While dogs bring joy, laughter, and slobbery kisses into our lives, it's not all tail wags and strolls in the park. Let's be honest about the common hurdles many dog owners face - sometimes it just isn't easy! Our recent poll on Facebook showed that the most common issue people faced was reactivity to other people or dogs, whether this was over-excitement or fear-based reactions. Other options chosen by lots of our followers were problems with lead walking and dogs who don't come back when off-lead.
So we thought we would look into some of the other common canine concerns many people have but that aren't always at the top of your mind when you think about doggy problems. We tend to see the behaviours that cause the biggest emotions in ourselves as the main problem, those things your dog does that cause worry, stress or embarrassment are particularly prominent. But here are some that are less obvious, but you might still need to work on:
Barking at the postman, leaping on guests, biting the lead or pilfering food are just the tip of the iceberg. These can stem from boredom, anxiety, frustration or lack of training. Addressing the root cause is crucial, whether it's more enrichment or working with a professional.
Accidents happen, but consistent indoor soiling is frustrating. Medical issues must be ruled out first. If it's behavioural, re-housetraining or adjusting the dog's routine (more frequent walks) may be necessary.
More than just whining when you leave, this is distress that leads to destructiveness or even self-harm. It requires gradual training, making departures low-key, and providing distractions like puzzle toys when alone.
That adorable pug may be prone to breathing issues, while the energetic husky needs LOTS of exercise to avoid boredom-induced chaos. Researching breed tendencies helps set realistic expectations.
The Cost Factor
Food, vet care, sitters... it all adds up. Many underestimate the financial commitment. Budgeting is a must, plus considering pet insurance for unexpected expenses.
Dogs aren't accessories; they're living beings. Daily walks, playtime, training... it's more than just cuddles on the sofa. If your lifestyle can't accommodate this, both you AND the dog suffer.
Dealing with Other People
Not everyone loves your pooch as much as you do. Barking complaints, finding dog-friendly housing, or disagreements with "my dog is perfect" park-goers are social hurdles many owners face.
Remember: You're NOT alone: These problems are common, even if you don't see them happening for other people - they might be hiding them, like you. Seeking help isn't failing! Talk to vets, trainers, experienced owners.
Prevention is key: Early socialisation and training, choosing the right breed for your lifestyle and managing their environment and routine can minimize issues later. But it is important to understand that each dog is an individual: What works for one may not for another - this is where an experienced trainer can help. Observe, adapt, and celebrate small successes along the way. Owning a dog is wonderful BUT challenging. Talking openly about these issues helps us be better, more responsible paw-rents, creating happier pups AND humans in the long run!