At the end of June, Nicola spent four days near Scotland’s beautiful west coast studying the first part of her behaviour certificate. This course was a wonderful opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of normal canine and feline behaviour, as well as how to solve the psychological problems that can arise in our pets.
These conditions may have developed due to a genetic predisposition, a previous negative experience, or a misunderstanding in the way an animal interprets the environment in which it finds itself and the signals that it receives from humans or other animals. Behavioural disorders can also be linked to underlying physical health conditions, for example muscular or arthritic pain, dietary sensitivities or skin problems, to name just a few.
This part of the course focused on finding ways to optimise our animals’ environments to promote good mental health, and how to ensure good communication between you and your pet. We also looked at how to desensitise and counter-condition dogs and cats to things they may find frightening, in order to help them view these situations in a more positive way and thus improve their ability to cope.
This time, there was a particular focus on how to help cases where aggression is involved, looking at what the underlying motivation for aggression may be in individual cases and thus how to help resolve this.
Nicola is very much looking forward to the next part of the course, which will go into more detail about other behavioural conditions which can affect our furry companions.