Top 10 Most Common Dog Behavior Problems

I think most people can agree that dogs are pretty awesome pets! What is not awesome are the behavior problems that come with them. Barking, chewing and biting just to name a few. Yes, your furry pal has their flaws just like the rest of us!

No need to panic! Because with proper obedience training your little buddy will be just fine.

1. Dog Aggression

The term “dog aggression” is used loosely to describe aggressive tendencies a dog might have.

In most cases dog aggression is exhibited by growling, snarling, showing teeth, raised hair, lunging and biting.

There are many reasons why a dog might become aggressive and they do not all revolve around dog-on-dog aggression.

For example,

Dog showing teeth and growling when you… 

  • Reach for their collar
  • Get near their dog food
  • Touch their dog toy

That is just to name a few triggers that could cause your dog to become aggressive.

The most common form of aggression is dog-on-dog without a doubt. This type of aggression could be caused by a number of things that you might not even be aware of.

How To Stop Dog Aggression

Sometimes aggressive tendencies fester out of nowhere and quickly lead to bite incidents. If you notice the slightest form of aggression in your dog, you should take immediate action. Do NOT wait until your dog bites someone. Because their will be legal actions and you run the risk of your dog being put down.

2. Dog Peeing And Pooping Inside

Inappropriate urination and defecation is probably the number one dog problem dog owners will face.

Generally, house training is taught while the dog is still a puppy. Unfortunately, all dogs do not have the best of owners nor a happy upbringing.

There are so many dogs that are neglected an abused in the world it makes me sick.

Just keep that in the back of your mind if you end up with adopting an older dog.

Potty training your dog will take some time, but if you are dedicated you will be just fine.

How To Potty Train A Puppy

You train an adult dog in the same fashion as a puppy when it comes to house training. Just keep in mind that if you have an older dog that used to be house trained but suddenly starts peeing or pooping in the house again they might have an underlying medical problem.

3. Dog Chewing

Dog chewing is as natural to a dog than not wearing clothes. It is in their DNA and there is nothing we can do about that.

However, we can control what they are allowed to chew and what they are not allowed to chew.

Chewing can become a problem extremely fast if left unchallenged. If your dog is chewing stuff laying around your house, then that’s your fault…

It is your responsibility to control your dog’s environment at all times and to provide them with safe, acceptable chew toys.

There are many reasons why a dog might be chewing…

  • Puppy teething
  • Boredom chewing
  • Pent up energy
  • Curiosity

How to Stop Dog Chewing

Don’t wait until your dog destroys 100’s or even 1000’s of dollars’ worth of your personal belongings. Every time I see a meme showing a dog in the middle of a chewed-up couch or bed I can’t help but want to cry inside!

4. Dog Barking

Probably the most annoying of the TOP 10 Dog Behavior Problems! There is nothing more annoying than a dog that constantly barks in my opinion no matter how cute…

ALL dogs will bark, howl, and whine to some extent.

Your number one goal is to figure out why they are barking!

Dogs bark for a number of reasons…

  • Warning or alert
  • Playfulness and excitement
  • Attention-seeking
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Responding to other dogs

In order to correct excessive barking, you will need to determine why your dog is barking in the first place.

How to Stop Dog Barking

Excessive barking is very bad, especially if your dog is not barking because they are bored or alerting. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety which can be very harmful to your dog.

5. Dog Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is the toughest behavioral issue your dog will face. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety can experience a number of problems such as…

  • Self-mutilation
  • Destructive chewing
  • Inappropriate urination and defecation
  • Excessive barking
  • Escaping

These are just a few things that dog separation anxiety can cause.

There are some tell, tell signs that can indicate that your dog has separation anxiety such as…

  • Anxious behavior when you prepare to leave
  • Excessive barking with in the first 15 to 45 minutes after you leave
  • Your dog follows your ever step

How To Stop Dog Separation Anxiety

DO NOT wait for your dog to grow out of this behavior because they WILL NOT. Anxiety is very dangerous and can lead to your dog’s death if not properly handled. Some dogs have it so bad that they will chew and ingest house hold items. Others will escape from fenced yards never to be seen again.

6. Dog Pulling

Dog pulling can become a problem especially if you have a large breed. Dogs pull for various reasons some pull because they have to much energy others pull because they catch a whiff of something interesting.

Dogs are curious creatures by design and when they get in their natural habitat “the great outdoors” they will want to explore.

Which results in you being pulled down the street!

How To Stop Dog Pulling

Don’t wait until your dog injures themselves or someone else. Either way you could be looking at hospital or vet bills. You and your dog both should be able to look forward to a nice walk outside without feeling miserable.

7. Dog Jumping

A jumping dog can be annoying and very dangerous! No one likes a jumping dog especially a large one!

At first it might be cute to see a flying furry little puff ball jumping up to greet you. Until they grow up into a beefy adult dog!

If you allowed the behavior while they were a puppy you can’t get upset at them!

There are many ways to stop a dog’s jumping.

  • Commands
  • Exercise
  • Redirection

These are just to name a few, there are very specific ways to go about solving the problem.

How To Stop Dog Jumping

Don’t wait until your dog jumps on the wrong person and injures them! Or jumps on someone that injures your dog… You should be in control of your dog at all times no exceptions.

8. Dog Digging

Dogs are natural diggers! It’s a part of their DNA something they have been doing for millions of years. If given the chance, most dogs will dig.

Some dog breeds are more prone to digging than others. Take terriers for instance! These guys were bred to hunt, meaning they chased down fox, raccoon and rabbit. Digging was a part of their job.

There are a number of other reasons why dogs dig though!

  • Separation Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Boredom
  • Pent up energy
  • Comfort (cooling off or nesting)
  • Hiding possessions (food and toys)
  • To escape

How To Stop Dog Digging

DO NOT wait until your yard looks like it has been invaded by a pack of gophers! Digging can be very costly for you, trust me the last thing you want to be doing is buying dirt to fill up holes around your house. Or working overtime to replace your wife’s garden!

9. Puppy Biting

Dogs bite for many reasons that can be traced back to instinct and pack mentality.

Puppies are like 2-year old toddlers exploring the world for the first time. But Instead of having hands they have a mouth full of razor sharp teeth!

Puppies bite and nip on other dogs and people as a means of exploration. This doesn’t always sit well with owners and for good reason.

You must learn your puppy what they are allowed and what they are not allowed to bite on.

Common reasons why dogs bite

  • Fear
  • Overly protective
  • Overly excited
  • Pain
  • Mentally ill
  • Dominance
  • Predatory Instinct

How To Stop Puppy Biting

Breed has nothing to do with biting habits, all breeds are capable of biting. No one breed is more prone than the other, it all comes down to proper training, socialization and breeding practices. Yes, inbred dogs are more prone to biting, because of genetic reasons.

DO NOT wait until your puppy grows up to be an aggressive dog! Fix the problem while they are young to avoid serious consequences when they are older.

10. Dog Begging

One of the few bad habits that WE CAUSE! We as owners are the ones to blame here.

It is also the only TOP 10 Common Dog Behavior Problems that we can fully avoid if we never condone it.

Before you sit down to eat, tell your dog to go lay down. This works best if they lay down somewhere that they are not able to stare directly at you.

Another way you can avoid dog begging is to give them a chew toy or a treat inside of their dog crate while you eat.


Hopefully the dog training tips I covered in the article were enough to get you started on solving your dog’s behavior problems.

If you feel like you need further guidance, with clear step by step instructions then I would highly suggest checking out The Online Dog Trainer.

Doggy Dan has everything you will need and more to solve all of your dog’s problems.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment!

Have a great day and good luck!

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