We are told that the much loved border collie is sent for behavior therapy more often than any other dog breed, according to a survey.
Behaviour therapy sessions treat conditions such as shoe-chewing, aggression, separation anxiety and excessive barking. Therapy can also deal with obsessive-compulsive disorders such as tail-chasing.
Therapists analyze the dog’s history including his or her history as a puppy to try and understand the causes of inappropriate behavior (according to their human caretakers).
Within the top bracket of dogs requiring behavior therapy there are also, Labradors, golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, border terriers and cockapoos.
The veterinary surgeon, Rebecca Cannon, speaking on behalf of the pet insurer RSA said:
“Working dogs such as border collies have been bred to have exceptional herding abilities and are highly intelligent and energetic. But if they are not given a suitable outlet for these instinctive behaviors or not sufficiently stimulated with regular physical and mental exercise, they can become frustrated, bored or anxious.”
She makes the point that breeds i.e. a group of dogs should not be classified as having potential behavioral problems such as hypersensitivity or aggressiveness because dogs are individuals just like people.
A dog trainer, Jennifer Billot, said that poor behavior could stem from boredom.
“Working dogs require a lot of physical and mental exercise. Owners should give positive reinforcement, consistency and a clear message. Tell your dog what to do, as opposed to what not to do.”