Behavioural problems have a number of potential causes and frequently result from the combined effect of many factors including, environment, learning, genetics and medical problems.
A change in your pet's household environment can result in the emergence of behavioural problems. For example, a new routine, loss of a family member or companion pet, a new house or a new member of the family such as a baby or another pet can all impact the behaviours you see.
Learning also plays its part in behavioural problems, hence early socialization and training help ensure a happy, well-adjusted pet.
Medical problems should always be considered if behavioural problems develop. For example, a cat urinating in the house might be the result of cystitis, or an elderly cat or dog might have dementia or some other degenerative condition.
Genetics can play a role in certain behaviours, however your pet's early socialization and learning will influence the expression of those behaviours.
How are behavioural problems treated?
Positive reinforcement is the preferred strategy for changing behaviour problems. It is important that the cause of the problem is addressed and not just the symptoms. For example, chaining your dog up because it tries to escape the garden is only addressing the symptom. Ask yourself why your dog behaves this way. Is it boredom perhaps or separation anxiety? And if your cat has taken to urinating on the bed it could be the result of stress, a medical condition or even just a sign of being annoyed at you for some reason.