Apart from the health of your dog, you should also make sure to care for his psyche. There are a number of problems that dogs can develop if they are not treated properly, some more serious than others, and if you want a well behaved and happy dog, you should know what to do in order to prevent those problems from developing.
Separation anxiety is a condition which develops in dogs that are often left for prolonged periods without the owner’s company. Dogs that are often neglected will become irritable and restless at first, but if the neglect continues, they may even become mildly aggressive and start snapping at people. Sometimes this manifests itself in dog constantly digging holes and chewing on everything that he can get a hold of. If you notice signs of this condition, make sure that you find more time for your dog, as the condition can have permanent consequences on his behavior.
Small dog syndrome is, as its name says, mostly reserved for smaller, companion dog breeds that are not treated as dog, but as toys. This is to say that they are forgiven all their transgressions and never disciplined. It may even be described as spoiling a dog. It manifests itself in increased aggression and snappiness. In order to prevent this, you should treat your dog just like you would any other, larger dog.
If you are not authoritative and confident enough, the dog may come to think of himself as your superior and start acting accordingly. Dogs are pack animals and packs have alphas. In the pack consisting of you, your family and the dog, you should come off as alpha, or the dog will try and assume that role. If that happens, his behavior will become insufferable, including extreme disobedience, and even possible aggression. In order to prevent this, you have to be authoritative with the dog, make him walk beside or behind you when out on a stroll, and generally, be confident in your dealings with him.
Finally, dog’s that weren’t exposed to enough animals and people while they were young can grow up to be somewhat apprehensive of strangers. This means that even a dog whose breed is known for their watchdog abilities may be too frightened of strangers to make a good watchdog. While some breeds will always be likely to be hostile towards dog or other animals, making sure that they are properly socialized while young can substantially reduce that likelihood.