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Behavioral Counseling for Dogs
May 15, 2021

Does your canine buddy suffer from anxiety? Have you noticed aggressive or fearful behavior in your pup? Does Fido have some phobias or bad habits that you can’t seem to help with? If so, you may need to call in a doggy behaviorist. A local Wichita, KS vet offers some tips on this below.

When To Make The Call

If your furry buddy just has a few minor quirks, such as being afraid of storms, a behaviorist may not be needed. However, in some cases, Fido’s issues can become a safety hazard. For instance, if you have a large dog that keeps jumping on people, you’ll need to curb that bad habit before he knocks your elderly aunt over. We would also recommend consulting a behaviorist for issues such as food guarding, aggression, phobias, severe separation anxiety, growling, and/or biting. Dogs that are highly reactive will also benefit from behavioral counseling. If you’re not sure, ask your vet for advice.

Trainer Vs. Behavior Specialist

Trainers and dog behaviorists have different credentials, and different training. Sometimes people are both trainers and pet behaviorists. The two fields can and do overlap. However, they really are not the same thing. Dog trainers generally focus on teaching obedience. For instance, you may need to hire a trainer to teach your furry pal to Stay or Heel . Many trainers can also address problematic behaviors, such as leash pulling. Behavior specialists, on the other hand, tend to focus on issues that can be safety concerns, and/or those that are associated with fear, aggression, or anxiety. 

Finding Qualified Professionals

Finding the right person to work with your canine pal is crucial. Start with asking your vet for recommendations. Many animal clinics—including ours—do offer behavioral counseling services. You can also check reviews, and ask around for references. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Follow Instructions

It’s also important for you to adhere to any advice or guidelines Fido’s counselor offers. For instance, if your furry best friend has separation anxiety, you may be advised to ignore him when you are coming or going. If you ignore this, and make a fuss about saying hello or goodbye to Fido, you’re rewarding him for indulging his anxiety. Changing your tactics and behaviors will just confuse him!

Do you think Fido would benefit from behavioral counseling? Contact us, your local Wichita, KS veterinary clinic, today!

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