Common Canine Behaviors

What is My Dog Doing & Why?

Resource Guarding: Resource guarding refers to behavior such as growling or snapping to convince others (canine or human) to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a place (a bed or favorite chair), or even a person.

Territorial Aggression: Territorial aggression usually occurs in insecure dogs trying to protect themselves from conflict with another dog or human. This usually involves growling and/or barking to “scare off” the intruder when entering the home, yard or approaching the car. If the intimidation does not work, behavior may escalate to include hostile posturing and lunging.

Reactivity: Reactivity is the behavior displayed by your dog when seeing (or hearing) another dog, person, or object. This can occur on or off leash, on or off your property, or behind a barrier. This usually involves growling, lunging and barking. Please keep in mind there are different forms of reactivity and though the behavior may appear similar to you, the message your dog is trying to convey may be quite different. The specialists at CCC can identify each specific meaning to help modify the behavior.

Barrier Reactivity: When your dog is prevented from getting to an object to greet, sniff or investigate, a level of frustration can emerge. The barrier could be a fence, gate, door, or even a leash. The frustration can be borne of fear (fear-based reactivity) in which your dog is trying to communicate “stay away” or she/he really just wants to greet the dog or person and is prevented from doing so. This is very common when a dog is on a leash.

Demand Barking: If your dog barks at you incessantly while you are reading a book or watching TV, it is his/her way of vocalizing to get something. This usually relates to a desire to be fed, let out, let back in, play, or simply to get attention.

Isolation Distress/Separation Anxiety: Isolation distress is often seen when you are leaving your dog at home and you observe him/her to be stressed or despondent. Separation anxiety, on the other hand, presents with extreme behaviors such as destruction of entry or exit points and severe anxiety with panting, pacing and vocalization. CCC will help you determine which of these behaviors you are seeing and how to remedy the situation.

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