11 November 2011

Behaviour problem trends

I was wondering the other day whether dog-dog aggression cases are on the rise as it seems that I have been dealing with this problem a lot more of late.  It has also felt like I've seen more rescue dogs lately too, so I took a look back over my case-load from the past three years.  The results do indeed confirm my thoughts, with my rescue dog cases having increased from 33% in 2009 through to 42% in 2011, and % dog-dog aggression problems with rescue dogs having also steadily risen.  The other noticable trend is an increase in general training being requested for non-rescue dogs (i.e. those owned by the same owner from puppyhood).

I have broken down my case-load into five types of problem: SDS (separation distress syndrome), dog-dog aggression, dog-human aggression, fears & phobias, and general training.  General training includes basic obedience training (e.g. stay, recall, leash-training), general de-stressing, overcoming hyper-arousal, compulsive behaviour and handling problems, teaching acceptable greeting behaviour (e.g. for dogs who jump up, mouth, etc), house-training, etc.  Although the other four problem types may have included behaviours such as barking, destructive behaviour, house-soiling, etc, these are symptoms of each problem type, not the problem itself.

Here's some pretty pie charts to demonstrate:

Well ... it's interesting to me anyway.  What's also interesting ~ or rather, concerning ~ is that bar two, all non-rescue dogs and puppies that came under the 'general training' category had already attended local, general obedience type training classes prior to their owners seeking my help!   

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