I spent a weekend (August 2010) at Dr Nicholas Dodman's Well-Adjusted Dog seminar hosted by the Boulder Humane Society. Dr Dodman is a Veterinary Behaviorist at Tufts University. There are only around 40 Veterinary Behaviorists in the U.S. So it's rare we get to see or hear from one directly, and many work with other animals or in research and do not run in dog training circles. Dr Dodman is one of the few. Needless to say, I was excited that he was here!
He covered topics such as Aggression, Fear/Phobias, Compulsive Disorders, Medical Causes of Behavior Problems and Behavioral Pharmacology. While much of what he discussed I already knew, I did learn some new things and have a better understanding of the use of medications in dealing with behavior issues.
One thing I found quite interesting that ties in with the posts I have been writing about the books reviewing the pet food industry is that pet food companies will not sponsor studies on things they don't want to know about – such as the effect of artificial preservatives on dogs and cats. Who wants to fund a study that says anything is harmful or bad for your dog when you use it in your own products? Better to ignore the possibility and hope for the best, I guess. Just goes to show that profit is placed ahead of the best interest of our dogs. Sad, isn't it?
I'll post more about what I learned at the seminar in future posts. Stay tuned!