Command Control for Companion Animal News
by Lori Theis
Welcome to Your Best Pet! Curated by Lori Theis, UW Certified Behavior Specialist. Your Best Pet, where you’ll discover the most up-to-date scientific news and tips about companion animal behavior, health and training methods. You’ll also find updates on trending animal legislation and welfare issues
in our region and nationwide. In addition, you’ll find fascinating articles by guest contributors from a variety of animal professions, as well as links and recommendations for products and local services.
Our mission is to give you the tools and knowledge, based on ethological scientific principles of animal behavior, to provide the best life possible for your pet!
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association 2017-2018 edition of the Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, pet ownership in on the rise, with dogs leading the way. A whopping 89.7 million dogs live in our homes with us in the United States.
How do you decide what’s best for you pet? Outside the field of veterinary medicine the companion animal industry is an unregulated behemoth and can be overwhelming to navigate. On any given day an average dog owner looking for a dog trainer begins researching only to find contradicting information
on methodology and practices. This is where the ethological scientific principles of animal behavior come in to clarify best practices and give pet owners a compass for finding professionals whose standards adhere to these principles.
So what are “ethological scientific principles?” Ethology is the scientific and objective study of animal behavior, with a focus on observing behavior under natural conditions and viewing that behavior as an evolutionary adaptive trait. In simple terms, ethology considers both genetics and environment when assessing behavior and developing strategies for modifying behavior.
Remember: genes + environment = ethological approach.
What does that mean in practical terms?
Take dogs for example. With over 400 different breeds and an infinite number of personalities (yes, dogs have distinct individual personalities!), an applied animal behaviorist uses ethological principles by taking into account breed, early experiences and current environment when handling, assessing, training and generally developing any kind of behavior modification for optimizing that individual dog’s quality of life.
Applied animal behaviorists will have a keen understanding of the major differences in the way a Husky communicates and learns compared to a Poodle.
We want to know what questions YOU want answered!
What dog breed is the best fit for your family? Should you adopt from a shelter or buy from a breeder? Does your dog exhibit separation anxiety? Do you have a cat with litter box issues? Do you have a dog that lunges and barks at other dogs on walks? Does your dog guard his food bowl or toys? Has your dog bitten another dog or person and YOU now have anxiety?
Send us your questions!