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by Jennifer Viegas
Individual dogs, like people, misbehave in their own unique ways. However, sometimes this is tied to breeding. Some dogs, like coonhounds, were bred to be very vocal. It's therefore not really the dog's fault that it has a predisposed drive to loudly howl. In fact, under the right situations, that behavior is desired.
However, surveys still show that certain behavioral problems are common among all dogs, no matter the breed. In their book Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, authors Gary Landsberg, Wayne Hunthausen and Lowell Ackerman present not just one, but two such lists based on surveys.
The first list mentions the most common problems as reported by dog owners:
1. Jumping up
3. Begging for food
4. Jumping on furniture
7. Showing a fear of noises
8. Being overprotective of family
9. Being overprotective of property (tied with number 8)
10. Escaping from yard
The other list contains the most common dog behavioral problems as reported by referral practices:
2. Inappropriate elimination
3. Destructive behavior
6. Fears and phobias
7. Excessive submission
8. Compulsive and stereotypical behaviors
The book also goes on to list the most common problems that lead to increased risk for relinquishment. The top three:
1. Aggression to pets or people
3. Destructive behavior
What's missing, of course, is a list of what pet owners themselves did wrong when training and caring for their dogs. Nearly all of the above problems can be solved with good socialization and training.
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