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As the old adage goes, “Dogs are man’s best friend.” However, there  are times when people just can’t understand why their beloved dogs  behave in a different manner. 

Hence, it is extremely important to know the underlying reasons why dogs  sometimes behave differently.  

You can teach your dog appropriate behavior. Experts say that dog behaviors  can be controlled through proper training. 

Dog behaviors are actually responses that are mostly triggered by  environmental and social factors. Hence, to control these responses, the  owner should teach his dogs the proper way to respond to such elements.  Let’s explore a few of the methods: 

Dog Bite 

Statistics show that almost 5 million people in the U.S. are victims of dog  bites annually. This is almost 2% of the total population in the U.S. What’s  more, dog bites cases rank as second most common cause of emergencies in  the hospitals. 

So, the question is: Why dogs bite? 

According to the experts, the main reasons why dogs may bite are the  following: 

  1. Excitement 

When somebody plays with his or her dog, the tendency of the dog is to get  excited, and because dogs don’t have hands to use when playing, they use  their mouth to grasp things. When this happens, there is the tendency that  the dog might accidentally hurt people without intending to do anything  harmful. 

  1. Protection 

Dogs can be very possessive, so, whenever he wants to protect something  that he owns, he will bite whoever threatens to take it away from him.  Hence, when people get near the dog’s property, the dog’s tendency is to  bite to make the person leave his property alone. 

  1. Pain 

When the dog is not feeling well, he does not understand why he is feeling  that way. Therefore, when a person, even if it’s his master, touches him, he  may think that it’s the person who causes the pain and so his tendency is to  fight back by biting. 

  1. Fear 

Dogs are sometimes afraid just like humans. That is why when somebody  startles him, the dog’s only known protection for itself is to bite back. 

The best thing is to avoid these situations and leave the dog alone. The  problem with so many people is that they want to always play around with  their dog without learning how and when the dogs should be left alone. 

Like humans, dogs have feelings too. When these feelings are all mixed up,  their only known protection for themselves is to bite because they cannot  understand the situation logically. Therefore, people should know that in  order to avoid such circumstances. 

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It’s a common belief that all dogs will try to be dominant in the presence of other  dogs. Because of this some dog owners shy away from taking their dog with them  for a walk in the park. Fearing that a dog fight will ensue they choose instead to  keep their dog at home when they leave the house. 

A little understanding of the truth about dog behavior and the nature of dogs in  general will help to ease any fears about this. Then you can start taking Fido along  with you and enjoy a leisurely stroll together. If you establish yourself as the  dominant one you can better control your dogís behavior, even when other dogs  are around. 

Perhaps you have observed a group of dogs at play. During a social encounter of  all-male, or mixed-gender dogs, one of them always establishes himself as the  Alpha Male. It is always a male dog that takes this position of leadership. The  Alpha Male will insist on submission from the other dogs. This is not a despotic  position though because he will also look after and protect the lesser ones. There  is rarely a fight about this. Some dogs are naturally submissive and fall right into  their place within the pack. 

Taking this into consideration you’ll want to establish yourself as the Alpha Male in  your dog’s mind. Even a woman or a child can accomplish this. You can insist on  submission and obedience. Your dog will gladly comply without much fuss if he’s  received the proper training. 

Here are a few pointers to help you with dominance training. 

When feeding your dog he must sit and wait for you to give him permission to  approach the bowl.  

When you both are walking through a doorway, make sure that you go first. He  must always wait for you to go first. It’s unacceptable for him to shove past you. 

When you walk together he must remain at your side. It may be funny in a cartoon  for a dog to lead his master around while on a leash, but it’s nothing that you want  to allow. 

If your dog ignores your command to come at your command then you need to  change that behavior right away. Walk sternly toward him and surround him with  an air of dominance. You can force him to obey by lowering your voice, pointing  toward where you want him to go, and blocking him from escape. If your dog is  submissive toward you then he will comply without confrontation.

Once you’ve established yourself as the leader during dominance training you can  better control your dog in the presence of other dogs. It’s certainly ok to allow your  dog to interact in a non-aggressive way socially. You can let the dogs get to know  each other in the unique way that dogs do. Then should the other dog misbehave  you can easily remove your dog from the situation with the peace of mind that you  are ultimately the one in control.

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The best way to deal with aggression in a dog is to prune his behaviors early on.  Dogs are predatory animals so it’s only natural that one would show signs of  aggressive behavior even as a puppy. It’s the master’s responsibility to train a dog  to be submissive and obedient. 

A dog will act aggressively on different occasions for various reasons. Among the  most common reasons are: 

  • Fear or insecurity 
  • Protecting his territory 
  • Struggling for dominance 
  • Feeling trapped or threatened 
  • Hunger  
  • Boredom (chasing cars for example) 
  • The dog has been pampered and suddenly his needs or wants arenít being met  to his satisfaction. 

Show your dog who is boss from the very beginning. There must be no doubt in  his mind that your every command is to be obeyed immediately. This will take  dedication and patience to accomplish. A very well trained dog will respond  favorably to his master’s commands even at a distance and without a leash. That  is not to say though that you should ever take your dog out in public without a  leash. Most communities have leash laws and even though you feel that you know  your dog well, he may behave erratically in an unfamiliar situation. 

Once your puppy has been de-wormed and had his shots you’ll do well to  gradually introduce him to other dogs. Remain in control of his actions at all times.  If the other dog becomes aggressive, hold your dog back to teach him not to  respond to provocation. If your dog becomes aggressive you’ll need to take  charge quickly. A stern “no” and short jerk on the leash will send him the message  that this behavior will not be tolerated. 

Another problematic behavior stemming from aggression is chasing cars, people,  cats, other dogs etc. Not only is it unacceptable behavior but chasing has resulted  in the death of untold numbers of family pets. 

Chasing is instinctual, hunting behavior and nearly every dog will chase something  at one time or another. Going against such a deeply ingrained and natural trait is  truly a challenge. Since hunting behavior is necessary for survival in the wild, it is  probably the hardest habit to break in a dog. Even if your dog is obedient at other 

times he may very well ignore your commands and take off after that irresistible  rabbit. 

There’s no way to outrun a dog. He’ll leave you eating his dust every time. So how  can you stop him from exhibiting this aggressive behavior from a distance? The  answer lies in gaining control of his ability to go after what he wants in an enclosed  space. Place a favorite toy or piece of food just out of his reach. Prevent him from  going after it by holding him back with the leash. Tell him to sit and when he obeys  you, shower him with praise. Then offer him the thing that he wants. By repeating  this training you are teaching your dog that he’s not allowed to have anything  without your permission. 

Start your puppy’s training early on and don’t allow aggression to take hold. You’ll  have fewer headaches, passersby will be safe, and your dog will be more likely to  live a few years longer.

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