by Dr. Nicholas H Dodman, CCBS Editor in Chief
Memorial Day is behind us, the sun is shining brightly and the official start of summer is only a few days away! Summer brings thunderstorms and many of our dogs are deathly afraid of storms. According to our recent demographic study, 14% - that is, almost 1 in 6 dogs - are storm phobic to be precise. Knowing the prevalence of a behavior problem is important in putting the problem into perspective. Knowing who to approach and who is best equipped to deal meter out the best treatment advice – is another important aspect. That is the logical progression to the next study which in the works right now. All the data is in and the analysis has begun. It shouldn’t be too long until we are able to tell you who is best to see with any behavior problem, what program works best, and what outcome can be anticipated.
This has been the natural progression of our first major two studies. The first study was designed to see how an owners' personality affects a dogs' behavior. The second study looked at the precise prevalence of all common canine behavior problems, and the third will identify where owners should go to address the problem with the best chance of success.
From the third study, we hope to construct an algorithm so that the owner of a dog with separation anxiety, for example, can be directed to a qualified person who uses a modified desensitization program, perhaps with environmental modification. Further, the owner can be informed to anticipate a 70-90% success rate over a period of 2 to 3 months. Knowing who to see, what to do, and factoring in the likelihood of success will take a lot of the guesswork out of trying to find help for your dog and potentially save money by doing it right the first time. We think this kind of approach can literally save lives, help dogs remain in their home for life (our mission), and make life a lot less stressful for owners by making their dogs more livable.
We have other studies in the wings just waiting to go once “the treatment study” is complete. These major studies are time consuming as well as expensive to run. To keep our user base informed meantime, we are planning smaller questionnaire-style studies to fill the gaps between our major studies. We plan to execute one of these studies every 3 months. We would like to thank all of you who have participated so far and hope you will continue to participate in future studies and learn from the results that we share in press, on our website and on our Facebook page. We even have an Instagram account now!
Before I close, I remind you as usual to help us fund our work. We are a not-for-profit organization so any donations are tax deductible. I wish you all a very happy summer. Keep yourselves and your dogs safe. Remember, do not leave your dog(s) in the car on hot days. Always keep fresh water available for your pooch and provide a place in the shade for him (or her) when the sun is high. That way everyone will be safe, and your dog will literally have it made in the shade!!
Dr. Nicholas H Dodman
Editor in Chief