Possessiveness: A Dog Behavioral Problem You Should Worry About?
If your dog displays possessive or jealous tendencies, it may potentially turn into a behavioral problem that warrants concern.
Typically, these behaviors emerge in response to a major change in your household. You may get another pet, start dating someone new, bring in a roommate or have a baby, any of which can prompt your pet to act out.
In most cases, you can deal with the situation yourself easily enough. In some cases, however, you may need the assistance of a professional dog trainer.
Getting Another Pet
One of the most common reasons that pets act out is bringing a new pet – typically a cat or another dog – into the home. If Fido guards his food, toys, bed or similar resources, the problem is usually easy to address. If he guards you or other family members, it’s likely an issue that needs the help of a dog training professional.
Starting a New Relationship
If you’ve begun dating a new person, they are likely to visit your home, at least eventually. Your pet will likely regard them as any other visitor until or unless you hug or kiss, or if your date stays the night. At that point, Fido may act out to show his displeasure.
Adding a New Adult Member to Your Household
The perceived interloper could be a new roommate, a new spouse, significant other, or even an aging relative who comes to live with you. Your dog’s response could include depression, lack of appetite, marking or signs of aggression such as growling and snapping. Your pet may also become overly needy or clingy.
Having a Baby
New parents sometimes rehome their dog or relinquish him to a shelter when they have a baby, out of fear for the child’s safety. A professional dog trainer can provide the insight and advice you need in this difficult situation.
Professional Dog Training for Possessive Behaviors
Consulting a professional dog trainer is the best way to deal with a jealous dog. Don’t wait to talk to a trainer, however, as the problem will almost never resolve on its own.
The solution can be as simple as reestablishing a routine with your pet or revisiting basic obedience training. Your dog needs to understand that his status in the household and in your “pack” has not changed. But he also needs to understand that acting out is not an option.
In some cases, however, your trainer may recommend a more intensive approach – such as a live-in or boot camp program.
In Salt Lake City, the experienced professionals at Innovative K9 Academy know how to help with a dog that exhibits jealous or possessive behaviors. Contact us today to talk to one of our dog training experts about the behavioral problems you’re experiencing.