How to Evaluate a Problem
Evaluating a problem is all about taking a decision in relation to said problem. There exists a pre-established order of steps to take to reach that goal. Before being able to evaluate a problem, tools for measurement of the problem and its impact are required.
The procedure reads as follows:
- Identifying the problem from a series of observations of the dog's behavior.
- Describing the problem, using the data noted on the detailed nature of the problem.
- Applying a re-education technique to counter the effects of the problem.
- Analyzing the results of the intervention retained to solve the problem.
- Comparing the chosen procedure with other possibilities for solutions.
Before proceeding to the identification of the cause, we suggest that you consult a veterinarian so as to determine if the cause originates from a medical problem. There exist many causes for each of the problems discussed here. For cases of aggression, fear, cleanliness problems and destruction, it is highly recommended that a professional be consulted.
It is important to remember that we must not limit ourselves to dealing with the symptoms only, but to go back to the source of the problem. For example, a person has a headache and takes something to get rid of it. However, the person doesn't take the time to find out the cause of the headache. Therefore, there is a good chance that the headaches will recur, until the behavior or situation which causes the headache is remedied. The same principle applies to animal behavior.
To know about the problem is part of the solution. This manual will assist you in your decision-making for the problems you will likely encounter, that is, if you can solve the problem yourself, or if you will require the assistance of a professional.
Each behavior problem discussed in this manual has its own cause. The information it contains will help you to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Before applying a given solution to a problem, ask yourself the following questions:
- How would you describe the problem?
- To what factor can the problem be attributed to?
- When does the problem occur?
- What is the duration and the intensity of the problem?
- Who is there when the problem occurs?
- Which solution(s) have you tried?
- Do you think the problem could be related to the animal's health?
The nature of the information gathered will allow you to determine if you will deal with the problem yourself or if you will refer yourself to a professional. Should you decide to tackle the problem yourself, it would be nevertheless wise to talk to an expert. The procedure we offer aims at giving you a general and graduated approach related to each type of problem encountered, without necessarily going into detail. This guide is a reference tool which shows you various ways of working. Each dog needs a custom-made working procedure, and Multivet´s approach is adaptable to any dog. Some problems can be solved just by dealing with apparent symptoms, but others, such as a fearful and anxious dog, will necessitate going back to the root of the cause which triggered the behavior. It behaves you to find the information related to the category of problem which interests you.