Dear Daisy Dog
Emily, our 2-year-old chow, escaped from the groomer and ran loose for a month. We found her, but now she refuses to walk on a leash, and she is overly protective when people enter the house.
My husband’s job requires long hours, and I recently had back surgery, so neither of us can work with her as much as we’d like. How can we help Emily get back to her old self?
You are very fortunate to have been reunited with Emily. By now, I hope she has settled into her old routine.
If she hasn’t, the fastest and easiest way to modify her behavior is to work with a behaviorist.
Dog behaviorists may be veterinarians or non-veterinarians.
A veterinarian who specializes in behavior will work with you and Emily on behavior modification and prescribe medication if needed – much like a psychiatrist.
A non-veterinary behaviorist, more like a psychologist, can help with behavior modification but cannot prescribe medication.
If you choose to go this route, get a referral from your veterinarian to be sure the behaviorist is adequately trained and, if possible, certified in animal behavior.
Best wishes for Emily’s speedy rehabilitation.