Tips for Preventing Canine Behavior Problems

Dogs make wonderful pets but having an animal with canine problems can be worrying. Although some people enlist the help of a professional dog trainer to help their dog overcome his behavioral problems, there are certain things you can do by yourself to help your dog relax.


It is normal for dogs to bark occasionally. Barking is a warning signal to other pack members that someone is approaching. It is also a way to show excitement or get attention. There are different types of bark so it is helpful to try and work out what it is your dog is barking about.

However, if your dog is barking excessively then this could be a sign that he views himself as the leader of the pack. If this is the case then you need to show him that you, his owner, are actually the leader and that he is lower in the household hierarchy. If you introduce some ground rules with your dog then he will learn who the boss is.

If your dog is barking because he needs something, then the best way to change this behaviour is to give it to him! This may mean more frequent toilet breaks or more playtime during the day.


Chewing is a common behaviour problem. Often, it is a sign of fear. If it is happening regularly when you leave the dog alone, he might be frightened by certain noises in the house or just by the fact that you're not there. If you think this is the case then gradually helping your dog get used to the idea of being alone will help him feel calmer when you go out.

Chewing can also be a sign of boredom. If your dog is chewing household items and furniture, try introducing him to some new toys. It is also important to make sure he gets enough exercise so he doesn't have excessive amounts of energy left at the end of the day. If chewing is an issue, remove chewable items, such as shoes, from the dog's reach.


Growling is similar to barking. Although it can sometimes be playful, growling is usually an indication that your dog feels threatened. With signs of aggression like growling and biting, it is a good idea to seek the help of a professional trainer to prevent the behaviour from developing further.

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety is a term used to cover a number of destructive behaviours. These always occur when the dog is left alone and can be distressing for both pets and their owners. The best way to help your dog overcome separation anxiety is to do so slowly. Start by leaving him for 30 seconds and welcoming him when you return. When he seems more relaxed when you leave, you can gradually increase the amount of time you leave him alone.

Although behaviour problems can be troubling, there is usually a root cause behind them. Finding and addressing this will help the behaviour issues will enable you and your dog to enjoy each other's company. If you find it difficult to handle the behaviour problems on your own, a professional dog trainer will be able to provide the extra support you might need.