ANS 424 2011-03-21 to 2011-03-30 BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS/ BEHAVIOR MODIFICATIONS Problem Frequency a) Dogs 1. Aggression 35% - Dominance Aggression 20% - Sibling Rivalry 5% 2. House Soiling and Marking 10% 3. Separation Anxiety 15% 4. Uncontrollable 15% 5. Excitability 5% 6. Fearfulness 5% 7. Barking 5% 8. Stereotypies 5% b) Cats 1. House Soiling and Spraying 50% 2. Aggression between Cats 10% 3. Aggression to People 5% 4. Household Destruction 5% 5. Hyperactivity 5% 6. Stereotypies 10% 2 Source: Small Animal Practice, Ontario Veterinary College Dominance Aggression in Dogs a) Factors Affecting Dominance - Inheritance (degree varies between breeds) - Physical weight, size, color, sex, age, stage of heat...) - Hormonal (testosterone and H-Y antigen) - Learning (petting, mounting, games, a person backing away from a growl) b) Signs of a Dominant Dog (most common) - Resists standing over, hand over head or back - Resists disciplined and responds in aggression - Protects food, toys, sleeping place, members of its social - Shows prolonged eye contact c) Treating Problem - The dog must learn that nothing in life is free. He must learn that you control all valued factors and that he must earn food, attention, touch, exercise and freedom. - Consistent training is essential. - Train the dog to sit, stay, come, down, down-stay, and heel, in that order. The 20 min. down-stay, without the trainer present, is the most important to accomplish. - Avoid any confrontation which the dog might win. Do not discipline the dog. - Remove all valued assets (toys, bones, etc.). This shows the dog that you control his toys. - No games, dog win all games they play. Winning a game increases the dog's dominance. - Feed the dog only when he responds to a command. - Do not touch the dog for several weeks. - Do not allow the dog to sleep on beds or other furniture. - Exercise the dog, on leash, for 15 minutes every day. 3 Territorial Aggression in Dogs a) Causes - The intensity of the territorial drive is inherited. - Territorial aggression can be augmented by learning (i.e. aggression drives people away - the mailman). - Dominant dogs are more likely to be territorial. - Females can be as territorial as males. - Territorial aggression is augmented by excitement. b) Signs - Defense of territory (car, house, etc.) - Generally expressed near puberty. - Aggressive dogs may be friendly on neutral territory. - Aggression is frequently observed simultaneously with a fear component. c) Treatment - Confine dog in a cage, room or on a leash when people come to the door. - Train - Control - come, sit, stay - Quiescence - Counter condition by diversion and reward - Systematic desensitization to someone coming to the door - Train dog to sit quietly some distance from the door - Successively train to sit quietly when doorbell rings - Bell rings, door opens and closes - bell rings, someone enters who dog knows stands inside and leaves - the bell rings, stranger enters, stands and leaves, etc. and reward the dog for sitting quietly under control. If dog breaks at any point, stop and start over. - Castration does not help. Sibling Rivalry (Competitive Aggression) a) Factors Affecting Sibling Rivalry - Two dogs are not allowed to establish the pecking order because a kind owner punishes the bully. 4 b) Signs of Sibling Rivalry - Very vicious fighting which may continue for long periods and is usually triggered by competition for: owner's attention, food, toy or sleeping place. - Generally, these dogs are littermates, males and of near equal dominance. c) Treating Problem - Determine which of the 2 dogs is most likely to be dominant. This would be based on who is the aggressor, size, age, health...etc. - Don't punish the aggressor, but reward. Ignore sub-missive dog. Owner must be dominant over both. - Set up frequent situations when owner pets and praises dominant dog and lets submissive one come into room. It may be necessary to start dominance training with both dogs together on neutral territory (i.e. park). Once dominance is established on neutral territory, then gradually repeat in the home. - One must be careful not to stimulate aggression between the dogs - the fights can be severe. - Always feed, exercise, praise and pay attention to dominant one first, but feed separately. - Castration of both dogs may be of some value. The castration of one dog does not reduce aggression. - Keep dogs together when owner is away. All toys and food should be removed during this