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Behaviour problems

dog eaten cushion

Sort out behaviour problems early for a happy dog and a happy family.

Talk to us if your dog exhibits any of the following problems

Nervous, disobedient, aggressive or unhappy. Pulls on the lead, objects to tablets or ear drops, resists grooming. Afraid of fireworks or other noises or objects. Oversexed, destructive, hyperactive or goes frantic in the car. Territorial, excessive barking, won't let visitors in or out! Will not accept a new baby or a visiting toddler.

How we deal with pet behaviour problems

Arrange a routine appointment with our vet behaviourist David Higginson for an initial assessment to discuss the problem and treatment options. Simple cases will be dealt with in routine appointments. For more complex cases you will be given a "life story" questionnaires to complete and a full behaviour consultation (approximately 1 hour long) will be arranged at your convenience.

Your dog's life story. This will ask you to write down in detail everything that worries you about your dog's behaviour. It will ask you about your dog's daily routines, likes and dislikes, games, treats, habits, friends and enemies. We also need to know about yourself and your family, and how you relate to your dog. Return your completed life story to the surgery and our vet will contact you soon afterwards to fix the full behaviour appointment.

Full behaviour appointment. If possible bring the whole family to the appointment. The vet will go through your dog's lifestyle, and will want to ask you lots of questions about your relationship with your dog. Once a diagnosis has been made, the vet will tell you whether treatment is likely to succeed, and will instruct you on how to begin correcting the problem. Any necessary equipment or medication will be supplied. A review appointment is usually arranged for two weeks later.

David30 years ago..... (David Higginson MRCVS remembers)

30 years ago the whole concept of dogs experiencing emotions, anxieties and distress was just not considered. Many vets still don't quite accept it! In the mid 80's I was inspired to learn about pet behaviour correction as I tried to find ways of correcting aggressive or nervous biting dogs that were brought to me for euthanasia by loving owners at their wits end. I studied the new methods of Dr Roger Mugford, Ian Dunbar and John Fisher and found that we could indeed change the way a dog thinks and feels, and in many cases could correct the emotional problem at the root of the misbehaviour. I soon discovered that the stressed dog with heart failure was much more likely to improve if I also dealt with his emotional problems. The older rank-conscious dog with arthritis would not improve until we taught him to "chill out" and let someone else take over as leader. I have continued to study pet behaviour therapy as a special interest over the past 30 years and consider the emotional state of a pet to be a vital factor in the success or failure of any medical treatment.

Page updated 30th Jan 2017, 13:13
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