Many dog owners are mystified by their dog whining, pacing and circling. Their first thought is that he is in pain. The fact is, the dog is suffering, but not necessarily with physical pain. Your dog might have anxiety.
Don’t worry, this is easy to fix.
When a dog does not get enough physical exercise, his energy levels will rise with no appropriate outlet. In this state, he will begin to demonstrate odd or bad behavior as a form of release.
Imagine for a moment how you would feel if you were cooped up indoors for most of the day with little to do but lie around house. Now imagine how you would react when you hear a sound outside, perhaps a delivery man, the postman or the jangle of a dog’s chain as an owner passes with his pet. Wouldn’t you be excited?
Your dog is a social creature who loves company so it’s reasonable that any movement will trigger a happy response. Add to that a lack of exercise and your dog will be overwhelmed at what to do next. This can lead to bad behavior and other responses.
Dog whining, pacing and circling are 3 common behaviors that result from a lack of exercise. But you must remember that dogs need a lot of exercise, probably far more than you think. A quick walk around the block might be a lot of exercise for a dog the size a Chihuahua, but for anything bigger, a longer walk is needed.
If time or physical conditions restrict your walks, there are other alternatives that will ensure your dog gets sufficient exercise.
One excellent outlet is agility training. This exercises not only your dog’s body, but his mind. Such a course requires the dog to think constantly as he makes his way through the various obstacles. In their natural environment, dogs run, jump over things, dart under objects, and where reasonable they will venture into caves, down rabbit holes and through fallen logs. This takes a lot of concentration and focus which is replicated through agility training.
At the end of the course, a well-deserved treat and praise from you will keep your dog interested and anxious for more agility exercises.
Agility training is just one option. You can enrol your dog in a local dog social club in your area. If one doesn’t exist, why not get one going with other dog owners in your neighborhood? Spend time at the park and let the dogs socialize and play together. This will benefit them greatly, not just in exercise, but in reducing the incidence of aggressive behavior towards other dogs and people.
Is your dog whining, pacing and circling? Is he showing other odd behaviors such as getting overly excited when someone comes to the door? Start by increasing his exercise and you are sure to see an improvement quickly.