So you have a dog who pulls things off counters, jumps on you all the time, bites at his leash on walks and all sorts of other “normal” dog behaviors. Is it possible that these behaviors are not normal? Yes.
Most dogs who engage in these behaviors are just being dogs and with appropriate and humane training techniques and proper mental stimulation, these behaviors should improve within a relatively short period of time. However, I have seen many cases where despite implementing appropriate training techniques, the dogs are not stopping the problematic behaviors. Why is this?
It is important to understand that behaviors occur on a spectrum. Think about kids for a moment. There are kids who can not pay attention very well ( Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD) and there are kids who pay too much attention to certain things ( autistic kids). Then there are kids who seem to pay a “normal” amount of attention to things. Attention is a normal behavior but depending on the underlying neurochemistry of the brain, that behavior can be too much, too little or just right.
Even though biting at the leash, pulling things off counters etc..are very normal behaviors for dogs, there are some dogs who do those behaviors at an abnormal intensity or frequency. These animals ( and their families) need help, not criticism.
I wanted to blog about this because so many people feel like failures as dog owners when in fact, it may be that they have a dog who truly has a chemical imbalance.