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Abnormal Dog Behavior

Abnormal Dog Behavior

Shelby Marlo, CPDT (Animal Behavioral Specialist, Professional Dog trainer) gives expert video advice on: How do I prevent my dog from acting overly timid?; How do I prevent my dog from acting aggressive? and more...

What is considered "abnormal" behavior for a dog?

There's not a lot of abnormal behaviour for dogs. Dogs act in ways that we don't accept as humans. A lot of times it's normal for the dog but it's not okay for us. However, if you're talking about seriously abnormal behaviour in dogs, we would be talking about things such as seriously excessive barking, excessive fear, and excessive aggression. These are abnormal if they get to the point where the dog simply can't function in society.

What causes abnormal behavior in dogs?

Abnormal behavior in dogs can be caused by two things, it's the old nature versus nuture debate. Possibly the dog was born that way. More likely the dog has abnormal behavior because of a lack of social skills given to the dog initially, a lack of exercise, and a lack of proper care and training. These are all ways that you can create a dog who is abnormally functioning in the world.

How long should I wait to talk to a professional trainer about my dog's abnormal behavior?

The second that thought crosses your mind, you should call a professional trainer. However, it's really imperative that you get in touch with a positive trainer. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is available, APDT.com, and they will help you to find someone who's a positive trainer in your area. A positive trainer is simply somebody who uses motivational methods as opposed to punitive, harsh methods.

Can abnormal behavior be corrected in older dogs?

Abnormal behaviour can be corrected in older dogs depending on the severity of the situation. You can teach an old dog new tricks. However, it's really important that we take into consideration how long the dog has been doing the behaviour and what the behaviour is. They're all different; they're just like humans.