Sudden Behavior Changes
A sudden change in a dog's behavior can be rooted in a number of factors. That's the topic of today's Dog Tip -- what could be motivating a change in the dog's behavior. For questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Medically based: typically, it's worth going to the vet as soon as you notice a problem, because so often the new, undesirable behavior is linked to a medical condition.
* Change in the household: did someone new move it -- human, canine, feline or other? Many dogs are very sensitive to changes in the household.
* Change in routine: did someone in the family get a new job or change working hours or other habits? Does the dog have to wait longer to be taken outside? Has the walking or feeding schedule been changed?
* New environment: did the household move to another place, perhaps one in which there were smells from past dogs or other pets.
* Stressful times for the owner: if the dog's owner is feeling stressed, this is usually telegraphed to the dog, making him nervous in turn.
* Age issues: as puppies mature, their behaviors can change quite a bit. Also, remember to remind people that puppies will go through challenging and often destructive phrases in which significant leadership and control -- and obedience training -- will help.
* Obedience training: it's very helpful to the dog and owner if they take obedience classes. This is something to suggest to any pet owner.
* Behavior modification: a good canine behavior specialist can help identify the root of a problem and how to help the dog overcome his fears.
* Make sure the dog has outlets for his energy -- from leash-walking to playing in the yard to providing dog toys to energetic training.
* Check smoke detectors. The soft beep that is emitted when a smoke detector's batteries are running low can hurt many dogs' sensitive ears.