Elsewhere on this website, I talk about avoiding behaviourists who don’t come to your home to see you and your dog in its everyday environment. I was recently called to help a young couple with their Staffie, which had been refusing to go out on walks for several months. The couple had seen a local veterinary behaviourist for two consultations in her office. She had diagnosed the dog with agoraphobia and of course put it on drugs, like they do.
Anyway, after two fruitless sessions with this ‘behaviourist’ at her office, during which apparently at no time did she make any attempt to venture out of her office, or to view the dog’s refusal to go outside, she made the final diagnosis that perhaps this dog was simply happier being a ‘house dog’. I kid you not.
Obviously, the couple were appalled at this and realised they had wasted their money and a couple of weeks later, I met them and their dog at their home and of course within a matter of minutes had it happily walking the streets around their home for the first time in months. They have just contacted me again to say all is going well and they have extended their walks to the local woods where the dog is having a great time. Housedog? Some people have lots of qualifications but no idea! By the way, this dogs habit was broken without the use of any treats or punishment whatsoever.
PETER MOUNSEY, ASHCLYST DOG TRAINING & BEHAVIOUR EXETER MARCH 2017