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Five Canine Behaviour Tips for GP Vets

GP vets have a lot on their plate.

They need to be across new treatments for old illnesses, treat emergencies and keep patients well.

Sometimes behaviour issues are the last thing they want to be engaging in BUT...

isn't it the driver behind why we do what we do? - A strong human animal bond is what keeps clients seeking help and when behaviour is "hard" there is a real risk of this bond breaking down.

So what little things can GP vets do to help clients have the "best" bond with their canine?

  1. Only recommending the services of positive reinforcement trainers who they know and trust, especially ones who have engaged in further study and have a track record of creating an enthusiastic learner from the canine student

  2. Speaking up when a client says they have considered Boot camp, aversive tools or "balanced" trainers - I see the fall out from these methods all the time - as there are no quick fixes for behaviour issues and simply putting a STOP to behaviours that are "hard" do not see them magically disappear

  3. Help clients to "read" their dogs better and BEFORE they escalate to using more offensive strategies. If clients learn to read more subtle signs of stress they may be able to change their own behaviour to assist the dog before the dog puts into practice less appealing ways to solve their issue

  4. Use food in interesting and challenging ways to promote the SEEKING system and promote calm, working brain as opposed to a 3 sec consumption of a meal that has little value in creating a calmer dog

  5. Use walks to build connection and stimulate the senses as opposed to running dogs ragged and becoming obsessed with balls and high arousal behaviours that do little to enhance the human animal bond

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