SHANNON COYNER BA, RVT, CPDT-KA, KPA CPT
Puppy Class- why it is important and how to implement it
- Technicians can play an important role in helping puppies grow up to be happy, healthy adult dogs. By educating clients and other hospital staff members on important socialization periods and fear periods they can encourage clients to socialize their puppies properly. In addition, if Technicians encourage or offer safe puppy classes in or around their hospital, they help puppies learn to love to come to the hospital and potentially increase hospital income.
- Basic training techniques discussed as well as socialization guidelines.
- Discussion of the risk of diseases in puppies (such as Parvo) and how to minimize them as well as the significant benefits of puppy socialization.
- Materials and discussion regarding presentation of basic puppy care to clients regarding common issues such as chewing, barking and crate training.
Implementing Behavior in General Practice
- Implementing behavior education in the hospital is a very important job of the Technician. Technicians can educate clients and staff about critical puppy periods, how to recognize fear, anxiety and other behavior issues and how to prevent or resolve it. When a hospital has a staff that can recognize behavior issues and can help the client resolve the issues in a humane matter, everyone wins.
- Discussion regarding using behavior to decrease stress in the veterinary office.
- Discussion of how to assist clients in reducing stress for their pets during veterinary visits and at home.
- Discussion regarding recognizing dog body language to identify stress, fear and anziety.
Increase your behavior knowledge- why do trainers do what they do and why animals do what they do
- Managing, correcting and resolving some behavior issues can be simple if the technician understands basic learning theory and how to implement it in the hospital. The technician can educate clients and staff on how to help resolve and prevent common behavior problems
- Introduction to understanding the basics of classical conditioning, operant conditioning and desensitization.
- Discussion of the current trends in training regarding positive reinforcement versus correction based training methods.
Fear to Fun- making scary people, places and things- fun
- Everyday veterinary hospitals see shy, anxious and fearful dogs. In many situations these fearful dogs appear aggressive and dangerous. By teaching the dogs that a situation can be fun rather than fearful, they can become safer and easier to handle and can improve the quality of their lives.
Understanding body language (k9, feline, equine, avian, exotic)
- Unfortunately, animals do not speak our language but they do have their own language. By learning how to understand what animals are truly “saying” we can work with and handle them in a more humane and easier way. When a technician understands these animal communications, they can approach them in a more empathetic manner.
Operant conditioning for all animals (Tag teach)
- Operant conditioning is commonly referred to “clicker training”. By understanding the basic under lying theory of this practice the technician can more confidently use the practice and educate clients on why this type of teaching is a more humane and valuable training technique. This type of teaching is not only valuable for animals but humans as well.
Making vet visits fun
- Veterinary hospital visits do not have to be scary for pets. With a few simple steps technicians can decrease injuries and stress (on the animals and the humans) and can increase client compliance.
Understanding potty accidents
- Housetraining for puppies and new dogs and inappropriate elimination of dogs and cats are commonly seen in veterinary hospitals and are not always understood. When technicians know the right questions to ask and how to educate clients, they can help clients resolve these problems and keep animals in their homes.
Preventing bites in the vet hospital
- Bites in hospitals can be prevented if the technicians and staff understand how to read body language and how to prevent or manage potential bites in the hospital.
Why kitten socialization and training is important
- Kittens often get forgotten when it comes to socialization and early training. Cats and kittens can be taught and benefit from socialization just like puppies do. Technicians can educate clients and staff on ways to help a kitten become a happy, well socialized cat.
Shy cats can have fun too!
- Cats can be taught just like dogs can. Technicians can help teach clients how to teach their cats to overcome fears even when they are adults. These techniques can help cats overcome fears and improve their lives.
How to talk to your clients about behavior
- Discussing fear, anxiety, aggression and other behavior concerns can be challenging and emotional. If technicians are more confident discussing these concerns, the clients are more likely to work with their pet. Being able to communicate the concern appropriately is the first step towards getting the pet the help it needs.
Behavior made simple (reward/ignore/prevent/ manage)
- Teaching an animal does not have to be complicated. By teaching clients the “behavior basics” a technician can help improve many common “inappropriate” behaviors they see in practice every day.
Can animals get PTSD?
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a complicated and often misunderstood disorder in the human and animal field. By understanding this disorder, technicians can understand why fears and anxiety appear and how they can be managed.
Why do dogs get so scared?
- Fearful dogs are everywhere these days, but why are they so fearful. By understanding fear periods and how a dog may process the fear will help a technician prevent and mange dogs that are experiencing fear.
What does positive reinforcement training really mean?
- Many people believe that positive reinforcement just spoils can animal (or person) but if done correctly, it motivates and encourages animals to do “the right thing”. By understanding how and why positive reinforcement works, it become clear why commonly practiced punishments do not.
How to help puppies and kittens that require confinement during their socialization period
- When puppies and kittens are injured, it can affect how they relate to the world and they can develop in appropriate behaviors due to lack of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Technicians can teach clients how to prevent problem while these animals recuperate so they will be healthy, well behaved adults.
As a RVT, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP with a Bachelors in Biology, I am willing and able to present additional topics upon request.