Why Repressed Behaviors Can Sometimes Begin Showing Up Again In Dogs

Hard to stay mad at a dog that cute.

Hard to stay mad at a dog that cute.

So you have a dog you trained extensively to not bite the couch, and for years, it has worked in your favor. But one day, years later, the dog just starts biting the couch again. It’s not because he is hungry, so what is the real reason for this behavior? Well, that’s what we are here to help you understand.

First factor in why some of your dog’s repressed issues are resurfacing could be something as simple as the dog getting old. Do not let that depress you, but you need to understand that, just like humans, when dogs get old, certain functions and actions can be harder to control. Rather than get mad or raise your voice, if this is the case the dog probably feels some confusion and shame as it is, so be as gentle and kind to the dog, reminding it of the time you already invested in teaching it these things.

The other thing we hate to say is, the dog could be sick, and is letting you know the only way it knows how. Remember, what is seen as strange behavior to us, may just be the dog trying to tell us something, in as clear and precise a non-verbal manner as possible. Be aware that the resurfacing of a repressed or already learned behavior can be a cue to you that the dog needs your help, though it cannot ask.

Last, do you have a new dog in the house? Doesn’t even have to be new, but younger and perhaps gets more attention than the dog repeating old behaviors? Well, as much as we hate to state the simple, he may be jealous, and acting out as a way to get more of your attention. So make sure you are giving the new dog and the old dog equal amounts of attention, because if you’re not, the old dog may show you he has some old tricks for you, and sometimes, those old tricks can be a pretty messy wake up call.