This week’s WWAPDT vlog: Your Vet Doesn’t Know Behavior may ruffle a few feathers, but in my experience, it is completely true.
This is something I come across way too often. People who take their dogs to the vet to deal with their aggression, anxiety, fear, nervousness, etcetera. Some vets will recommend their patients to trainers they are familiar with, some will give them their insight on behavior and tell them exercises to do with the dog, and others will say to medicate the dog. At the end of the day, your vet doesn’t have the insight into behavior like behavioral trainers do.
Your vet is well versed in all things medical with your pet, but behavioral rehabilitation is not apart of their curriculum. I’m sure they work with their fair share of aggressive dogs, but they work with them in a medical sense, not in a behavioral manner where they’re actually taught how to help fix you dog’s aggression. Yet, many vets feel they have the say so in how to treat a dog when asked by their clients.
And that’s where things get tricky.
I get asked medical questions about dogs all the time. Some I can answer as its pretty standard stuff, but I also get asked some pretty heavy questions and the first thing out of my mouth is, “I’m not a veterinarian, you need to take your dog to the nearest one or call them.” I know what I know and I know what I don’t know and I am not bothered by it. I get asked about sport dog training sometimes, which I know a little about, but I still tell them that that’s a specialized training that’s out of my scope of knowledge.
What really irks me is when new clients ask their vet about electronic collar and they end up getting a biased opinion from them. If your dog is considerably old, has seizures or some other type of medical issue, than yes, by all means feel free to ask your vet. However, if you’re asking your vet for their insight on remote training, chances are, it’s limited. Even if they have used it, they’ve most likely only used it with a family dog or two. Not hundreds of dogs over the course of years like trainers like myself have.
That’s it for this week’s vlog/rant and thank you for your support.