Surely you have wondered: why does my dog behave like this? Why is it dominant with some dogs and submissive with others? What does it mean when it barks? Well, the answers to these and many other questions in regard to canine behavior are in Ethology. Specifically, the veterinary clinical etiology practiced by veterinarians specializing in clinical Ethology.
Ethology is a multidisciplinary science, a branch of behavioral biology, which studies the behavior of animals in their natural environment. In summary, Ethology is the study of how animals behave and what the origin of their behavior is. And yes, as the animals that we are, people are also studied by ethologists.
Ethology: A necessary science
Ethology has been gaining importance over the past decades as dogs have continued to make their way into our homes, becoming loving members of families around the world. Precisely for that reason, canine Ethology has increased in its study. Scientists have continued to study the social behavior of dogs and how they interact with other members of their species as well as their human counterparts.
Among people, communication is rather easy as we can communicate with speech, gestures, body language, etc. It is relatively simple because we are animals of the same species, although despite this, we do not always understand each other, and occasional conflict arises. But what about the communication and relationship between humans and dogs? The cognitive system used to communicate behavior, feelings, and opinions is much different than human-to-human communication.
Through time, dogs and people have grown more closely in their existence together. This has created a deeper understanding between the two species, however, we usually make the mistake of thinking that our dogs think, reason, and feel in the same manner that we do as humans. This causes us to ignore what the dog is really trying to tell us, which can lead to unwanted behavior in the future.
By studying Ethology, we can understand our dog’s needs at a deeper level and get to know their way of thinking and reasoning. For a happy and cohesive coexistence between a human and a dog, a mutual understanding must be maintained; in addition, it is important to understand how a dog interacts with its environment as well as its external stimuli.
When should we go to canine ethology professional?
It is usual to go to the ethologist professional when living with the dog has become a complicated matter. There are many cases of behavior issues that may arise: separation anxiety, aggressiveness, inappropriate elimination, fears and phobias, hyperactivity, problems with other dogs, changes in behavior, and eating disorders, to name just a few.
Ethology looks for the cause of the behavior of the dog using the field study in its natural environment. In the case of domestic dogs, their natural environment is, in part, the house where they live since it is where they spend most of their time. In the same way, in general, it is related mainly to people or to some other dog if there are more four-legged members in the family.
If your dog is displaying behavior changes and the vet is not able to determine the cause of the behavior change, you should consider paying a visit to a canine Ethology professional as they can provide you with a deeper understanding in regard to the dog’s unwanted behavior. In addition, they can usually recommend a proper course of action that you can take to correct the unwanted behavior in your canine companion. With a little patience and determination, you and your furry friend will be back to a peaceful co-existence in no time.
Is a balanced coexistence between People and dogs possible?
Of course, it is. The principle of this great coexistence is simply that the person is interested in understanding the dog. Just as we act in a certain way for a specific reason, dogs do the same, with the difference that they cannot speak to us with words but with body language. And this is where the ethologist comes into play.
Like all science, it requires a lot of study, dedication, and experience to solve situations that require a deeper understanding. In any case, the first thing to do is to analyze the dog, review its medical history, talk with the owners, and observe the behavior it has in the environment where this unwanted behavior occurs. If the place where the unwanted behavior is occurring is at the dog’s home, surveillance cameras can be used so as not to condition their behavior.
Once the study stage is completed, a detailed diagnosis can be made. As a result of the study of behavior, it can be identified as the consequence of a disease or ailment that the dog is going through. Understanding those reasons is very important because it means that we understand our dogs. From the diagnosis, the ethologist establishes the guidelines that must be followed to work on behavior modification.
Dog Training And Canine Ethology
Canine Ethology is particularly important when it comes to training your dog. Some professional dog trainers have completed courses in canine Ethology, which provides them with a deeper knowledge as to how dogs react to different stimuli around them. A deeper understanding of canine Ethology can help you to train your dog while keeping its instinctive needs in mind. This will allow for a happy and productive training session; encouraging your dog to want to continue with training in the future.
Thanks to the study of canine Ethology, you can now distinguish between instinctive, natural behavior, and behavior that is caused by an underlying problem or illness. If you believe your dog is suffering from an underlying illness, it is best to take your furry to the vet to receive proper treatment.
Canine Ethology is particularly important in cases where your dog has behavior issues or engages in unwanted behavior. In many cases, owners are not aware of what sort of behavior they should expect from their dog, and they do not properly understand their dog’s needs or instinctive behaviors. This lack of understanding can cause tension between the dog and the owner, leading to an unhappy co-existence.
We hope that you found this information to be helpful! If you have any problem with your dog’s behavior, it is best to seek the help of a trusted professional as your dog may be suffering from an underlying health issue. A trusted professional will be able to thoroughly assess your dog and give you the necessary steps to correct your dog’s issue. Good luck!