Behaviour Issues

At Sprocker Assist and Rescue we are seeing a lot of dogs with 'Behavioural Issues' and we talk about these a fair amount. But do you know what the issues are?

There is a lot of talk in the press about behaviour issues at the moment and we are not alone in seeing dogs being surrendered to us with these problems.

Shadow Chasing

Shadow chasing in dogs is a common behaviour, often seen by them trying to play with or catch the moving shadows. It’s generally harmless, but excessive shadow chasing might be a sign of boredom or anxiety. Providing mental and physical stimulation for your dog can help reduce this behaviour. If you have any specific questions or concerns about shadow chasing, feel free to ask.

Resource Guarding

Resource guarding is a behaviour in which a dog becomes protective of items they consider valuable, such as food, toys, or even a particular space. It can lead to aggressive displays if someone tries to approach or take the guarded resource.

To address resource guarding:

  1. Consult a Professional: Seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for tailored advice. Lisa or Amanda will be happy to chat to you
  2. Desensitization: Gradually expose your dog to the trigger (e.g., a person approaching their food bowl) while rewarding calm behavior.
  3. Trade-Up: Teach your dog that giving up the resource results in something better, like a higher-value treat.
  4. Practice Obedience: Strengthen basic obedience commands, like “drop it” and “leave it.”
  5. Avoid Punishment: Avoid scolding or punishing your dog, as it can exacerbate the behavior.
  6. Management: In the short term, manage the environment to prevent guarding situations.

Remember that it’s essential to work with a professional when dealing with resource guarding, especially if it involves aggression, to ensure safety and success.

Boredom

Boredom in dogs can lead to behavioral issues. To keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated:

  1. Regular Exercise: Provide daily exercise, including walks, playtime, and activities like fetch or agility.
  2. Interactive Toys: Offer toys that dispense treats or require problem-solving to keep their minds engaged.
  3. Training: Teach new commands or tricks to challenge their intellect.
  4. Social Interaction: Allow your dog to socialize with other dogs or take them to a dog park.
  5. Change the Environment: Rotate toys, rearrange furniture, or create a digging pit to keep things interesting.
  6. Puzzle Feeders: Use puzzle feeders or slow-feeder bowls to make mealtime more engaging.
  7. Supervise Playtime: Spend quality time with your dog, whether it’s playing, training, or just cuddling.
  8. Doggy Daycare: Consider doggy daycare for socialization and stimulation when you’re not home.

Remember, a bored dog can exhibit destructive behaviours, so it’s essential to address their needs to keep them happy and well-behaved.

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