period. - Give dog, which is most likely submissive, pro-gesterone and subject both dogs to above training. House Soiling and Marking a) Causes - House breaking - ineffective or lack of proper training. - Urine territorial marking - urine, stool, ground scratching. - Separation anxiety. - Fear. - Excitement - hyperactivity. - Supersubmission. - Diet - too much, inappropriate diet, compulsive eating. - Diseases - polydypsia, gastroenteritis, cystitis. - Inbreeding. - Early experience. - Attention-getting behavior in older dogs. 5 b) Treatment - Prevent all defecations and urinations in the house. - The dog must not be loose in the house unless under supervision. - Owner should know how to detect pre-eliminative behavior. - Confine to a small space when not under observation. Train dog to a large cage. Do not use cage as punishment. No food or water should be left in cage. - Reinforce proper behavior - take dog outside on a leash to eliminate at the same convenient location each time. Praise the dog whenever urination and defecation occurs at the correct location. - Punish the dog for urination or defecation in the house only if you catch the dog in the act. - Clean and mask odor (moth ball crystals on carpet). Clean every other day with pinesol soap or dettol if soiling has occurred on tile. Separation Anxiety a) Causes - Dogs are social animals and form strong attachments to other dogs and people. - Puppies usually show anxiety when first separated from their mothers. - Most frequently seen where there is a strong attachment encouraged by one person, who spends a lot of time with the dog and then this routine is suddenly changed. - Owner practices emotional departures and reunions which increases excitement level of dog. - Dog is usually a dependent type, not dominant and often has had a previous separation trauma. b) Signs - Destruction (chewing or digging, licking). - Hyperactivity (pacing, stereotype drooling, etc.). - Hypoactivity and depression (anorexia). - Defecation or urination. - Diarrhea, vomition, constipation. - May show aggression when owner leaves. - Behaviors may be self-rewarding (chewing reduce tension). 6 c) Treatment - Getting a pet for your pet does not usually work. - Punishment does not work and may increase fear. - Tying the dog to chewed objects, or painting them with hot sauce may stop him from chewing them. However, the tension he feels will be redirected elsewhere. - Take the dog for a fast walk on a leash at least once a day. - Obedience train for 10 minutes twice daily. The goal is to achieve a 20- minute down-stay. Reward behavior. - Give the dog an acceptable item to chew, only when you go out (i.e. hard nylon bone). Give the bone to the dog about 15 minutes before you go out, and before you give the dog any cues that you are that you are about to leave. - Everyone in the family should totally ignore the dog for 15-20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 20 minutes on returning home. Reduces excitement before leaving, which reduces tension when gone. - The person the dog is most attached to should totally ignore the dog for a minimum of 3 weeks. - Make a list of the things that you do before you go out for the day (and the destruction occurs), and the things you do before you go out for a short time (and no destruction occurs). Then, mix up the cues. Excitability a) Causes - Inherited, excitability more closely follows the bitch. - Early experience - social and environmental deprivation and excessive exposure to adversive stimuli, particularly during the sensitive period of development. - Play - play may be excessive in the evening if puppy is left alone all day. - Learned - hyperexcitability can be inadvertently rewarded by the owner or the environment. The reward may be in the form of attention or even mild discipline. - Diseases and conflicts. b) Signs - Highly reactive to stimuli. - Constant motion, running, pacing, barking, digging. - Increased metabolic rate, drooling, increased respiration and heart rate. - Excitement may escalate aggressions such as prey, territorial and fear. - Displacement activities. - Excessive greeting behavior. 