We can often hear a dogs described as “very fearful”. But before we start working, it’s crucial to clarify what is actually the problem and in what contexts is it present. The label of “fearfulness” actually covers 3 different problems, requiring different types of treatment protocols:
- fear/fear reactions
- generalized anxiety disorder
- phobia/panic disorder
Continue reading “Fear / anxiety / phobia”
Nowadays it’s become very possible to say that someone is “traumatized” or “has PTSD” – both referring to people and to dogs – but it’s often not the case. In reality many “behavior problems” do not meet criteria of PTSD or other trauma related conditions. And it’s important to remember that while they might be scary or inconvenient to us, even severe behavior problems are an attempt at coping and they serve a function to the animal.
Let’s have a look at what we know about trauma related problems in animals.
What are the possible consequences of trauma?
First of all, there is a whole range of reactions to traumatic events:
- PTS (post-traumatic stress)/PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),
- generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), and
It is estimated that 75% of people make full recovery after traumatic events. There is no data about non-laboratory animals, but a study done with laboratory rats showed a similar rate of recovery.
Continue reading “Trauma in animals”
Even though the stigma surrounding psychotropic meds for humans has decreased in the past decades, many dog owners are still afraid of pharmacotherapy. They worry that medication will change their dog’s personality, turn their companion into a “zombie”. Many still believe that medication is a last result, but actually in some cases behavior modification can be quicker and more effective if it is paired with a medical intervention.
Continue reading “Medication in behavior work”