August 27, 2014
Dog shaming has become a part of our online culture, and sure, why not. Dogs do some downright shady, shameful things. Snacking in the cat box, chewing up valuables, rolling in nastiness. Some dogs haven’t received the memo that part of domestication means not chewing up mom’s undies or peeing down a forced air duct.
So when we come home and find that our dog has done some shameful thing, we react. Because we’re humans, not dogs, and it doesn’t make sense to us why they chewed up the remote control. And, after a time or two seeing our reactions, most dogs start to have their own reciprocal reactions. (I say “most” because my “sweet, but dumb” Rottie girl would gladly lie down next to the evidence and wait for you to catch her with the smoking gun.) But, your average dog will hide or approach you with their head down if they’ve been caught being naughty.
August 26, 2014
We live in a fast paced, do-it-now, society and our pets live there right with us. We are stressed out, running around, trying to meet deadlines, both at work and in our lives. Our animals sense our stress. They are so in-tune with us. Think about it, we are their world, so anything that stresses us out, stresses them out. No wonder we see more behavior problems in our pets than ever before. Throw in the indiscriminate breeding practices that are rampant in our country and you can get some pretty messed up pets.
Our society is also one in which we want the quick and easy fix for our pet’s behavior problems but, alas, there is no panacea. It often takes a combination of behavior counseling and drugs, just like in people. Notice I did not say behavior training, because training is NOT behavior counseling. This is a problem I see often. This is a very important point. No shock or pronged collars have ever cured a behavioral issue. They often make things worse and I have seen it happen way too many times. Trainers do a fantastic job at training your dog in obedience and manners. Thank god we have them, but behavior counseling is a whole different beast.
August 13, 2014
Today’s podcast issue is well, just that...behavioral issues. We’re looking at behavioral modification from both the medical and training angles.
Some of the common concerns Dr. Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:
- Separation anxiety:
Separation anxiety is frustrating and there's often no easy fix. What really works? What are the current medication recommendations when training and other behavioral methods don't work. Are there really more anxious pets or are pet anxiety issues just more often diagnosed than they were 10 years ago?
- Litterbox issues:
With inappropriate urination and defecation being the leading causes of cats being surrendered to shelters, any special tips or tricks you can recommend to owners struggling with litterbox problems?
- Canine inappropriate behaviors:
What trends are you finding helpful in the management or correction of inappropriate canine behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, digging, scratching, etc?
- Finding a trainer:
Do you have any "must-have" recommendations for pet parents that are looking for a trainer or behaviorist? What sorts of professionals do you recommend and who should we avoid? (link mentioned: American College of Veterinary Behaviorists)
August 06, 2014
It wasn’t until we started talking about the idea of “problem behaviors” here in the office that I realized I’ve chalked a lot of my dog Kayden’s behavior issues up to personality quirks. From fear-motivated barking to submissive urination, I’d just shrugged these issues off as “eh, could be worse. Not worth worrying about.”
A “wanted” poster was made by a fellow Embracer after Kayden peed on our office yoga instructor. That’s the definition of embarrassing behavior.
July 28, 2014
As they say, it takes a village to raise a baby, or in this case, a blog. My good friend, Embracer Lea, is going to help out with the Embrace blog so you'll be seeing more of her excellent posts here to keep our content fresh and relevant.
I can't think of anyone more qualified at Embrace to help out with the blog than Lea. She was hired at my kitchen table back in early 2006 when we didn't have an office to speak of (I'm pretty sure my cat Barnes sat on her lap to give encouragement during the interview). She then started off in the Contact Center selling many of you early Embrace family your policies - she really knows our policies from the ground up.