Factors affecting Dog behaviours
All dog behaviours will be the result of both genetic and environmental issues.
These manyfactors include:
Genetics is the hardwiring, which the dog comes with. Behaviours associated with this factor are hunting and predatory behaviours, which are deeply embedded regardless of selective breeding to eliminate them e.g. stalking, chasing, bite/hold/shaking, food guarding.
However, strong genetic based behaviours can be modified to "socially acceptable" behaviours, channeling the dog's natural instincts and energy with games i.e. hide and seek, with suitable
objects and retrievals.
The weather is a factor, which we have no influence over, however it can play a major part in our dog's behaviour. At best, we can manage the situation i.e. keep our dogs indoors, during excessively hot periods (to avoid heat exhaustion), thunderstorms, lightening, rain, etc. Most commonly the feelings are that of fear, and will be portrayed in many ways including aggression, nervousness and stress through physical symptoms of tail chasing, self mutilation, excessive barking.
Food & nutrition
It is essential dogs are fed a well balanced diet, of the correct amounts for their size, breed and physical activity levels. A diet that does not contain the required vitamins, minerals etc can lead to poor health through illness obesity, hyperactivity amongst other things, which can result in behaviour changes.
For example aggression towards humans/other dogs due to pain or illness, obesity, too heavy to exercise properly, lack of energy.
All of these types of physical symptoms can lead to frustration, depression, aggression and withdrawn behaviours. Hyperactivity reaction to some food contents can make training of dogs difficult, lack of focus on owner and listening to commands, hypersensitivity to external stimulus i.e. humans and other dogs.
Read more next week