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Problematic behavior in dogs

The seminar focuses on:

  • Behavior problems: History and statistics
  • Aggression and fear
  • Problems behaviors are symptoms
  • 20 factors that lower the threshold for aggression
  • Difference between functional and descriptive classification of behaviors
  • Causes behind problem behaviors
  • How to analyze causes behind problem behaviors
  • The journal – how to file the data
  • Training methods and actual treatment of dogs

There is not so much symptom training as seen with animal behaviorists from other schools or with other backgrounds. Because once you have set right the causes, normally dogs quit being problematic by themselves. For instance, let us say that the stress analysis shows an under-stimulation ratio of 22/24, which means that the dog is resting 22 hours out of 24. By simply giving the dog a program of activation, both physical and mental, the problem symptoms may have disappeared totally in less than a week.

Ethics are important

Both the ethics and the methodology approach to animals and animal behavior are important. Here is a non-violent approach with a well-defined ideology, which states that:

  • Training should be built upon knowledge, soft methods and without force
  • Dogs and dog owners shall be met with respect, care and solicitude
  • There are never arguments enough to motivate authoritarian training
  • Training shall never compel an individual to perform above its ability

To be able to participate in this seminar, I recommend some background knowledge, as for instance knowledge of learning psychology, modern training methods and ethology, especially wolf and dog social behavior.

Causes – not symptoms

Considering problematic behavior in animals, the methodology is one of analyzing and setting right the causes. Therefore analyses are the main instruments of work. The analyses mostly work by the way of psychological parameters, for instance special designed questions or questionnaires. These are:

  • Stress analysis
  • Masculinity analysis (for intact males)
  • Thyroid dysfunction analysis
  • Pain/Medical dysfunction analysis
  • Noradrenalin – serotonin analysis
  • Ethological analysis. This is created and held by the Swedish ethologist Kerstin Malm
  • Nourishment analysis. This is not completed as yet
  • Owner-dog relationship analysis

Follow up and statistics

Preferably, each case would be followed up and extensive statistics collected centrally. The purpose of this is not only to see the results, but also to get to know the probability of different causing agents behind problem behavior. This forms a guideline to improve the existing methods of analyses and also inspire to elaborate new ones.

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