7 c) Treatment - Excitability generally decreases with age and maturity. - Exercise. - Learning - ignore excitable behavior - pay attention and reward the dog when it is quiet and calm - try to reduce excitable environmental stimuli - train calmness - counter condition - Drugs. Fear a) Causes - Fear behavior is a response to a threatening stimulus which in the wild would protect it from damage and involves a mixture of physical, emotional and physiological responses. - Examples of fear-inducing stimuli: noise, odor, touch, visual (objects, motion, people and certain environments). - Fear is increased by proximity, size, speed, intensity, unfamiliarity and learning. - Fear may develop at any age and has no sex predilection. - Predisposition to fear is probably inherited, with fear to various stimuli being inherited separately. - Early experience - animals deprived of exposure to normal stimuli during critical periods of development. b) Signs - Flight - desire to escape, run, hide, digs, chews and scratches to escape. - Fight - aggression when cornered, bite, growl. - Freeze - may become immobilized when cornered. - Excitability. - Hyperactivity. 8 c) Treatment - Identify the stimulus causing the fear. - One must control the fear-inducing stimuli so that it can be presented at an appropriate intensity. - Desensitization and counter-conditioning - the fearful stimuli is presented at a reduced intensity or for a brief period and the dog is given food rewards for not showing fear. Food is an antagonist to anxiety. The intensity is gradually increased without evoking any anxiety or fear. - Flooding can be used but the stimuli must continue until there is no fear response or it is greatly reduced. Flooding works best for mild fear, but is not commonly used. - If animal is successfully treated, it should be periodically exposed to the fear-inducing stimuli and rewarded for not responding fearfully. - Drugs may facilitate acute correction, but may not work in a non-drug state. - Some global fears may not be correctable and may require continued drug therapy. Excessive Barking a) Causes Barking has many different causes, and because of this, can be an extremely difficult behavior to control. Excessive barking is usually caused by some combination of the following: - Inherited drive. - Learned - by rewarding (mailman goes away) - by attention from owners - by letting in from yard - teach dog to speak for food - Territorial defense (barks at strangers). - Play, chase. - Stereotypic barking - dealing with conflict or stress. - Separation anxiety. b) Treatment - Train - ignore barking - reward quietness - do not reward barking (shouting at dog may encourage barking) 9 - train to come sit and stay, just before barking starts (be consistent and barking will go into extinction) - punishment is not effective unless the timing is correct and it is consistent - Debark shock collars - Shock collar with a vibration detector and a buzzer are very effective if used correctly. - Human activated shock collars are less effective because of inconsistency and must not be used. Stereotypic/Conflict Behavior Stereotypic behaviors are sequences of behavior that are repetitive, consistent in form and orientation, and which do not serve an obvious purpose. a) Causes - Stereotypic behavior is a manifestation of conflict, which can arise from environment induced stress or inconsistent interaction between the owner and the dog. - Some stereotypic behavior may become conditioned. -There is some evidence that the development of stereotypies is facilitated by an inherited pre-disposition. - Stereotypies may originally be specific to a certain context, but may later perform out of the original context. b) Signs - Grooming - flank biting - lick granuloma (large dogs) - chewing front feet (small dogs) - tail biting - scratching self or objects - licking self or objects - Eating - chewing objects - fly chasing - searching - appetite excesses - Locomotion - circling and figure 8 - fence running - digging 10 - pacing c) Treatment - Identify the conflict (difficult). - No discipline. - Obedience training. - Ignore the dog. - Counter condition the dog. - Exercise. - Drug treatment. House Soiling and Spraying in Cats Cats that are house-soiling with urine may be differentiated from those that are spraying by the amount of urine that is released. A spraying cat eliminates small amounts of urine at a time, usually on vertical objects, whereas a house-soiling cat tends to empty his bladder, resulting in a large puddle or wet spot. a) Causes 1. Soiling - Litter or pan aversion. - Too clean - washing pan with strong soap. - Too dirty - not cleaning frequently enough. - Change of pan location. - Change of litter type (deodorant, physical characteristic). - Change of pan type. - Not enough litter in pan. - Litter pan becomes associated with pain or fright. - The cat finds a more attractive material to defecate or urinate on. - Two pans. - Environmental stress (not common). - Disease problem. 