Reasons for Your Dog’s Change of Behavior

February 7, 2020
Changes in your dog's behavior can be caused by many factors. Ideally, you should watch for any of the usual signs to identify the root of the problem.

Our pets are much more vulnerable to change than you may think. Sometimes the smallest detail in their day-to-day lives will cause your dog’s change of behavior to start becoming dramatically evident.

If the change has been sudden, we must analyze what has changed in their environment in order to cause the dog to react in this way. However, sometimes the reason may be more evident. This is the case of some diseases or trauma, for instance.

As a general rule, your dog’s behavior should be very stable. This also means experiencing normal changes in behavior that come with age, but staying as faithful as ever. Remember that there are few pets as grateful and noble as dogs are!

A dog showing his teeth.

Your dog’s change of behavior: triggers

From the smallest thing, to a big deal like a surgical operation. Your dog’s behavior can be affected to a greater or lesser extent. There are also many differences among dogs. Some are very sensitive and others very passive. In fact, in some cases, there can be dogs that don’t appear to be affected at all.

In any case, these are some of the most common reasons for your dog’s change of behavior. We guarantee they some will surprise you:

  • Illness. A sudden change in your dog’s behavior may be due to some illness or disease. Just as with humans, this illness may make them more cranky than usual.
  • A new pet in the house. The arrival of a new animal in the house can often cause all kinds of reactions in your dog. They will that they are getting less attention than before. However, if your dog is a sociable animal, you don’t have to worry as they will get used to it within a few days. Nevertheless, if it becomes aggressive, then you must take action to ensure that it doesn’t end tragically.
Two dogs showing a change of behavior.

  • A baby’s arrival. The arrival of a new baby in the family can be a great shock for your dog since they take up a lot of the attention that only your dog enjoyed before. The animal may become jealous of the child, which can lead to a change in behavior in order to attract attention.
  • Fears or trauma. Many dogs are afraid of unimaginable things. Cars, motorbikes, firecrackers, cats, any kind of sudden blow, etc. A lot of things can cause a change of behavior and stress in a frightened dog, so we should avoid exposing them to such fears.

Other kinds of changes:

  • Changes at home. You’d be surprised to learn how susceptible some dogs can be to any changes happening at home, such as moving furniture around or changing the decoration. Some dogs are unable to step into a room because there’s a cuddly toy that scares them.
  • The absence of a family member. When one of the most important people in the animal’s life is missing, either because of a change of address or death, the dog can suffer a small depression that causes its behavior to change radically. In addition, this can take the dog several weeks to adapt to the new situation.
  • Spaying. One of the most common reasons why your dog’s behavior has changed is spaying or neutering. The dog’s usual vitality and energy, especially in the case of males, are largely lost and they become a more calm animal. In many cases, it’s also necessary to change their diet, as they tend to put on weight due to this lack of activity.
  • Maturity. All dogs, both male and female, experience changes in their character depending on the stage of maturity they’re at. Fortunately, the period of hyperactivity that they go through as puppies is over, and this leads to a more relaxed and calm behavior. In addition, the same happens when they reach old age. They adopt a much more careful and sensible attitude, just as we do.

In sum:

Whatever the reason for your dog’s change of behavior, a visit to the vet is important, in order to get more accurate advice on how to deal with the problem. However, there are dogs whose worse fear is going to the vet. We hope this isn’t the case with your dog!

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