Are they really getting along?

Are they really getting along?  by Jennie Willis, PHD   “It came out of nowhere,”  owners will often say when their pets get into a fight.    It may seem this way, but often there were daily warning signs that went unnoticed.    Relationships are complex and fights often erupt when their environmental stress has gotten too great.   Communication needs to go two ways between pets and when it doesn’t, the more subtle communications become aggression. Signs to watch for in cats Most aggression in cats stays at the level of staring.  When one cat is staring at the other, they are signaling intent.  If the other cat moves out of the… Read More

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Can any behavior problem improve?

Yes! When you take a comprehensive approach and think about the whole animal, medical, behavioral and motivational needs, we can move the needle on any behavior problem.  Almost always, we can get them to improve to a point where their quality of life, as well as their families’ lives are safe, comfortable and behaviorally healthy. All of these types of problems respond well to behavior consultation. Aggression: Growling, Barking, and Biting behavior directed at people (family members, strangers or your veterinarian) or other animals Fear: Avoidance, panic and phobias (most commonly noises or thunder) Anxiety: Separation from owners or other pets leading to elimination issues, barking or destruction Inappropriate elimination… Read More

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What pets can be helped through behavior consultation?

All animals can change their behavior.  Reptiles, cats, horses, dogs and birds can all learn.   You can help them improve by gaining the right tools and techniques and practicing with your pet.   Behavior problems tend to fall into two categories: those with an emotional component (anxiety, fear, aggression or panic) and those that are learned bad behaviors.  In both cases, improvement and resolution are very possible with safe, scientific and humane techniques.  Usually improvement is noticed right away, but resolution may take weeks or months depending on the type of problem. I work with all of these issues, but I think my favorite to help with is aggression.  Pet… Read More

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