You're Not Alone!
We love our dogs, but sometimes they just drive us nuts with some of their more "personable" qualities. Nearly every dog owner has had, at one time or another, behaviour problems to deal with. These problems can range from housebreaking to separation anxiety, or they can be more threatening issues like aggression or jumping on children. For more information on aggression click here.
All behaviour problems have solutions other than just ignoring them and hoping they will go away. Some solutions are more difficult to implement than others, but as long as the owner is consistent and patient there can be significant progress. It does not matter how old the dog is, the behaviour problems can be cured!
There are many books and trainers out there that advocate exercise and medication as the best solutions to cure behaviour problems. Medication should ONLY be used as a last resort and under direct veterinarian supervision. For example, rehabilitation for aggression issues can sometimes take a few months, but rather than go through the work necessary to make an aggressive dog a happy dog, some owners turn to medication as an easy "way out." Medications have side effects, and often if you take the dog off the drug, the initial issues get worse for a short time as the dog goes through withdrawal. Exercise is essential in having a well-behaved, manageable dog; however it is often not a direct cure. It is just a part of the solution.
An example of medication prescribed for aggression, moodiness or separation anxiety is Clomicalm (Clomipramine hydrocloride). The following is an excerpt of the drug's FAQ. This drug is one of the more popular ones prescribed to "troubled" dogs. Note the number and severity of the side effects:
What does the medication do?
Your veterinarian will prescribe a medication called CLOMICALM® (clomipramine hydrochloride). This helps relieve your pet's anxiety and makes it easier for him or her to learn new, positive behaviours. CLOMICALM Tablets have been proven safe in clinical and laboratory studies. They've been approved by the FDA,* which means they meet similar tough standards to those required for human medications. The following adverse reactions have been reported: lethargy/depression, elevation in liver enzymes, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst. For full product information, see product label.
* NADA #141-120, Approved by FDA.
How soon will I see results?
You should notice an improvement within a month or less. CLOMICALM® (clomipramine hydrochloride) Tablets have been proven safe in clinical and laboratory studies. They've been approved by the FDA*, which means they meet tough standards similar to those required for human medications. The following adverse reactions have been reported: lethargy/depression, elevation in liver enzymes, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst. For full product information, see product label.
*NADA #141-120, Approved by FDA."
*Source is Clomicalm's official website
Gee, I know I could learn better if I was lethargic, vomiting and had diarrhea. Pretty bad when the list of side effects is just as long as the product's description. Every drug has side effects.
If you are having one problem or many, they can all normally be addressed in one or two lessons. If part of the solution is to have some obedience training, as it normally is for aggression issues, the obedience is done in conjunction with anything else that needs done. If you are having a problem, big or small, contact Dan.