Dog Psychology 101: Obsessive Dog Behaviors and How to Deal with Them 

Cute black and white border collie thinking about balls in a thought bubbles above her head
Cute black and white border collie thinking about balls in a thought bubbles above her head

Now you may be surprised to find out that your dog may suffer from psychological issues such as obsessions. But rest assured that he won’t cut your legs off to keep you around a-la Misery’s Annie Wilkes or surprise you in the shower like Psycho’s Norman Bates. Regardless, dog psychological issues are very similar to human addiction, which is why you’ll need a dog behaviorist handling his case ASAP.

“I Haven’t Noticed Anything Wrong with Fido”

Most dog owners don’t even realize that their dogs have developed obsessive behaviors. However, look closely; Lassie may be growing fanatically crazy over one of her toys, a bone or the neighbor’s cat. Meanwhile, Fido may be acting too assertive, pushing the stick in your face and growling if you don’t wake. Sure, this behavior may seem fine now, but some day, your pooch will hurt himself or you. So don’t sentence your dog to a frustrated, unhappy existence and take action right away.

“Okay, So How Do I Identify Such Behaviors?”

To identify an obsessed behavior, you should know what a normal, mentally-healthy dog is like. Traditionally, a normal dog plays well with you, your children and even other dogs. He’ll even play with a toy more than others in his collection, but it’ll be a game rather than a ‘Bruce Banner to Hulk’ situation. On the other hand, an obsessive dog will show hostility. His body will look stiffer, his eyes glazed over, and his gaze fixated. This is when you should realize that your pooch isn’t enjoying your game; he’s blind to everything around him just like a gambling addict facing a slot machine.

“Can I Do Something for my Dog?”

One of the best things you can do is enroll your furry roommate in dog behavior training. However, if your dog hasn’t yet showed her obsessive side, you should start monitoring her intensity while she plays. If she’s playing rough without physically or emotionally hurting you or your loved one, she’s still safe from obsessive behaviors. This doesn’t let you off the hook though; you’ll need to define limits for you dog in order to prevent her from going over the brink.

On the other hand, if you notice any of the signs of obsessive behaviors, you’ll need to take measures fast. One of the first things to do is exercise your pooch so that he doesn’t have pent-up energy. In most cases, your dog may be becoming obsessed due to anxiety, frustration or suppressed energy. If that doesn’t help, make your dog understand who the boss in this relationship is. Just make sure that you know how to do so. For example, snatching the toy and saying ‘No’ can turn this into a dangerous game that includes teeth and claws.

Therefore, don’t try reasoning with your dog in hopes of solving his obsessive issues. Get the help both of you need right away to ensure that both your lives are happy, stress free and definitely obsession free.