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Tuesday Training Byte: Problem behavior or is it?

If your dog has a change in behavior- for example was housebroken but now is soiling in the house- it may be advisable to see a vet to rule out a physical problem. Any sudden changes in behavior is the dog's way to let you know something is not quite right. Sometimes it seems that dogs do something out of spite. However, science tells us that dogs are not capable of these types of complex emotions that produce vindictive, revengeful behaviors. A while back, one of my dogs that is fully housebroken was barking in his crate in the middle of the night. My husband had to get up early for work and he got up and scolded the dog. In a few minutes more the dog started barking again, but by the time my husband got back up, the dog had done a big mess in his crate. Something had upset his system and the barking (problem behavior) was him asking to go out. Many years ago I was out later than expected after dark and when I got home, I brought the dogs into their runs in the garage, but one dog "stubbornly" refused. It was a struggle to get the normally compliant dog to kennel up. I got her in and she tried dashing back out before I could close the gate. I went over and turned on the big overhead light and there was a snake at the back of her run. My dog was trying to tell me there was a reason she was refusing to go in her run, but I didn't listen. I have learned now to be a better listener to discover the why behind that behavior.


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