Behaviour & Socialization

Unwanted social problems of your dog can be dealt with and corrected at our surgery.

These behaviours might include - dog aggression, nuisance barking, inappropriate toileting, dominance behaviour, separation anxiety, destructiveness, digging, escaping, disobedience.

Behavioural problems can be complex & require more time to discuss then that allocated to a normal consultation. Often a visit to the home environment is helpful to deal with the problems. Techniques to deal with and prevent the unwanted behaviour can be discussed and implemented. We have a number of helpful products like DAP for dogs, Feliway for cats, multivitamins with tryptophan for excitable dogs, etc that can assist. Often providing the destructive or barking dog with extra stimulation like chew toys or cubes filled with treats, leaving the radio on for your dog when you are out, voice recordings, access to a play area & giving them plenty of exercise can help.

For dogs that are fearful of thunderstorms or fireworks we have CD's containing these noises available at the surgery. It often helps to play the CD's at a low level for a few weeks at home gradually increasing the volume until the dog becomes desensitiized to the noise. During actual situations of thunderstorms & fireworks it is advisable to confine the dog to a small secure area with some toys that provide comfort for them.  

For aggressive animals feeding a low protein diet can be helpful. In some circumstances medication can be useful to calm your pet & allow some natural endorphin release. Often a combination of different methods is useful. Follow up help and advice is always available. Sometimes the problem is actually caused by a medical problem (eg cystitis in a cat) or could be corrected by surgery (eg desexing of an aggressive dog). It is always advisable to rule out medical problems first before embarking on a myriad of behaviour modifying techniques that won't have much impact until the medical problem is resolved. In refractory cases referral to a veterinary behavioural specialist can be arranged. Sometimes if there is a high element of danger involved (for eg an unpredictably aggressive dog in a family with young children) euthanasia or rehoming may be advised. We can refer to very capable dog trainers to help on an ongoing basis. Some dog trainers offer a boarding school type arrangement where they can board your dog for however long it takes to convert your dog into a calmer, more responsive family member. Of course, with all dog training it will require reinforcement of the newly learned techniques by your family once they come back home again or the old unwanted behaviours will start to return.

Our Puppy Pre-School Leaders: Dot & Meg from Teacher's Pets Dog Training, are currently hosting follow on juvenile socialization sessions for older puppies or puppy pre-school graduates to reinforce & practice the techniques learnt at puppy pre-school. The juvenile classes are held on Tuesday evenings at 7pm & Puppy Pre-School is held Wednesday evenings at DRVC reception. Both courses are 5 weeks duration each & the cost is $125 for each course.  

To make an appointment, call us on (03) 9751 2999.