Decoding Your Dog’s Bad Behaviour

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Are you concerned about your dog’s behaviour? It can be frustrating when your pet acts out in ways that you don’t understand. For instance, you might be confident that your dog would never bite you, but lo and behold, it happens. Or worse, your dog bites someone else. 

As frustrating as this might be, there are steps you can take to decode your dog’s bad behaviour. Read on for some helpful explanations.


There are many reasons why dogs bark. It’s their way of communicating to you. Barking is often used to alert you of something that your dog thinks you should be aware of — like a visitor. Dogs may also bark compulsively out of habit or if they are bored and seeking attention.

Some helpful advice is not to yell at your dog when they bark. Be firm and use body language like a finger to your lips. Repeating these methods will help over time and require consistency.


Young dogs often chew things as they discover the world. Just like babies, chewing is a way for them to relieve pain from incoming teeth. According to the ASPCA, it is normal for all dogs to chew on bones and sticks, as this helps keep their jaws and teeth healthy. If your dog is chewing on your belongings, this is likely a behavioural issue stemming from separation anxiety or lack of exercise and mental stimulation.


Some dogs may pee inside the home to mark their territory, or due to illness, stress, or excitement. This can be very worrisome and frustrating. If you can’t determine why your dog is peeing, it could be due to illness and the best course of action is to see a veterinarian right away.


If your dog is aggressively biting anyone, it must be taken very seriously. When it comes to biting, dogs are most commonly influenced by three main negative emotions: fear, anxiety and aggression. Assess the situation and read your dog’s body language to try and prevent biting before it happens. Pay attention to the following:

  1. Does your dog seem anxious, fearful or aggressive?
  2. Is your dog showing its teeth or growling?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, the risk of being bit could increase in a tense situation. It is recommended you try and diffuse the situation as safely as possible by removing the source of aggression from the room — if you are able to.

Jumping Up

Dogs tend to jump on people they don’t recognize as a way to assert their dominance or if they have excess energy. Some ways to combat this issue is to turn your back to your dog as soon as they jump on you. This is an issue that can usually be corrected with proper training.

At Sunset Dog Retreat, our dog handlers are trained to assess and understand the non-verbal cues that dogs convey. We are confident in our de-escalation techniques and will care for your dogs like they are our own.

If you’re interested in our boarding or grooming services, you can book an appointment here.

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Young woman is getting some exercise with her dog outside.