MY DOG HAS ABNORMAL AND REPETITIVE BEHAVIOR

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My dog has abnormal and repetitive behavior: have you noticed that your dog performs a repeated action. For no apparent reason, for example, licks the floor and does not react when you call or interrupts briefly before resuming excessive licking? What can you do? 

MY DOG HAS ABNORMAL AND REPETITIVE BEHAVIOR

And if it was a stereotype?

After excluding any medical reason with your veterinarian, it may be wise to think of what is called a stereotype. This term refers to a repetitive and invariable behavior, with no apparent purpose for the animal. It is a symptom that can be seen in multiple behavioral pathologies and can be expressed differently by individuals and even by animals.

What are the possible causes of stereotypies?

Among the different causes of stereotyping, we can distinguish situations that cause anxiety, frustration for the dog, or a conflict. These situations are often the result of a change in the dog’s family situation:

departure of a member or arrival of a new member of the family or an animal,

a lack of interaction between the dog and his owner,

a problem in how to punish the dog when the situation requires it,

or even scary situations for the animal.

For these disorders, the cause is often multiple, and it is not uncommon that the reason that has caused the stereotypical behavior is different from that which maintains this behavior in the animal.

What type of treatment for the dog that stereotype?

To increase the likelihood of reducing stereotyping, the veterinarian should opt for a behavioral approach focusing on changing the dog’s actions, controlling the environment by the owner, and eventually medications tailored to the original stereotyping condition. It recalled that it is essential for the owner to ignore the dog when it performs its stereotypical behavior as this could be interpreted as a reward and reinforce the behavior that one seeks to eliminate.

What are the sources of stress?

Observe and identify sources of stress and remove them from the dog’s environment as much as possible.

If the stress caused by the arrival of a newborn or the adoption of a new companion, we will not seek to eliminate the source but rather to desensitize the dog so that the situation is no longer stressful for him. Desensitization is the process of exposing the animal to the stimulus that triggers a negative reaction-here, stereotyping-starting at a very low intensity to advance until it no longer expresses an adverse reaction when exposed to the same stimulus.

In addition to anxiety problems, most dogs are not stimulated enough and do not spend enough energy physically, which often leads to behavioral issues. Think of new ways to increase your dog’s physical activity!

As you walk longer with this one, you will make it happier. Besides, it will also benefit you because I remind you that the WHO recommends to walk thirty minutes daily to stay in good health.

Laying with his pet, supplying him with smart toys (Kong, Busy Buddy …) and frequently adjusting them, registering him for agility lessons, going to other dogs are necessary acts that can restrict or remove your companion’s unwanted behavior.

Is insufficient punishment a stress?

Inadequate punishment can also be a source of anxiety and reinforce the animal’s disorder. During the first weeks of treatment, it is essential to set up daily workouts. It is based on the command-action-reward system, referring to orders that the dog already knows well, and providing the reward every time the dog responds correctly.

If the dog does not meet as we wish, we deprive of the reward without punishing. These simple training sessions will reassure the animal in its interactions with its owner.

Finally, the veterinarian may also prescribe drugs to reduce anxiety, mainly substances that act on the serotonergic system, insisting that the effects of drug treatment can not observed before 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. The doses will reduce as the symptoms disappear.

In summary, in canine myths, the diligence of the patient and the veterinarian, as well as the accurate recognition of the causal factors, are essential in care success.

The combination of behavioral therapy and anti-anxiety medications is the most appropriate approach when treating this type of case.

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