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Common Issues

Whilst not an exhaustive list of the issues I am asked to help with some of them we help with on a regular basis. This page is here for information only. It is important to remember that there could be many reasons why your dog does what it does, and only a specific assessment of an individual can identify a potential strategy to resolve the issues.

Separation Anxiety

There are four main categories attributed to this condition which are:

 Exploratory Behaviour
 Object Play
 Destructive Behaviour

These different categories may manifest themselves in many forms, however destructiveness, fecal or urinary elimination, hyper salivation or vocalization are common among other things. The behaviours can start to display before the owner has left and usually are demonstrated as pacing, shadowing the owner, panting and salivating in the period prior to departure.

There are many theories as to the causes, with high 'owner dependency' being an obvious reason.

Resource Guarding

This guarding behaviour can include toys, food and even the owner! The symptoms can include the following:

 Rapid eating
 Shielding object with body

Noise Anxiety

This displays primarily as a fear of loud noises such as thunder, traffic, aircraft it has also been noted that noises such as birdsong can cause this distress. The symptoms may begin to show in circumstances such as a change in barometric pressure and is in anticipation of the potential noise to come, in this case thunder.

Tail Chasing And Other Repetitive Behaviours

This forms part of a list of symptoms that are classified as an Obssesive Compulsive Disorder, known in dogs as Canine Compulsive Disorder or CCD. Dogs showing these behaviours tend to be shyer animals, occupying themselves in their own bubble world.

Excessive Barking

This can be caused by a number of environmental or psychological issues though dogs usually bark for the following reasons:

 Attention Seeking
 Boredom (anyone there? Come play!)
 Responding to other dogs

Generally this would be one of multiple symptoms some of which may not have been observered or acknowledged as an issue.


All puppies chew as it is a natural part of their inquisitiveness, however should this get excessive or continue into adult life then other causes need to be considered: Dogs chew, normally, for the following reasons:

 Boredom or excess energy

A thorough assessment and correctional training normally corrects the behaviour.


Excessive digging, or general digging, can be for the following reasons:

 Boredom or excess energy
 Anxiety or fear (displacement activity)
 Hunting extinct (Terriers)
 Comfort seeking (nesting/cooling off)
 Hiding possessions (Resource Guarding)
 Escape from, or to gain access to, an area

Inappropriate Urination and Defecation

After health issues have been eliminated as a source of the problem this behaviour usually falls into the following categories:

 Submissive or excitable Urination
 Attention seeking
 Lack of or incomplete house training

Whilst all of the above are relatively common problems that Behaviourists are called to assist with they are by no means a complete list of the problems that owners encounter. Any behaviour that creates disharmony in the home or family environment is a cause for concern and the sooner dealt with the better for both you and your dog.

For further advice or assistance with these or any other issues please do not hesitate to contact us via our Contact Us page.