Problem behavior in domestic pets has a lot of trouble for their carers. The most common dog problems include aggression, anxiety, destruction at home in the absence of the owner, barking and jumping at people. Which dogs most often show these problems and what are the relationships between each behavior?
How often do dogs have problem behaviors?
In 2019, American scientists published the results of a survey on problem behavior in dogs. The study involved almost 2.5 thousand dog carers from various countries of the world – mainly the USA (76%), but also from Great Britain, Canada and Australia. The respondents completed a survey for a total of 4,000 dogs they own. The dominant breed of dogs in the study were labradors (382 dogs), followed by golden retrievers (138 dogs), German Shepherds (132 dogs) and poodles (104 dogs). Guardians of hybrids also participated in the study. Test dogs were most often adopted (43%) or bought from kennel (33%). 84% of dogs described in the survey were castrated and 85% of bitches were sterilized. As many as 85% of the quadrupeds described in the responses showed problematic behaviors!
What problem behaviors are most common in dogs?
Anxiety (up to 44% of dogs), aggression (30%) and jumping on people (28%) were the most common problem behaviors exhibited by these dogs. Other behaviors studied were excessive barking, coprophagia, compulsive behavior, settling at home, rolling in the dirt, hyperactivity, destruction, escapes and copulatory reflexes. Anxiety behaviors mainly concerned fear of a crowd of people, sounds, a visit to the vet, a storm and staying home alone. Aggression in dogs was mainly directed towards foreign dogs passed on walks, a second dog at home and strangers visiting the house.
Which dogs most often show problem behaviors?
The study found that problem behaviors occur with the same frequency among dogs as among bitches. Only copulative reflexes were presented more often by male dogs. According to this study, dogs and bitches subjected to castration showed more problems than quadrupeds without such surgery. Adopted dogs were also more inclined to problem behavior – however, it is not known whether this was caused by staying in a shelter or whether the dog’s previous problems were the reason for his devotion or abandonment, after which the pooch was adopted. Compared to adoption and hybrid dogs, pedigree and breed dogs were much less likely to exhibit problem behavior.
However, please note that this survey was conducted using a survey. The data sent by dog keepers constitute their subjective opinion, and the dogs have not been examined by any specialist.
Remember – if your dog exhibits problem behavior, don’t give up and give up your pet! Any problem with the pooch can be worked through and solved in consultation with the appropriate trainer or behaviorist. By giving the problem dog to the shelter without trying to work with him, you cause him great harm. Such dogs have significant problems finding a suitable home that will cope with the task additionally hampered by the dog’s stay in stressful conditions and isolation. However, if you just gave yourself a puppy, take care of its correct socialization and from the first months, help yourself to raise a pooch responsible!
Source: Dinwoodie, I. R., Dwyer, B., Zottola, V., Gleason, D., & Dodman, N. H. (2019). Demographics and Comorbidity of Behavior Problems in Dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior. doi: 10.1016 / j.jveb.2019.04.007