Thinking About Behavior Change

Almost every client I work with is interested in changing the behavior of their pet.  When you are thinking about changing your pet’s behavior, however, you need to think very carefully about why they are behaving that way in the first place.  Love this quote from Dr. Susan Friedman:
“Changing behaviour is not something you do casually because that behaviour has value to the animal or it wouldn’t be doing it.” 
I spoke with a client this week who described her dog suddenly becoming avoidant of the dog park.  Previously, this dog loved the dog park and would hop out of the car happily and head for the park on her own.  Now, the dog doesn’t want to get out of the car and needs a leash to even approach the park. Once there, she won’t take treats or play with her ball, and she shakes anxiously until they leave the park.  Obviously, my client is concerned.  She wants to know what is wrong with her dog and she is sad herself as now they don’t see their dog park friends any more. They can go to other parks without any issue, so it isn’t that she doesn’t want to go to a park anymore.  It’s just this park that they’ve been going to several times a week for years. 

Read the rest of Julie’s post here: