How Do Behavioural Problems Develop?
Behavioural problems can be due to either medical issues, behavioural issues or a combination of both. At Delatite Veterinary Services, we obtain a thorough history of the problems, conduct a full physical examination, recommend any further tests (eg. blood/urine tests or xrays) if necessary, to diagnose the problem. Once we have reached this stage, we will work through a treatment protocol which may involve a drug free approach, medication, training techniques. We will also follow up on your progress and may recommend revisits depending on what we diagnose.
The behaviour of your pet may be related to its genetics, however the expression of the behaviours is also greatly influenced on your animal's early socialisation and training.
Animals by their nature are sensitive to changes in their environment. Changes in routine, introduction of a new household member (pet, baby or spouse), moving house, death of a family member can all have a dramatic influence on a pet's behaviour. Medical conditions and/or age related degenerative changes can make these changes more dramatic.
Learning plays a significant role in an animal's behaviour. Early training and socialisation is imperative to a happy pet. Positive reinforcement is one of the best methods for altering an animal's behaviour provided is utilised properly.
How are behavioural problems treated?
There is no simple answer for a behavioural problem. So called "helpful" advice can often make the problem worse. It is also important that the reason why the behaviour is occurring and rectified instead of the signs of the behaviour. A prime example of this is a dog that constantly digs holes - chaining the dog up will not address the reason for the digging - it may just confine it to one area!
Delatite Veterinary Services recommends consulting a qualified veterinarian or registered veterinary/animal behaviour specialist. Enforcing behavioural changes takes genuine commitment from everyone your pet interacts with and consistency in the manner in which the behaviour is changed to avoid the dog becoming confused or only changing its behaviour some of the time. For some behavioural issues a home visit may required to see the animal in it's natural environment to help isolate the problem. It is important to approach behavioural consults with an open mind.
If you have a behavioural issue with one of your pets please contact Delatite Veterinary Services to book an appointment to see how we can help!