What are the Most Common Behavioral Problems in Small dogs and What Do I Do About Them?

shutterstock_439679800One of the many reasons that prompt pet owners to seek help from dog trainers or animal behavior specialists is destructive or alarming behavior issues seen in their little pooches. Some of the most common behavior problems exhibited by small dog breeds are depression include the following:


  1. Barking/whining. Most dogs bark and whine to some degree, but excessive barking, howling, or whining is considered a behavior issue. To correct this behavior, find out why your pooch is markedly vocalizing in the first place. Dogs bark because of a number of reasons. It could be because your pet wants to warn or alert you of danger, he is demonstrating playfulness or excitement, is seeking attention, as a display of anxiety or boredom, and/or is responding to other animals. Excessive barking can be stopped with basic training, adequate mental stimulation, and regular exercise. In more serious cases, you may have to bring a trainer or animal behaviorist to curb it.
  2. This is a natural action for all dogs but chewing can easily become a problem if your pooch starts to cause damaging your furniture and other household items. Dogs usually chew non-stop because they are teething, are just curious, bored or have excess energy, and/or anxious. To stop your pooch from doing this, encourage him to chew only on the right things by giving him lots of chew toys. Keep your personal items out of his reach and correct him immediately with a sharp noise once you catch him chewing on the wrong things. Provide lots of exercise and proper training.
  3. Some of the prevalent signs of canine depression are lethargy, withdrawal, excessive sleeping or less of it, loss of appetite, clingy behavior, whining or crying, weight loss, and changes in behavior like refusal to participate in activities he used to find enjoyable or greetings becoming less exuberant. Depression in dogs can be caused by the changes in daily routine, loss of a loved one (either a human friend or a fellow pet), and overwhelming stress. To help your pooch bounce back to his usual happy disposition, try to eliminate stress and provide him with extra TLC. If these aren’t enough, it might be time to consult your vet for assessment as more serious depression would require medication and even therapy.
  4. Small Dog Syndrome. Referred to a collection of symptoms or undesirable behaviors which are often displayed by small dogs whose status have been elevated to top dog and wants to show your entire household who the real boss is, small dog syndrome is another behavioral issue common in small dogs. This is often characterized by pets jumping up on people, begging for food, growling or barking at anyone who tries to get close to the dog’s owner, demanding to get attention and affection, pulling on leash or reusing to walk on a leash at all, nipping at people’s heels, stubbornly refusing to listen to commands which have already been mastered, whining, separation anxiety symptoms, and many more. It’s basically a list of disagreeable behaviors that we would not prefer to exist in any pet but can occur due to inadequate training. Changing these behaviors is neither easy nor impossible; however, it does require some effort to overcome those annoying manners which have crept up over time. Owners have to be willing to re-socialize our pets, spend time for training each day, and add discipline to our range of good dog owner skills.



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