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Shiny Happy Pets Issue

weathering the storm | barks feature If your pet is experiencing emotional problems, you want to be sure to work with a professional who understands the cognitive and emotional abilities of animals. Dr. Dodman: In human terms, pet trainers are like family counselors or licensed social workers, the certified applied animal behaviorist is the psychologist, and the veterinary behaviorist is more like the psychiatrist. Only about a dozen of the 27 vet schools in the U.S. teach veterinary behavior, so a lot of vets are graduating with no knowledge of it. If your pet is experiencing emotional problems, you want to be sure to work with a professional who understands the cognitive and emotional abilities of animals. Dr. Ward: Thanks for joining me today to help shed light on the emotional lives of our four-legged friends. I hope we’ve shown that when vets and pet parents work together to weather the storm, everyone can have a happy ending — come rain or shine. called blanket sucking — an idiosyncratic (and generally harmless) behavior, almost like thumb-sucking in children. In comparing dogs who were affected with this bizarre disorder, we found another behavior that travelled with it: a preoccupation with objects. The dog gathers up what he thinks are useful things — shoes, glasses cases, anything — and stores them all in one place. To me this is a dead-ringer for the human condition called hoarding, a very refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some of these dogs will not just gather objects, but actually arrange them. There’s a video on YouTube of a Doberman called “The Arranger,” who took stuffed animals and arranged them in triangles, just like a human with OCD. When we did the MRI study, we found changes in the Dobermans’ brains that are exactly the same as in human hoarders. It was a perfect animal model of human hoarding. We’ve looked into the genetics of this, and we know there’s a glitch on canine chromosome 7. We know this gene is expressed in the brain, and is in areas relevant for OCD. Dr. Ward: To have these beliefs — which many vets have had for a long time — validated by current technology is very exciting and reassuring. To conclude our conversation, let’s change gears a bit: What is the difference between a trainer and a behaviorist? where to find help recommended resources The Association of Professional Dog Trainers has a certification called CPDT Certified Professional Dog Trainer The Karen Pryor School clicker training International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants the shiny happy pets issue 35


Shiny Happy Pets Issue
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