Why does my dog...

Author: Bella (proHOUND Co-Founder)

Why does my dog… 

Snatch food from the floor? 

·       Genetically speaking, your dog is a carnivorous opportunist! Their ancestors didn’t have the impulse control that our domesticated dogs need in their lives with us humans. Grab that food or risk not eating for days. Run away from/charge towards that threat or risk being attacked. Have you heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response? It’s a physiological reaction (not a conscious decision) that occurs when an animal feels threated (or an opportunity arises). The fight or flight response releases hormones and neurotransmitters which create a boost of energy sufficient to allow the dog to exit the situation and survive. The key parts of this response are that it’s automatic and it happens fast! Your dog still has this response wired into his brain, except we don’t generally see it in action due to dangerous situations any more due to the safety of domestication. 

·       Talking of impulse control, it must be TAUGHT. It’s not something your dog comes equipped with; quite the opposite if you refer to the previous point! If you’re struggling with problems like snatching food, barging out of the crate/through doorways, counter surfing and jumping up, you may need to introduce some impulse control into your dog’s life. Impulse control is related to quite a few things now I think about it! 

·       Your dog may well also snatch food from the floor cos they’re greedy…! I recommend teaching a difference between food that is theirs & has been given to them and food that is yours. 


Pull on the lead?

·       Your dog is a forward moving creature! They don’t understand human concepts like walking calmly at heel….

·       ….these have to be taught! Have you taught loose lead walking consistently & clearly? Have you proofed it in lots of different environments?

·       Pulling on the lead can represent mindset. Is your dog overexcited, fearful or anxious? Pulling can be a symptom of the problem. 


Dislike other dogs?

·       Your dog may have had a bad experience with a dog which has affected their overall association with dogs. 

·       Your dog may have been socialised incorrectly.

·       Additionally, your dog is allowed to have preferences! We have disrespected our dogs to the point where they are expected to not only enjoy playing with every dog but also to put up with unwanted, rude interactions. It’s totally okay to dislike other dogs providing we can co-exist and that we preferably do not react to the mere presence of other dogs. 



·       Barking is often an expression of an emotion. Is your dog barking at something specific/in a specific situation? 

·       Barking can be defensive and representative of fear/uncertainty e.g. a dog is fearful of visitors to the home. 

·       Barking can be excited e.g. a dog leaping about barking with joy when they see you pick up their lead! 

·       It’s hard to help with this one without understanding the emotion behind the barking. Take a look at your dog’s body language and the situation. Ask one of our Recommended Service Providers for help! 


Chew my possessions?

·       This could be a sign of separation anxiety and/or lack of mental stimulation 

·       Your dog could need more structure

·       A lack of chewing outlet – chewing is an important part of a dog’s life 

·       Your dog may not understand that household objects are not theirs to chew! 


The point of this blog was to inform you that your dog doesn’t do things to spite you. They aren’t ‘stubborn’ either. Dogs do things (or don’t do things) either due to:

·       their genetics


·       their (lack of) training 

The canine behaviours that we so dislike are an innate part of EVERY dog’s make up! Of course some don’t have a place in our daily lives (digging, chewing, rough play) but we normally need to find an appropriate outlet for these. If your dog has a number of behavioural problems, maybe you should hire one of our Recommended Service Providers. Maybe your dog has some breed traits which you currently don’t understand. Maybe your dog needs a ‘job’ or a change of mindset! 

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