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5 Life Threatening Behavior Myths of Dogs and Cats

by Dr. Chris

The bad news is that behavior problems in dogs and cats are more common than you think. But the good news is that you are not alone. There are so many resources available today to help struggling pet owners with behavior problems.


So if your pet is having a behavior problem, please get help right away, before it becomes a bigger problem. With that said, here are 5 common myths about pet behavior that need to be corrected:

1. This New Medication Will Solve the Problem

Newer behavior medications for dogs and cats can help, but they rarely can solve the problem on their own. Drugs need to be combined with behavior modification training. Medications are a tool to help solve dog and cat behavior problems, but rarely work when used just by themselves.

2. Any Veterinarian Can Help Me

Many veterinarians have a very basic understanding of behavior, and are not experts. If you are having severe behavior problems with your cat or dog, ask your veterinarian to refer you to a behavior expert. This way you will hopefully be able to solve your pet’s behavior problem quicker.

3. They Look Guilty So They Know What They Did

Pets don’t know how to feel guilty. So that guilty expression you see on them is one of submission, not guilt. Many people assume that it is okay to punish the pet because they know they did something wrong, when in reality they aren’t even aware of why they are being punished.

4. Aggressive Dogs are Just Showing Dominance

This is a totally wrong assumption. Most animal behaviorists agree that dogs that are aggressive do so out of fear, not dominance. Also be careful that you don’t label your dog as aggressive simply because they don’t want to go into their kennel or obey your command.

5. Cats Aren’t Trainable

Cats are trainable, in fact just do a quick YouTube search for cat tricks and you will see that many people have trained their cats to do amazing tricks. You can train them using basic reward techniques and clicker training techniques as well.

Finally remember, that as the owner you have incredible power to shape your pet’s behavior for better or for worse. Be sure you take the time to educate yourself about the basics of pet behavior to become a better owner.

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