Sometimes dogs will be dogs in ways that are difficult or
even dangerous. When you are faced with these problems seek
help sooner rather than later--they aren't likely to "go
away" without intervention.
Most aggression is ultimately a form of social anxiety.
Our dogs adapt to human society admirably, but the social
pressure of life in our complicated human milieu can prove
too much for many dogs. An anxious dog under pressure is likely
to act out with barking, snapping, lungeing and growling.
Other dogs are headstrong and manipulative, and need a no-nonsense
handler who is one step ahead of them. These dogs can sometimes
show aggression if their owners inadvertantly reward pushy
behaviors. Some will guard their "stuff," their
personal space, their food, their people.
Sometimes dogs who by themselves are even-tempered and sweet
can become dangerously competitive with other animals--or
even people--in the household.
In any case, you need to be back in control, and your
dog needs your leadership. The good news is that most
anxious dogs welcome the opportunity to learn new ways of
responding to the things that disturb them, and even the gnarliest
hard-heads can usually adjust to being demoted, so the success
rate in treating aggression without force is high.
This is one of the hardest problems to treat because at
play are factors of fear and anxiety, boredom, frustration
and outright panic, all colluding to short circuit a dog's
ability to cope with the reality that you can't be with her
all day long. Understand that your dog is suffering--she isn't
trying to punish you and she's not seeking revenge for being
left behind. If you feel that your dog is having trouble as
you depart or while you're gone, please get her some help
Inappropriate elimination behaviors challenge many owners,
and few issues are deal-breakers like this one is. For dogs,
elimination, especially urination, is actually a very complex
set of behaviors, and while most dogs can learn acceptable
hygiene it isn't always a straight line from here to there.
Previous experience, health, emotional state, social status,
and environmental cues all play a role, often simultaneously.