Sadly, a lot of dog behaviour is labelled as bad because it is simply inconvenient to the guardian. Such labels are detrimental to the dog’s welfare because it often influences the guardian’s treatment of the dog. Believing their motives are based on “being dominant” “trying to be in charge” or “being a diva”, causes guardians to respond to behaviour with a lack of compassion or empathy.
For example, a dog’s behaviour may change as they reach their senior years. They may struggle with toileting, become confused or anxious and may develop new fears due to pain from common conditions, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. Obviously toileting in the house is not desirable, a regression in training may be incredibly frustrating and an unwillingness to walk or exercise on certain surfaces may make life difficult. Nevertheless, is this really bad behaviour? Is the dog really trying to be difficult and demanding or are these symptoms of a deeper issue?
That said, does it really matter what the motive behind the behaviour is?