Click here to learn more.
A. We've all seen it happen: An individual dog's barking starts an eruption of barking from any and all surrounding dogs. Unfortunately, the type of socially ignited behaviors that dogs are most likely to copy when they're together are often the ones we as pet owners try to teach our dogs not to do, which is why we see them as bad behaviors.
Dogs are not likely to mimic a behavior another dog has been trained to do, such as rolling over or shaking hands, but instinctive behaviors like barking and digging can more easily be transferred from one dog to another. For instance, though chasing and biting a running vacuum — essentially a predatory behavior — may not be a common behavior, if one dog in the household starts doing this, the other dogs in the house may adopt this behavior as well. Chewing is another less common behavior that can be transferred from dog to dog. Recently, a pet parent told me her first dog’s habit of chewing on the carpet was quickly taken up by her newly adopted dog.
For this reason, I recommend that owners with a dog already displaying problem behavior, particularly aggressive displays toward other dogs or people, deal with that behavior before they plan any outings with other dogs, or before they consider bringing a second dog into the family.
I’ve been working with a young adult cattle dog who barks and growls reactively on leash. The family had recently purchased a cattle dog puppy; the younger dog very quickly picked up on the tenseness and reactivity displayed by the older dog and also began to growl and lunge on leash. On our first consult, I immediately recommended that the owners walk the dogs separately to prevent the puppy from learning any more unacceptable behaviors from the adult dog. Once the older dog was removed from the walks, the puppy’s reaction to people immediately softened.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
For the next four days, patrons of the café will be able to meet 16 adoptable kitties as they sip on espresso…
The last Friday in April is dedicated to undigested cat fur. To celebrate, we found photos of the cutest kitties…
A new film features 11-year-old Cory Gould, who has Asperger syndrome, and his incredible knowledge of dog breeds.
Disco, who knows more than 80 phrases, songs and sounds, is a YouTube star who's beloved around the world.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals to see if they drift off to sleep with their cat or dog…
Want to make some enemies in your vet’s waiting room? This funny new video from Dr. Andy Roark shows you how.
The silky-coated Burmese is a compact but heavy feline who loves to show off his impressive athletic skills.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.