or giving him that might be the cause of these sudden behavioral problems.
- He might not be getting enough exercise.A good way to try and fix his sudden change in behavior is to just give him what he wants and take him for more walks. Do more engaging things with him. When dogs have untapped energy, it can easily be converted into bad behavior. Try playing fetch games, going jogging with your dog, or even enrolling him in a doggie daycare where he can socialize and play with other dogs.
- He might not be getting enough mental stimulation.With your dog’s easy going nature and fun-loving ways, it is easy to forget that he needs mental stimulation in order to be well mannered and have a balanced mentality. Try letting him forage for his own meals. Remember that dogs love hunting. So next time you feed him, spread his treats out in the yard so he can go and find them himself. There are other doggie puzzles and toys that can be used as a channel for mental stimulation.
- He might be having a health problem.Health problems can easily cause your dog to act up. Many a time, health problems go unnoticed because they are often easy to miss. Health issues that can affect the behavior of your dog include hip dysplasia, thyroid, arthritis, luxating patellas, epilepsy/seizures, sore teeth, digestive issues, ear infections, environmental or skin allergies, hearing loss, cancer, eyesight loss, and yeast infections. Get him checked out by a veterinarian to be sure.
- He might be having some genetic issues.Sometimes, a dog inherits behavioral issues from its parents. There is very little that you can do to change the poor temperament passed on from parents. But sometimes, poor behavior can be overridden by good socialization. Enroll him in a doggy day care so he can socialize with other dogs. This will not only change is temperament, it also stimulates his mind.
- He might be living in an inconsistent environment.We can sometimes confuse our dogs by punishing him sometimes and rewarding him on other times for the same action. For example, sometimes, we let our dog jump on our lap and then reward him with a long pat while other times, we chastise him for doing the same. The inconsistent environment may cause him to act out because he’s confused as to what the right behavior is. Set clear boundaries and keep them in order to protect your dog’s sanity.
Whenever your dog starts acting out, ask yourself whether you had anything to do with it and if there is anything you can do to make it better. Dogs are playful, fun-loving, mischievous creatures. Treat them the right way and they will return the favor.