Pet Resources & Directory

It is great to be a dog lover but as a dog owner we also have a responsibility to make our dogs happy. The best way to do this is to understand their behaviour and use that understanding to provide what our dogs need. Preventing or reducing behaviour problems ensures that you and your dog will have a great relationship rather than a life full of anxiety, worries and frustration. First you must understand that some dogs are more prone to certain behaviour problems because of their temperament and have learned to respond a certain way to various situations. While you can help most dogs be behaviourally healthy and well-mannered, in some cases you may need the help of a qualified behaviourist, trainer or veterinarian.

Learn how to observe, interpret, and respond appropriately to your dog’s body language. Understanding dog behaviour means fewer misunderstandings such as “he’s mad at me, that’s why he pees on my bed.”It also means less disappointment because of unrealistic expectations. Understanding the needs of dogs regarding daily care - including feeding, exercise, interactions with people and other animals will help you meet the needs of your dog. Emotions play an important role in how your dog behaves. Destructive behaviour when left alone can be a sign of anxiety, and avoidance and aggression are often motivated by fear.

Once you have an understanding of the emotional state such as anxiety, fear or frustration, you can change his emotional negative response into a positive emotion for a particular situation and his behaviour will improve. Instead of trying to change the emotion of the dog, many people train their dog to obey a command when the dogs reacts negatively. This may make him behave appropriately but he still feels scared or threatened and therefore he is still stressed. Changing the reaction to a person, animal or situation by exposing him to the situation and making it have a positive outcome, an example would be to have a person that the dog usually fears give the dog a treat when he greets him. This way the dog will associate something positive when in the presence of that person again. Training a dog to change his behaviour should be done using positive or negative consequences to a behaviour. The negative consequence should never be physical or involve fear.