On Your Best Behavior

On Your Best Behavior
How to Help Dogs That Are Aggressive During Leash Walking

Debra F. Horwitz, DVM, Diplomate ACVB, Veterinary Behavior Consultations, St. Louis, Missouri Walking dogs can be one of the joys of pet ownership, with benefits for both people and dogs. It can increase owner—pet bonding through engagement in an activity together. Unfortunately, too many dog owners are unable to take their dogs for walks due …

On Your Best Behavior
Moving Beyond “Leader of the Pack”

Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVB Most of the unruly behaviors we see in our pets are not due to a desire to gain higher rank. Consequently, dominance theory becomes irrelevant for most behavior problems in our pets.—Sophia Yin, DVM, MS  When humans welcome dogs into their homes, they frequently consider the new interspecies family …

On Your Best Behavior – Q & A | The Use of Medications in Canine Behavior Therapy

Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVB Reisner Veterinary Behavior & Consulting Services, Media, Pennsylvania Behavioral medications can make a significant difference in the management of a variety of problems. Most important, they can help facilitate a positive outcome in otherwise complicated behavior cases. Your longtime client, Mrs. Jones, presents Buttercup, the Papillon, with “a behavior …

On Your Best Behavior
Noise & Storm Phobias in Dogs

Terry Curtis, DVM, Diplomate ACVB Anxiety and fearful behavior are common in canine patients, and often manifest as storm and noise phobias. Depending on presentation, treatment can be straightforward or complex and challenging. Fear is a normal and adaptive response. In animals, the subjective states of anxiety and fear (see Differentiating Between Anxiety & Fear) …

On Your Best Behavior
The 10 Commandments of Cat Management

Terry Marie Curtis, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVB The management of multi-cat households requires attention to the art of feline care. The considerations are organized into 10 Commandments that cover space layout, intra-cat behavioral considerations, food distribution, water sources, play opportunities, litter boxes, resting places, scratching opportunities, urine marking, and outside areas. When managing multicat households, …

On Your Best Behavior
Dog as a Second Language:
A Primer for Humans

Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVB While humans recognize overt happiness or fear in their canine companions, dogs use a more subtle language to communicate with other dogs and us. By watching, we can become more fluent in their rich vocabulary. Taboo is a small, male Chihuahua mix, with an unknown background, recently adopted from …

On Your Best Behavior
Canine Separation Anxiety

Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVB Maya is a young adult German shepherd mix with a fulfilling life. Along with Sally, her single and self-employed “parent,” Maya hikes daily and spends much of her time resting on the couch while Sally works at the computer. When Maya is left alone, however, the situation shifts from …

On Your Best Behavior
Diagnosis & Management of Feline Urine Marking

Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVB Although urine spraying is typical in sexually intact cats, approximately 10% of neutered males and 5% of ovariohysterectomized females urine spray.1 Inappropriate urination of all types—toileting behavior as well as marking—is the most common behavior problem encountered in cats. Although statistics of lifetime occurrence are not known, it is likely …

On Your Best Behavior
Dog Bites: Protecting Your Staff & Clients

  Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVB Biting is the most common problem for which dogs are presented to veterinary behaviorists. Biting may be directed at either familiar or unfamiliar people of any age as well as other animals. Dog bites are of particular concern with children, who are bitten most severely and whose injuries …

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