What Causes Sudden Behavior Changes in Dogs?

    unusual dog behaviors

    Understanding a dog's behavior problem can make a big difference

    Dog behavior and the right way to understand it is definitely a bit complicated. Although we are dealing with a different animal and one that we can’t talk to in human terms; by using many different scientific studies throughout the years, today we have a fundamental understanding of how dogs function. 

    Our first investigation with dog behavior and thoughts has been around beginning the late 1800's when the first endeavor to identify the different dog breeds and their temperaments were created by J.H. Walsh in 1873. However, given that they were all reported by Walsh, and considering during that time there wasn’t a number of investigation done, nor resources about dogs in existence; almost all breeds character and behavior descriptions (even today) appear nearly the same as one another.

    a dog sleeping in the street

    The environment can make a dog’s behavior strange

    Just about every creature on the planet is affected by the condition in which they exist. For example, if you have puppies and you allow them to grow up in the same environment free of human intervention, they will grow up behaving relatively just like each other. However, if you grow these puppies in different homes with different owners there will be several different dog behaviors, from a mischievous or hyperactive dog to an edgy or fearful dog.

    Traditionally trained dog behaviors

    Though many of us think that dog training is only intended for obedience, security, sports, or other activities. In actual fact, we are teaching our dogs every day by developing or discouraging habits (a few of which may not suit us as dog owners later in the future). One example is, jumping on people; I for myself know very few dog owners who dealt with this issue from the start not letting this habit to become a dog behavior pattern at the start. A lot of people don’t correct the behavior when it arises and later gets overwhelmed by it when their dog becomes fully mature.

    Just how different we are from our pet dog?

    • To start, dogs are not the same as humans, and although that is apparent, due to a lack of understanding, we have a tendency to deal with them in many ways that they don’t comprehend, like applying our human ways on them. Their mind, eyes, nose, sense of touch are all not similar to humans.
    • The part of the human brain that deals with our sense of smell only weigh a few grams, but in a dog’s brain the part being their center of smell takes up one-seventh of their total brain volume.
    • We can hear as high as 20,000 acoustic vibrations; dogs can easily hear (with respect to the breed and individual dog) between 40,000-100,000 acoustic vibrations (the normal is 40, 000-65,000). This is the primary reason why your dog acts strangely if you start up some equipment or devices. These machines may generate ear piercing sounds that are beyond our own capacity of hearing, but that can influence our dog’s behavior. We observe the world around us in very different ways also. Our eyes and our dog’s eyes are not similar.
    • Humans can see colors, we are well-suited to a spatial vision and we are capable of estimating the distances between us and objects, we can see and identify a stationary object, yet somehow, we have limits to resolve moving objects at a greater distance.
    • Dogs don’t see colors like humans do, motionless objects either close by or far away are unidentifiable to them (they see things only as forms and shadows), on the contrary, moving objects, either adjacent or at a greater distance, they can see them with impressive accuracy and they can recognize their owners, for example, at a greater distance than humans are able to just determined by their individual, characteristic actions.
    lonesome faced puppy

    When it comes to dog emotions:

    • Humans have about several thousand recognized and identified emotions that come from various emotional groups that we interact with in our everyday life.
    • Dogs possess a few hereditary emotions, largely linked to the basic behavior that helps them survive in the wild. The majority of them are a result of fear or are pushed by their instincts like prey drive; additionally, there are some positive emotions that they share among their pack members, littermates or in some rituals that help them to come together and survive as a pack.
    At the moment you may be wondering why this is very important. To fully grasp dogs and dog behavior patterns, it is important to understand more about the fact that you are living with different species and that dogs don’t see nor understand the world like the ways a human can.

    They don’t have emotional faculty like many pet owners usually address as “hostile”, and all that. For example, each time a dog does something that seems like retaliation to his owner, or when we expect our dog to follow a simple sensible sequence of training for a certain action. Dogs are just not suitable for doing those things if we can see this basic difference; we have a chance to deal with our dog in a different way which will save us valuable time and patience.

    shelter puppies

    To highlight the value of understanding dog behavior, I am going to point out that as a pet researcher, the main reason that dogs are brought in shelters is that of dog behavior issues. In the year 2010, there have been researches done on this, and the results confirm over 45% of dogs got stuck in shelters and dog rescues because of behavior problems, at present this number is much larger and some researchers say this pattern will continue to rise.

    You have to be familiar with dog behavior as a way to avoid dog behavior problems; it is necessary to learn how the environment is controlling and changing your dog’s behavior in everyday life and how can you take care of it. Most of us drive cars and a lot of us freak out when our car collapses or what happened that causes the breakdown. Some of us don’t know anything about car engines or how to properly maintain it, or to distinguish those strange sounds that tell us something is malfunctioning; therefore, we gradually wait until that unusual sound becomes a total engine failure.

    Dog behavior is very much the same thing. It is who the dog actually is and not educating oneself will give rise to dog behavior problems, which oftentimes, are only noticed and addressed when they become disobedient.

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