The reasons to call in a Pet Behaviourist will vary from dog to dog or indeed client to client. However it is important to separate the difference of a behavioural problem to the dog not doing what he is told. Before one says their dog is disobedient the owner should ask themselves if the dog has actually been trained properly in the first place – REMEMBER YOU CAN ONLY DISOBEY WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO OBEY.
A behavioural problem may be described as a behaviour that has changed within the dog and not for the better, e.g., growling over food, barking at shadows, running and barking at people when they get up to leave the room etc. These are some of the more serious problems that dogs can develop. Other ones might be pacing the room; hiding under furniture and growling/snapping if they are approached, chasing their tail – all of which can become serious if left unattended.
If your dog suddenly starts to display an activity that is unusual to him then a consultation with a behaviourist is to be recommended. Make a diary of what he does, the frequency of it etc., any changes that have happened in your life style that may have initiated the problem. Anything you can tell the Behaviourist can only help with finding the cause and hopefully the cure.
What is involved in a consultation?
This will vary from Behaviourist to Behaviourist but fundamentally the Behaviourist will want to find out as much as they can about the dog, age, neutered, habits, where they sleep, what privileges they get, what liberties they take. When the owner first noticed the problem, what was happening within the home with the problem occurred and anything else that is felt relevant to the situation.
Changes in both the owners and dog’s lifestyle may be recommended and possibly some basic obedience. If the owner does not change what he does then the dog cannot be expected to change either.
The consultation may last a couple of hours during which time the Behaviourist will be observing both the owner and the dog’s interaction – all very revealing to the trained eye.
Occasionally a follow up visit may be required but this will depend on the dog and the problem.
In the above article the reference to ‘he’ covers both male and female.
© copyright Julie Holmes Ch.M.I.A.C.E
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Once I understand the challenge you and your dog are facing, I can help you overcome it in a way that suits you and your dog. Every situation and every dog-human partnership is unique.