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Posted on 09-16-2014

Can an old vet be taught new tricks? 

As a committed veterinary professional I have always taken seriously not only the need for regular continuing education from the standard conferences and available online webinars but also from my colleagues and clients.  So, it should have not been a surprise to me when attending a recent veterinary continuing education conference that I would find valuable information about dog behavior.  But, not only was I surprised, I was totally amazed by a presentation from a certified veterinary behaviorist and her recommendation of a new book on canine behavior.  The book is called: Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones. by American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.  I cannot recommend it highly enough for anyone interested in canine behavior and training. 

Written by veterinary behaviorists who have been doing actual research on the subject of canine behavior they are able to explain positive rewards and “classical” training methods.  They also explain much of what our canine companions are up to.  How they are not wolves in dog's clothing. How they respond to our signals and just how keen observers they are.  The book is not an easy read or at least not one that I was able to listen to while multitasking and driving.  It is more like a textbook and indexed with chapters that you can fast forward to on specific concerns or area of interest.  

After listening to her presentation and the books many chapters on canine behavior one should be able to appreciate how valuable a resource a certified animal behaviorist can be.  Dogs are not trying to be "alpha" wolves and don't have to be "dominated" to train.  Dogs, like people, love positive rewards.  If they are food/treat "oriented" it makes training a lot easier.  Treats no matter how small can be valuable teaching aids and along with love, glue the canine-human bond.  So, if you’re interested in good scientifically researched material and an approach to understanding your dog, this will be a valuable addition to your library.  

Happy reading and enjoy a greater perspective of your pet's world. 

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