8 Most Common Dog Behavior Problems

Many dog owners experience one or more pet behavior problems (list below). And the first step to solving these problems is to understand what causes dogs to behave in one way or another. Knowing the reasons can help you figure out how to correct your pet’s unwanted behavior.

Excessive Barking


Dogs make various sounds: they bark, howl, whine, etc. But mostly the owners are worried about the pet’s too frequent barking. Before you can fix this, you must determine why your dog is barking all the time.

The most common reasons for barking are as follows:

  • The dog wants to warn you about something;
  • The dog is trying to get your attention;
  • This is how her playfulness manifests itself;
  • Something worries her;
  • She’s just bored.

What to do?

Learn to control excessive barking. Together with the dog handler, try to teach your pet the commands “Quiet” and “Speak”. Be consistent and patient. Eliminate the root causes of barking.

Broken Things

Dogs need to chew something, that’s okay. But if instead of special chewing toys, your pet chews on your things, then this can become a serious problem.

Most often, a dog chews on things because:

  • Her teeth are teething (this applies to puppies);
  • She is bored and has nowhere to put her energy;
  • Something worries her;
  • This is how curiosity manifests itself (especially in puppies).

What to do?

Buy more chewable toys and praise your dog when he plays with them. When you leave your dog alone at home, limit his movement to those areas where there are the least things that he can ruin.

If you catch your pet at the moment when he is chewing on something inappropriate, stop him with a sharp sound and replace this item with a toy. And, of course, walk more and play with your pet so that he directs his energy in a peaceful direction and does not cause mayhem in the house out of boredom.


Some dogs (eg terriers) love to dig the ground, following their hunting instinct. And if your pet spoils the lawn in your country house, then, of course, you will not like it.

Typically, most dogs dig for the following reasons:

  • Boredom or excess energy;
  • Anxiety or fear;
  • Hunting instinct;
  • Striving for comfort (for example, to cool off in the heat);
  • The desire to hide things (such as bones or toys);
  • An attempt to escape.

What to do?

Try to determine the cause of the excavation, and then try to eliminate it. Spend more time with your dog, play with it, and train it. Alternatively, you can designate a place where the dog can dig the ground, and allow him to do it only there.

Fear of Separation

This problem manifests itself in the following: as soon as the owner leaves the dog alone, he begins to howl, gnaw things, go to the toilet in the wrong places, etc.

How to understand that all these negative manifestations are connected precisely with the fear of separation?

  • The dog starts to worry when the owner is about to leave;
  • Bad behavior occurs in the first 15–45 minutes after the owner leaves;
  • The dog follows the owner.

What to do?

This is a serious problem that requires working with a specialist – it is best to consult with a zoopsychologist to correct this behavior.

Urination and Defecation in the Wrong Places

It is very important to discuss this with your veterinarian first to rule out health problems. If the reason is still not medical, try to determine why the pet is behaving this way. It usually has something to do with this list:

  • Urination due to overexcitation;
  • Territorial behavior;
  • Anxiety;
  • Lack of proper upbringing.

What to do?

It is normal for a puppy to have this behavior, especially before 12 weeks of age. Older dogs are another matter altogether. It is worth consulting with a zoopsychologist to correct this unwanted behavior.


This is a habit that dog owners themselves often encourage. But this is not worth doing, since begging can lead to digestive problems and obesity. Dogs ask their owners for food because they love to eat, not because they are hungry. However, your leftover food is not a treat, and food is not loved. Of course, it can be difficult to resist a pleading gaze, but even giving “just one time” will create problems for you in the long run. So the dog will understand that it can be begging, and it will be extremely difficult to wean it from it.

What to do?

Every time you sit down at the table, send the dog to its place – preferably where it cannot see you. Or lock it in another room. If your dog is behaving well, feed him only after you have left the table.


Jumping is a common and natural behavior for dogs. Puppies jump up to greet their mothers. Later, they can jump up to greet people. But as a puppy grows into adulthood, jumping on humans can become a serious problem.

What to do?

There are several ways to stop a jumping dog, but not all of them will work for you. The best way that always works is to just ignore the dog or walk away altogether. Don’t look the dog in the eye, don’t talk to it. When she calms down and stops jumping, praise her. Soon, the dog will realize that it is not worth jumping on you.


Puppies bite to explore their surroundings. Mother dogs teach toddlers not to bite too hard. The owner also needs to show the puppy not to bite.

In adult dogs, the urge to bite is also not always associated with aggression. The dog bites for various reasons:

  • Out of fear;
  • Defending;
  • Protecting property;
  • Feeling pain.

What to do?

Any dog needs socialization and proper education. Puppies need to be taught from puppyhood that they should not bite. If you do not wean the dog from this habit in time, you will need the help of a dog handler in its re-education.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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