Clipsters & Co Advice -
Spotting Common Behavioural problems in your dog


Jack Russel terrier on its hind legs biting a lead in a studio
Biting their lead could be a sign of anxiety in dogs, whilst pulling could also be typical for their breed

(2 minute read)

There are many behavioural problems that dogs can exhibit, and many reasons underpinning them. Some of the most common issues include:


Aggression in dogs can manifest in different forms, such as growling, biting, or barking. Aggression can be directed towards people or other animals. It can be caused by a variety of factors. These include fear, territorial behavior (a desire to protect their space or famliar people), or lack of socialisation. These are normal responses to situations a dog may be unaccustomed to.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety (sometimes referred to as SA) is a common behavioural problem. Especially for those dogs that are left alone for long periods. Conversely, many dogs exhibit SA when they have become accustomed to having people around them for long periods, only for that to suddenly change. It’s for this reason SA has become common after the Covid-19 lockdowns. Signs of separation anxiety can include excessive barking or whimpering, destructive behaviour, and inappropriate elimination.

Excessive Barking

Dogs may bark excessively for reasons including boredom, fear, or anxiety. They could be trying to alert you to something, or warning others to stay away. Dogs will often seek to guard their humans, and can be quite possessive. If left unaddressed, excessive barking can become distressing for owner and their neighbours. As well as needing to address the cause of the barking, physically, excessive barking can itself harm your dog.

Destructive Behaviour

Dogs may exhibit destructive behaviour, such as chewing or digging for various reasons. Often it’s due to boredom, anxiety, or a need for more exercise. This can result in damage to property and even injury to the dog.


Jumping on people is a common behavioural problem in dogs, especially in puppies. While it may be seen as an expression of affection, it can also be a nuisance and even dangerous in some cases. Remember, not everyone you encounter will be as comfortable around your dog as you are. Some people may have had negative experiences and could react badly.

Pulling on their Lead

Dogs may pull on the lead while walking due to excitement, lack of training, or dominance issues. This can result in difficulty controlling the dog and can even cause injury. Pulling can also be more common in certain breeds, such as terriers. Teaching loose lead walking is a good part of any training regime. You may also need to choose an appropriate harness if yours is a breed prone to pulling.

Inappropriate Elimination

Inappropriate elimination, such as urinating or defecating indoors, can be caused by factors such as a lack of house-training, medical issues, age, or anxiety.



These are just some of the more common behavioural problems seen in dogs. Each one requires careful understanding and specific training and treatment to address. This is not an exhaustive list. We hope, however, that it helps to reassure you that if your dog does portray any of these behaviours, you’re not alone. A solution may well be possible, perhaps even relatively simple. If you are experiencing any of these issues with your dog, it is best to seek advice from a professional dog trainer or behaviourist. They will help you to determine the underlying cause and develop an effective treatment plan.

Remember, training and behaviour change takes time and effort (sometimes a lot of time and effort). It can be tough, but you will slowly start to see progress towards the behaviour and relationship you want.

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