If you ask me why your dog is chewing your carpet to shreds, or attacking other dogs I would ask you to describe the situation. I would want to know details like:
My next question would be "tell me about a day in the life of your dog". I want to know:
These are questions I use to find out what factors or triggers contribute to the dog's behavior, and others to see if their basic needs are satisfied. Understanding the details of the problem and the dog's lifestyle help me to evaluate what is needed to help change or manage behavior. Many unwanted behaviors stem from pets trying to meet their needs in a way that is not appropriate to their humans, i.e. crazy energy, chewing, anxiety and withdrawal.
If you are having behavior issues with your dog one of the first things I would suggest to you is to find a qualified trainer or behaviorist. Additionally, take a look at your dog's lifestyle and see if that may be what is impacting their behavior.
Here are five lifestyle factors that can improve behavior and overall health.
1 - Exercise
Each dog needs different amounts of exercise depending on breed, age, size and health. All dogs need to move and get their heart pumping daily. Find out more about your dog’s exercise needs.
2 - Mental Stimulation
Just like us, dog’s need a balance of mental and physical activity. Generally, your dog needs between 3 and 6 hours of activity per day to be healthy. There are many fun activities to do with your dog that take little effort on your part. More brain games.
3 - Good Nutrition
Your dog’s behavioral wellness is also influence by diet. Make sure to understand the nutritional needs of your dog. Although there is some controversy, most experts suggest 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbs is healthy for your dog. Here is a link to basic Nutritional information. Click to see a good homemade dog food recipe for your pup.
4 - Companionship
Humans and dogs both need social contact with others to be healthy. Your dog needs to interact with others, 8 or more hours alone is very hard on your social pooch. If you are gone much of each day you might consider a dog walker, or a neighbor who can come and play with your pet during the day. Dog daycare is also an option, but it is not for every dog.
5 - Rewards
Positive training is the key to a good relationship with your dog. A healthy, positive relationship improves all aspects of life with your dog (and yours). Remembering to reward your dog with praise, pets and/or treats goes a long way to changing and maintaining behaviors you want.
Debbie Lewis, MS
I educate and support people as they deepen their understanding of their pet's behavior to create happy, healthy pet-people relationships.