Please Believe Me! Trouble is Brewing!

A recent comment motivated this post. It was from a veterinarian who tries her hardest to alert clients to current and potential behavioral problems, and is a tad frustrated on occasion by how few of them seem to take her cautions seriously. I am sure that other vets, dog trainers and behaviorists are all sighing in sympathy as they read this. I sure am. It is such a common problem that I thought it might be worthwhile for us all to have a brain storming session about how to handle it. All of the pro's reading this blog know what I mean: a 3 month old puppy in puppy class who plays well with others, but growls at you as you approach. Growling at a person at 12 weeks of age? ALARM BELLS! RED FLAGS! DIVE DIVE (the submarine)!!! So, here's the question. If you are a pro, how do you Read More

Veterinarians on the Front Lines

Greetings from Oregon. I just finished up with two talks at UC-Davis and a day long seminar in Corvallis, Oregon, sponsored jointly by OSU and Wonder Dogs. The participants and hosts could not have been more delightful, and I thank everyone for making the trip enjoyable and more than worthwhile. All three events had a large number of veterinary students attending, and it was such a joy to see them there. So many bright, energetic people... truly is inspiring, and especially good to see so many of them interested in behavior. One of my talks at UC-Davis, specifically for vet students and veterinarians, was on Canine Aggression. I appreciated the opportunity to speak about such an important topic, and thought I'd convey a summary of one of the points I made, which was what can vets do in Read More

Are Behavioral Problems Medical Problems?

I'm not going to answer this question yet, because I want to know what you think. This is an issue because the veterinary practice acts in some states have been re-written to say that only veterinarians can treat "mental conditions" in animals. The argument of some veterinarians is that 'mental conditions' include any and all behavioral problems, that behavioral problems are thus medical problems and anyone treating them who is not a vet is breaking the law. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. After you join in, I'll add my opinion to the mix. Meanwhile, back at the farm: The humidity broke for a few days, and how glorious it was. Regrettably most of the time I was stuck in a skanky-smelling hotel, but Friday evening was glorious. Saturday morning I reveled in picking strawberries at Read More