Better Understanding How to Stop Bad Pet Behavior

February 17, 2018

When veterinarians talk to clients about bad behavior in their dogs, says Margaret Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB, researcher at Duke University's Canine Cognition Center and adjunct professor at North Carolina State University, they need to begin to ask about what happened before the bad behavior occurred.

When veterinarians talk to clients about bad behavior in their dogs, says Margaret Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB, researcher at Duke University's Canine Cognition Center and adjunct professor at North Carolina State University, they need to begin to ask about what happened before the bad behavior occurred.

Ask clients what came right before, Dr. Gruen says—that's the most critical thing a veterinarian can ask. If you can recognize what happened, then you can prevent that bad behavior from happening. There are some predictable behavioral signs, Dr. Gruen says, such as dogs panting or putting their ears back. That's when the pet owner needs to intervene, when you see the pet's behavior start to change.