Dr Kate’s top 5 pet problems – 2: Separation related behaviour


As I discussed in The West’s Habitat section on Friday, 7 November, the second most common problem in dogs is is Separation related behaviour. I have termed it the ‘Velco dog‘.

Dogs seek safety in numbers and to keep their people close, but they also have to learn to tolerate being left alone, preferably in early life. If this opportunity has been missed and you have a ‘Velcro’ dog on your hands, building independence is the key.

This involves toying with your dog’s motivation through combining a favourite treat with a problem solving exercise eg. place a treat inside a squished up toilet roll and tie it to furniture for your dog to discover. Build this exercise into a treasure hunt throughout your home and/or backyard until your dog spends increasingly longer periods of time searching for tasty morsels and less time watching your every move.

About Dr Kate

Perth vet and proprietor of Kalmpets Animal Behaviour Centre and Dog Day Care, Dr Kate Lindsey completed a first class honours degree in zoology and neuroscience at UWA, followed by a veterinary degree with first class honours, at Murdoch. Since graduating in 2005, Dr Kate has worked as a vet in small animal practices around Perth. As her zoological roots show, she has always had an interest in animal behaviour. Dr Kate successfully completed a post-graduate program in veterinary behaviour medicine and was admitted as a member of The Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Animal Behaviour in 2012. She is a qualified veterinarian behaviourist. Dr Kate established Kalmpets in 2012, Western Australia’s only sole focus mobile vet behaviour practice that delivered comprehensive solutions to improve behaviour problems in dogs, cats and pets.

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