My Dog Has Always Been Very Different!

My Dog Has Always Been Very Different!

Most of the behaviors that are considered "problematic" or "annoying" in dogs are still normal or variations of normal behavior. Many dog owners ignore this reality, or they simply don't know. Real behavioral disorders include physical illnesses and mental illnesses that must be treated with medication. Chronic illnesses can also put a dog into a "behavioral limbo" where he doesn't feel comfortable. Unfortunately, when dogs adopt alternative behaviors to relieve stress, they are often prevented from doing so by their owners, and these are disruptive behaviors. When the owner has become accustomed to the dog's unwanted behavior and does not try to put the dog out of its misery, this practice is less harmful than the previous one.

Eating Behavior - Picky Eaters and Notorious Hunters

Remember what hunting behavior is like in dogs? Yes, hunting is normal, it gives dogs a sense of accomplishment, it is the basis for getting food, and it is one of the most important ways dogs behave. Dogs are hunting predators, but they live in homes where they are able or allowed to hunt less and less. However, hunting is so ingrained in the genes of some species of dogs that they will extend their hunting to wild animals.

Variant hunting behavior (blind hunting)

Dogs' mutant hunting behavior towards their own kind, also known as interference behavior, as well as attacks on people in motion are abnormal, dangerous, and a real bad behavior color. The ultimate goal of hunting is to kill the prey, the dog does not have any communication with the prey, and the distance between them will rapidly decrease. We often mention that what the dog is doing to its prey is definitely not aggression (attacking the prey), because the goal of aggression is to increase the distance between it and its opponent through more forms of communication.

Siege - Hunting of other dogs

Dogs with a variation of hunting behavior toward their own kind often target smaller, timid, fearful or insecure dogs, who often try to escape quickly, only to be attacked playfully by one or more dogs. The "attacked" dog will stop communicating early at the first contact with its own kind, while the other dogs still think the communication is not over. The "attacked dog" will quickly run away from the other dogs. The other dogs are then tracked without communication, so the "attacked dog" is often seriously injured or even killed.

The dog owner's mistake exacerbates the bad behavior of the "hunter" on the one hand, and leads to the tragedy of the "attacked" on the other. Watching curiously or tolerating the hunting behavior of dogs (e.g., unsupervised messy "pup play") and prematurely interrupting communication between dogs can have a negative impact because both the "attacker" and the "attacked" are The "aggressor" and the "aggressed" are not born, they are changed by humans. The risk of "mobbing" is usually much greater if the dog does not have sufficient opportunity for uninterrupted communication. The only situation where it is reasonable and necessary to interrupt communication is when a dog starts hunting another social partner, immediately put the dog that started the hunt on a leash and take it away.

Cats are also a hunting target

Cats are also one of the prey of dogs. If we observe the facial expressions and body language of these two creatures, we can see that the misunderstanding between them is innate, because if the dog raises its front paw to show reconciliation, for the cat it means threat. As soon as the cat begins to run quickly, the dog will begin to track and hunt the cat; if the cat suddenly turns aggressive, the dog will usually stand stunned and unaware. Of course there is always a winner between the two sides, and the worst case scenario is that the dog bites the cat.

People are also prey

The first sign of this is a playful following of a moving person, which is often detected late by the owner and often underestimated as dangerous. Joggers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, stumblers, fallers, children running after a ball, skaters or ice skaters, all suddenly attract the dog's interest. In the dog's eyes, these people do not move like "normal people", and their seemingly timid and unsafe running away is an extreme form of avoidance behavior. Dogs will see them as prey and pursue them.

Other elements of the hunting chain of action, such as staring, approaching quietly, circling, jumping at people, walking with their heads down, or ambushing, are all precursors to tracking. Of course, dogs do this for their own protection. While this is cute behavior for puppies and young dogs, it is very dangerous for adult dogs to do so, and the person being pursued faces not only the fear of being chased by the dog, but also the possibility of falling or facing other accidents and injuries.

Dear readers, perhaps you are now wondering why dogs see people as social partners that can be paid for, but on the other hand see them as "hunted prey"? Can we assume that this is the natural hunting of dogs? In addition to instinct, dogs have learned different hunting skills through their own experiences (success/failure) and socialization processes that they undergo during their early years and have solidified. If the dog does not see the child as a young human, but mistakenly as live and active prey, a much worse situation may arise.

Dogs that take on protective duties

A dog that has had intermittent unprofessional training, or a dog that has had professional training but has subsequently been adopted by a family, can be a threat to public safety because they can also bite a pedestrian's arm, even though the pedestrian is not wearing a protective cuff. Most of these dogs do not appear to be aggressive and have good obedience and excellent impulse control, so they do not appear to be dangerous.

"Qualified" hunting dogs: They have been exposed to a variety of natural prey at an early age and understand both the motivation and consequences of hunting. They hunt "in order" and have enough experience with small children in their socialization process to know that a fallen, crying child is a young human being and will not hunt the child further, thus avoiding harm to the child, much less a lethal situation, even though the scene may be an excellent hunting area.

Stereotypic, compulsive and empty busy behaviors

If a dog chases insects and captures them, these are normal. However if there are no flying insects at all. Dogs are just chasing a shadow or staring for long periods of time at items that cannot be hunted, are meaningless, or even do not exist, then they are not normal. At this point we can neither communicate with the dog nor get them to stop the action they are doing. They seem to find pleasure in it, and the "happiness hormones" released in their brains can make this ridiculous behavior worse. Dogs are like "poisoned deer", tracking hallucinations, swallowing air or eating things they shouldn't.

Confronting variant or overly aggressive hunting behavior

First, owners can practice motivational basic obedience in the right way, such as "sit", "stand", or other attention-getting signals.

Second, feed the dog appropriately and give the dog plenty of opportunities for socialization.

Then, avoid pressure and torturous punishment.

Next, proper use of dog training signal tools or leashes within the dog's range of motion.

Finally, regular integration into the family to avoid isolation.