First, after a long time in the melting pot, our latest major article “Demographics and Comorbidity of Behavior Problems in Dogs” has been published to the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. It was a Herculean task to analyze hundreds of answers on 4114 completed dog surveys but with the stalwart assistance of our technical and engineering guru, Tufts graduate Ian Dinwoodie, we got it done. Thank all of you who participated.
The next venture, as you may remember, is to start analyzing the “treatment study.” The data acquired during this study is even more formidable than it was for the study above -- but don’t worry, we’re up to the task. When it is complete, this latest major study will shed light on the most appropriate type of trainer or behaviorist to seek when faced with a canine behavioral issue. It will also elucidate the most effective behavior modification program to use with specific problems – basically what works and what doesn’t work – what is the maximum level of improvement that can be anticipated and how long it normally takes to get there. In addition, we asked questions about ancillary treatments that may or may not have been used and that may or may not be helpful. I refer to behavior modifying medications, such as Prozac and CBD (cannabidiol), and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and reik
Another news item is that our already intrepid and well-qualified team has now been joined by superstar Kimberly Greer PhD of Prairie View A&M University, Department of Biology, Prairie View, TX. Kimberly has extensive research experience and has been successful writing research grants to the likes of the AKC and NIH. With her help, we hope to be able to properly pitch our canine lifestyle enhancement ideas and future research studies to the requisite funding agencies. With her “on board” we gradually build up momentum and rate of discovery as funding permits.
Although a little off topic for the Center for CANINE Behavior studies, I recently did a talk to almost 100 rescue pundits on cat behavior at the wonderful Ayrshire farm in Virginia, just West of DC. Although the topic was cats, the theme was rescue and groups like greyhound rescue were present. In return for my speaking at their quarterly meeting, the host will donate to CCBS and, good news, I have been asked back to talk on canine behavior in the Fall.
Who knows, in future we may be able to extent to become the Center for Animal Behavior Studies to continue our studies across the species. Cats, horses, and birds would be on the agenda. All it takes is love – and funding – to make our dreams for animals a reality. The dream that pets should all have a home for life and no be surrendered to shelters when things get rough. Proper understanding of the issues, their solutions, and realistic expectations would go a long way toward this goal. Our strategy is proactive as opposed to reactive. Please join us and visit our upgraded website. Donate if you can. Sustaining members who give a modest monthly amount to keep our home fires burning here at CCBS are very much appreciated. Enjoy the Spring, what’s left of it. I will speak with you again mid-summer with more news of our progress.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman