Behavioural problems can be due to a variety of issues. We can assist with determining the cause of the behavioural issue. We will conduct an examination after obtaining a full history. This may require a urinalysis and blood tests if there is a specific health issue suspected as a cause of the behaviours. Learning and environment can also be a factor in bad behaviours.

Some animals, through their genetics are predisposed to certain behaviours and they would need early training and socialisation to reduce the expression of these behaviours. For some pets a change in environment can lead to behavioural issues. This can be as a result of larger events such as a new baby, moving house, the loss of a family member to something as small as a sudden change in routine. If a pet is older or has medical issues, they may be extra sensitive to changes in environment.

It is important that a pet be socialised and trained early to help them become well-adjusted pets. Punishment of unwanted behaviour can often create an even worse problem. Positive reinforcement is a better way to encourage preferred behaviour. Even this method of training can lead to issues if used incorrectly, so generally it is encouraged that you speak to a professional if undesirable behaviour manifests.

There is no easy fix for behavioural problems. Getting down to the root of the problem can sometimes be fruitful, but beware of taking advice from well-meaning but untrained persons as this may lead to ingrained or even deeper issues. A qualified animal behaviourist or your vet are better suited to offering advice to resolve behaviour problems. Everyone who interacts with the pet will need to commit to encouraging desirable behaviour in the correct way. A home visit is sometimes needed to assess the pet in its natural environment. Occasionally medication may be needed along with the training techniques to ensure the best outcome.

Should your pet be demonstrating unwanted behaviours, set up a consultation with one of our veterinarians to discuss the way forward.