Behavioural problems are often the combined effect of many factors, including your pet’s environment and learning. Changes in the environment may contribute to the emergence of behavioural problems. For example, changes in routine, arrival of a new household member (pet, baby or spouse), moving house, or the loss of a family member or pet can have a dramatic impact on behaviour. Any medical or degenerative changes associated with ageing can also cause your pet to be even more sensitive to these environmental changes.
Learning also plays a part in many behavioural problems. Early training and socialisation is essential to have a happy, well-adjusted pet. Punishment of behavioural problems often worsens the situation, and it is very important that professional advice is obtained as soon as the problem appears. Positive reinforcement is the preferred method for changing behaviour, however this also needs to be used carefully as it can encourage undesirable behaviour if used incorrectly.