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Dog Behavior Problems

There are few dog owners in the world that can honestly say that their dog does not have a behavior that is problematic for them. Dog behavior problems can come in many different forms from barking to urinating in the home. Most of these dog behavior problems can be helped through behavior modification. Below are questions that have been asked of the Experts in regards to dog behavior problems.

Can scratching be caused by dog behavior problems like anxiety, instead of just being caused by allergies?

In many situations, scratching can be caused by a dog behavior problem such as anxiety. In the cases of most dogs it anxiety is not the culprit, allergies is. However a thorough examination should be done by a veterinarian to pinpoint the reason for the itching. If it is anxiety, Xanax or Lorazepam can be prescribed by the veterinarian to help control the dog’s anxiety.

Can dog behavior problems be caused or be in relationship to pain?

Dog behavior problems can be caused by many things and pain is one of them. Pain can cause a dog to act in a manner that they normally would not. A dog may be snippy and aggressive while in pain, even if they have always been a well mannered dog. When a dog starts to exhibit behavior problems that are not within the dog’s normal behavior, a veterinarian should be consulted to examine the dog to pinpoint the cause of the behavior.

If put on fluoxetine for dog behavior problems, can a dog continue this medication long term?

Fluoxetine can be used long term for dog behavior problems, as long as the animal shows no adverse reactions to the drug. There may be veterinarians that are not comfortable with long term use of the medication, while there are others that are. If an individual’s vet does not feel comfortable with the continued use of the drug for dog behavior problems, but the owner feels like the medication has made a difference in their dog, the owner can speak with the vet about monitoring the long term use with lab work. If behavior modification training is also being used, it is possible that the medication may at some point in time be able to be discontinued. Each case will vary from dog to dog, owner to owner, and vet to vet.

What are some of the first things that should be looked at when a dog has sudden onset aggressive dog behavior problems?

Some of the first things that should be evaluated when dog behavior problems arise are areas that might cause a dog pain, such as bones and teeth. Other things that should be checked are the dog’s urine; a urinary tract infection can cause a change in the dog’s behavior. Also recommended is a full blood work- up to rule out any underlying infections or diseases. Another aspect to look at is if the animal has been sterilized, intact animals may have some dog behavior problems such as aggression.

What are some things that can be done about the dog behavior problem of barking at everything?

Behavior modification may be warranted in the dog behavior problem of barking. For example an owner may not realize that they are reinforcing the bad behavior by giving the behavior attention. If a dog barks and the owner is attentive to the dog barking it enforces this behavior, if the owner stops paying attention to the dog barking, even negative attention, eventually the dog will start to realize that the owner will not give it the attention that is seeking by barking. This is in turn may decrease the dog from barking at things that it used to bark at. Some dog owners resort to having the vocal chords surgically cut, but these often only results in a more annoying bark than the original bark after having fully healed. Another option is a bark collar that can help to work on the behavior when the owner is not readily available.

Dog behavior problems in whatever form they come can be handled in several ways. The way that the dog behavior problem is handled often depends upon the cause of the dog behavior problem. Some problems can be handled by behavior modifications, others by medications, and others by finding the cause of the problems. Any questions about dog behavior problems may be asked of the Experts.
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