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Dogs Behaving Badly

March 1, 2018
Does your canine pal have a few bad habits? Man’s Best Friend is cute, loving, loyal, and smart, but he isn’t perfect. In fact, Fido has a few habits that aren’t exactly popular with his human pals. In this article, an Ellicott City, MD vet discusses some common doggy petiquette issues, and offers tips on stopping them.

Common Issues

Barking is a common issue in many of our four-legged friends. Some of our canine buddies are quite vocal! Aggression, biting, and jumping on people are also not uncommon in dogs. Fido has also been known to dig and chew, and, as you may have noticed, is also pretty skilled at begging for food. These behavioral issues can really strain your relationship with your pet. Some, such as biting, can also be dangerous, even in small dogs.

Common Causes

Lack of exercise and/or mental stimulation is often a factor in bad doggy behaviors, such as digging and chewing. Dogs that were not properly socialized as puppies are more likely to have certain bad habits, such as biting and aggression. Health problems can also be behind certain bad behaviors. Just like people, dogs can get pretty cranky when they don’t feel well! Some other possible causes include genetic issues; fear or anxiety due to major changes; lack of stability; loneliness; boredom; and simply a lack of proper training. It’s important to address the cause of Fido’s bad petiquette, so if you aren’t sure why your four-legged pal is acting up, ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for advice.


Never punish your pup for doing something wrong. Dogs act according to their needs and instincts, and don’t really understand the concept of punishment, especially after the fact. It’s fine to reprimand your pooch by telling him ‘No’ in a firm tone, but anything beyond that may backfire. When trying to teach Fido better doggy manners, it’s best to focus on rewarding good behavior. Make sure your dog is getting enough activity and stimulation. Offer your furry buddy lots of fun toys, and take time to walk and play with him daily. Keeping up with your canine friend’s veterinary care is also important, as is keeping your pup on a consistent routine. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. As your local Ellicott City, MD pet clinic, we are completely dedicated to providing excellent care. Please call us anytime!

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