Canine behavioural issues and what you can do

by Bronwyn Hall

A not-so-fun fact is that the main reason for the euthanasia of dogs under the age of two is behavioural issues. This is a bleak statistic caused by the irresponsible breeding, training and treatment of dogs by humans. At best, dogs with behavioural issues can be rehabilitated. At worst doesn’t bare thinking about.

Canine behavioural issues can range from inappropriate elimination to destruction and even aggression. With more and more dogs being rehomed from shelters, we – as responsible dog owners – can find ourselves dealing with issues that are not our fault but become our problem.


So what do we do when canine behavioural issues bulldoze our formerly serene lives? There are a number of ways to help our four legged friends and I implore you to explore them before giving up on your little one.

The first and more important thing to do is decide whether you (and your family) can handle whatever behavioural issue is effecting your dog. Whilst in an ideal world you would be able to help your canine companion on the road to recovery; this may not be plausible if they are aggressive and you have young children. Think about what you are taking on.

Next – if appropriate – think about enrolling your dog in a local training class. There are many great training classes which can really help in socialising a dog; they can be found on the Kennel Club website. However, think carefully if this will be safe for both your dog and the dogs you are likely to meet. A dog with canine aggression will not be suited for a class such as this.

Research and find a good canine behaviourist to help with your training. There may be deep set canine behavioural issues which you may be unable to shift. In these cases it is advisable to find a reliable and experienced behaviourist. They can be expensive, however, I firmly believe that you get what you pay for.

Photo: UKRCB

Photo: UKRCB

Though I’m sorry to say that no outcome is ever guaranteed where the behaviour of a dog is concerned; exploring these three options will certainly help on your journey to rehabilitate your canine companion.

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