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Whether your dog is generally well-behaved or you’re experiencing a few challenges with their training or behavior, it’s always worth knowing and remembering there are lots of things that can have an impact on your dog’s behavior, as well as their ability to learn and respond reliably. Sometimes, even when a dog does know something very well and is usually excellent at responding to you, there can still be times when their behavior might not be as reliable as normal.

There are many factors that can affect a dog’s behavior. Here are seven of the most common ones:

Lack of Exercise

Dogs are by nature active creatures and need to be given the opportunity to burn off energy and stay physically fit. A dog that isn’t given enough exercise is likely to become bored and frustrated, which can lead to all sorts of behavioral problems such as destructiveness, excessive barking, and hyperactivity.

Poor Nutrition

A healthy, balanced diet is essential for all dogs, and just like humans, what they eat can have a big impact on their overall health and wellbeing, including their behavior. Dogs that are fed a poor quality diet, or one that isn’t suited to their individual needs, can be more prone to behavioral problems, as well as health issues.

Illness or Injury

If your dog is unwell or injured, it can have a big impact on its behavior. Dogs in pain or discomfort are likely to be more irritable and prone to snapping, and may also become withdrawn or depressed. Dogs with certain medical conditions such as dementia or epilepsy can also experience changes in their behavior.


Certain medications can have an effect on a dog’s behavior. For example, some drugs used to treat anxiety or depression can cause drowsiness or lethargy, while others may have the opposite effect and make a dog more agitated. Steroids can also have an impact on behavior, making some dogs more aggressive.


Stress is a very common trigger for behavioral problems in dogs. Dogs can become stressed for all sorts of reasons, including changes in their environment or routine, being left alone for long periods of time, or being introduced to new people or animals. Stress can also be caused by fear, such as being afraid of loud noises or being in unfamiliar surroundings.


Some behavioral problems are hereditary. Dogs that are bred from parents with certain behavioral problems are more likely to inherit those problems themselves. For example, dogs that are bred from aggressive parents are more likely to be aggressive themselves.


Age can also be a factor in behavioral problems. Puppies and young dogs are more likely to have behavioral problems than older dogs because they are still learning about the world and how to behave. Older dogs may also have behavioral problems because of changes in their physical or mental health.


There are many things that can affect your dog’s behavior. Some of these things include how you train your dog, what you feed your dog, and the environment in which your dog lives. If you want your dog to have good behavior, it is important to be aware of these things and to take steps to ensure that your dog has the best possible chance for success.

Gnaw on Their Skull offers dog training classes in Escondido, CA, that help dog owners become the best possible s and friends for their beloved canines. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our canine education programs!