Dr. Cathy Lau BSc (Hons) BSc BVMS is a Perth-based veterinarian, enjoying working at a small animal general practice. Cathy has a special interest in animal behaviour and she has recently started running e-Vet Learning, aiming to offer affordable continuous professional education to her fellow colleagues.
How Not to Live Your Life (When You Have a Dog with Behavioural Problems)
Control or train your dog based on punishment
Punishment will most likely only work for a very short term, it’s proven to be an inappropriate technique and can potential cause immeasurable damage in a long run. It’s especially bad and inhumane for behaviour related to fear.
Get another dog
Approximately only 5% of dog’s behavioural issue can be managed by the addition of a canine companion, though it needs to be done very carefully. It’s quite ineffective and may make training of the troubled dog harder.
Ignore warning signs from your dog’s body language
Learn to notice what triggers the undesired behaviour of your dog, act before the dog reacts.
Push the dog to overcome the fear
It’s basically inhumane and useless. I’m scared of cockroaches, locking me in a room with, or even showing me a cockroach doesn’t remove my fear and my “abnormal” “hysteric” reaction.
Just leave it
Not seeking professional advice, not doing anything to help with the situation, or even using the incorrect methods to change the behaviour, you can expect the issues to get worse.
Think medication is bad for the dog
Veterinary behaviour medicine has come a long way. We have a much better understanding of the conditions, which are similar to mental illnesses in people. Most conditions require medication. They need to be treated just the same as other medical diseases, there is no excuses.