Are you experiencing behavior problems with your dog? If so, what steps are you taking to help your canine friend overcome these unwanted behaviors? Are you seeing any improvement?
According to a study conducted by Dr. Nicholas Dodman, President of the Center for Canine Behavior Studies, alongside his team,
“85% of dog owners have behavior problems with their dog.”
Shocking, right? 85% is a lot! No wonder almost every dog owner has their own story to tell when it comes to mishaps involving their furry companion.
However, some dogs exhibit far more concerning behavior problems than others. And because of incorrect information or more commonly, lack thereof, many behavior issue dogs end up being surrendered to shelters or euthanized. These unfortunate outcomes are exactly what Dr. Nicholas Dodman strives to keep dogs from.
(Prefer to watch the video? Click the “Play” button below!)
With years of experience in the field of veterinary anesthesia and eventually, animal behavior research, Dr. Nicholas Dodman co-founded the Center for Canine Behavior Studies alongside business and marketing expert, Chris Janelli.
By continuously diving deep into the cause and effect of dog behavior, the Center for Canine Behavior Studies aims to reduce the rate of owner surrender and euthanasia by making humane, research-based solutions to canine behavior problems more available to the general public.
How They Conduct Research
With the Center for Canine Behavior Studies, conducting research involves the help of around 6,000 individuals answering thoughtfully formulated questions that Dr. Dodman and his team compile into a survey.
Dr. Dodman explains in the podcast,
“Our studies are designed with our 6,000-strong member group. We call them “Citizen Scientists” and we send them out surveys to ask them questions to answer the questions that we have.”
One of the earlier studies they conducted was to find out if the personality of a dog owner played a role in shaping the personality of a dog. Using a Validated Human Personality Profile, they found that certain characteristics that dog owners display do influence the behavior of their dog in some way.
Dr. Dodman states,
“If you have certain traits, you will influence the behavior of your dog to the tune of about 10 or 15 percent.”
It’s a very interesting tidbit of information, indeed. And we learned many more amazing facts from Dr. Dodman during his interview with Chris. Check them out below!
Dog Behavior Facts from Dr. Nicholas Dodman
1. “Depressed people are more likely to use punitive methods in dealing with their dog.”
One of the things that Dr. Dodman shared with us in the interview was something called the Beck Depression Inventory, which is a 21-item questionnaire widely used to detect depression. During the study, they found that depressed people, men, in particular, are more likely to resort to harsh training methods when correcting behavior problems in their dog.
If you’re wondering why Dr. Dodman specifically pointed out that men are more likely to do this, he explains in the podcast, “Men and women handle depression differently. Men tend to act out; women tend to absorb and take it more internally.”
2. “If you treat a dog with harsh methods, that dog’s behavior will deteriorate.”
Building on fact number one, Dr. Dodman explains that while he understands that people dealing with depression may have a hard time controlling their emotions and how they react to unwanted dog behavior, he emphasizes that the best and most effective way to correct it is by treating dogs with kindness.
3. “As long as you take your dog to training in the first six months…you’re gonna have a positive impact.”
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the critical period of learning for puppies ends at 14 weeks and therefore, owners must start training their puppies as early as possible so as not to miss the window. However, the Center for Canine Behavior Studies found that it doesn’t make much of a difference whether you start training your puppy at 7 weeks or 5 months, as long as it’s within the first 6 months.
4. “For people who took their dogs to see the vet, a medical condition that was actually instrumental in causing the aggression was found in 13 percent of cases.”
Unlike humans, dogs can only express themselves through non-verbal communication. So if your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet first to ensure that they’re not suffering from a medical condition.
Interested in learning more about dog behavior?
Visit the Center for Canine Behavior Studies website: dogstudies.org
Want to participate in their next study?
Join their research community here: centerforcaninebehaviorstudies.org/friendscorner
Have questions for Dr. Dodman?
Check out Dr. Dodman’s books on dog training and behavior: centerforcaninebehaviorstudies.org/nicholas-dodman
Follow them on social media
Have suggestions for who we should interview next?
Go to innovations.show and let us know!