Three reasons why your dog has behavior problems, according to an expert

Dog sitting on chewed up sofa looking guilty
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Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

Trying to figure out how to deal with a badly behaved dog

Whether it's jumping up on everyone, constant counter surfacing, or incessant barking every time the doorbell goes, your pup doing things you don't want them to do can be a frustrating issue to deal with.

However, according to Andrea Isabel, founder of Canyons Canine Training, all dogs can struggle with behavioral issues, even those that excel at obedience! 

Read on as she explains three reasons that could be driving your dog's bad behavior and how you can go about fixing it...

1. There is a lack of structure and boundaries in the home: "Dogs do what works! Many of these unwanted behaviors are very satisfying and self-rewarding to a dog," explains Isabell. 

"Without proper direction, structure, and boundaries, your dog will continue to do these things because it it hasn’t been led to do otherwise. 

"Structure and boundaries keep our dogs safe and provide clarity. Once the dog understands this, it can earn more freedom."

2. You have focused on obedience and tricks over your dog's state of mind: "Your dog may know all of their commands, but if you never taught your dog how to slow down, check in with you and think through things, when they are released from obedience they may be quite a tornado because they don’t know how to relax or be calm," Isabell says.

"Relaxation doesn’t come naturally to many dogs, especially working dogs that are in so many pet homes. We need to teach our dog how to be calm. Holding a down while waiting for release and reward won’t always cut it."

3. Your dog is unfulfilled: "Many dogs are unfulfilled physically, mentally, and biologically. 

"Sniffy walks don’t take the place of connected walks following your lead. Playing mindless fetch doesn’t take the place of encouraging your dog to slow down and organically check in for information from you. 

"Teaching your dog to offer you eye contact organically before an activity they love taps into their thinking brain. Doing these things can be very mentally taxing! If your dog is biologically built for herding, running, or pulling, find ways to take your relationship further and love them by fulfilling them," Isabell advises.

According to Isabell, even the most obedient dogs may struggle with behavioral issues if any of the above factors are at play.

If you find that working on the above doesn't result in the positive changes you're looking for, we recommend reaching out to a qualified professional trainer for support.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.