Even though dog trainers and behaviorists know that nutrition can affect canine behavior in a variety of ways, few independent (unrelated to dog food companies) studies have been done concerning dog behavior and nutrition. Therefore, recommending changes and finding the right answer can be difficult and is often a matter of trial and error.
If your dog has some behavior issues that you feel might be caused by nutrition, talk to your dog trainer or behaviorist. She has probably dealt with similar issues in the past and may have some suggestions for you regarding foods you may want to try. Before making any changes, however, talk to your veterinarian as well. Your veterinarian will want to evaluate your dog’s health and she can let you know if there are any foods or ingredients that your dog should or should not eat.
If you decide to change your dog’s food, do so slowly. Begin by giving your dog ¼ of the new food to ¾ of the old food for a week. Then feed half and half for a week. If your dog is doing well and has no gastrointestinal upsets, you can probably switch over entirely to the new food on the third week.
Behavior changes take time to resolve themselves at any time but especially after a diet change. Give your dog several weeks after completing the diet change before you evaluate her behavior. Your trainer may also recommend some behavior modification or training to be doing at the same time. After all, behaviors – even those caused by diet – can also turn into habits and habits take time and work to change.