2. Spraying - Odor, sound and sight of another cat (competitive stimuli). - The more cats in the environment, the more likely spraying will occur. - Stray neighborhood cats. - Females in heat may cause others to spray. 11 - A frustrating environmental stress or anxiety. - Hormones (androgens) facilitate spraying. - Progestins inhibit spraying. - There is an inherited predisposition to spray. - Cystitis may induce spraying (speculation). b) Treatment 1. Soiling - Address the list of causes above. - Place litter pan where cat is soiling and gradually move to the desired location. - Complete physical and urinalysis in the cat. - Take off dry food and place on low Mg and Ash diets. - Keep cat in a small room with litter and when using it, allow gradual access to house. - If diseased treat. - Clean up areas where cat has urinated or defecated. - Clean carpet and tiles (same as for dog soiling). - Use pure blood meal, moth ball crystals or mouse traps for soiled flower pots. - Keep cat out of a room where soiling took place. - Feed cat on soiled area. - Cover floor area with tinfoil or plastic so the cat will get splashed when urinating. 2. Spraying - Castration of males is approximately 90% effective in stopping spraying. - Spaying usually stops females that spray while in heat; spaying females in the environment of a male that sprays may be very helpful. - Reduce number of cats, particularly the number of males. - Prevent the neighbor's cat from stimulating territorial behavior of resident cats. - Keep cats in the house. - Change the environment. - Cleaning the sprayed area is very useful in preventing spraying. - Remove environmental stimuli which induces anxiety. - Drugs (i.e. progestins, valium). - Check for cystitis, etc. - Reward and punishment are not useful for stopping spraying. 12 Aggression between Cats (Intermale Aggression) - Bite wounds are a common complaint concerning cat behavior and accounts for massive numbers of abscesses which are rarely fatal. Causes: - Inherited. - Learned. - Environmental - male cat population density, female cats in heat, the relative dominant level of the cats and the relationships of the cats. - Hormonal. Signs: - A mixture of threat and physical contact. - Body and facial expressions are offensive. - Usually vocalize. - Face each other, slowly approach and the attack is directed at head and neck (wrestle, bite and claw). 13 Treatment: - Castration. - Drugs, valium, progesterone. - Castration and drugs. - Conditioning is of little value. Psychogenic Problems/Stereotypies in Cats - A very common problem in pet cats. Causes: - Acute or chronic fear, stress or conflict. - Usually environmental conflict with another cat, owner or change in environment. - Hospitalization, boarding or moving house. - Overcrowding. - Some types have been suggested to be a partial epilepsy. Signs: a) Environmental Stress or Conflict - Immunosuppression. - Insufficient grooming and the cat may become matted. - Excessive grooming with hair loss and hair balls. - Not eating and drinking. - Excessive eating and drinking. - Social withdrawal. - Diarrhea or constipation. b) Periodic Agitation - Periodic compulsive body movements (sudden dashes). - May have partially dilated pupils. - Compulsive licking, usually over the shoulder or front legs. - Skin twitch or crawl over the back. - Licking the front leg. - Temporarily freezing in one position. c) Psychogenic Dermatitis/Lick Granuloma - Excessive licking. 14 - Hair loss, usually on the posterior half of the body and mostly on abdomen and inside thighs. - May be bilaterally symmetrical. - Skin may look normal with only broken hairs. - May develop skin abrasions and granulomas. - There may be several somewhat circular raised granulomas on abdomen behind the umbilicus. d) Hallucinations (acute severe, fear or conflict) - Periodic hallucinations. - Cat is normal otherwise. e) Chewing of Tail or Feet or Scratching Face - Sudden attack and aggressive, bites tail or foot. - Usually associated with vocal aggression. - Attacks variable in frequency and duration. Treatment: - Provide the cat its own box to hide in. - Provide its own space away from other people and animals. - Identify anxiety inducing stimuli or remove the conflict. - Change environment. - Drugs: Valium, Librium, Elavil, Haloperidol, Phenobarb. - Counter condition.
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