Canine Ethology, What Is It?

30 October, 2018
This discipline has helped us to learn how to distinguish normal behavior from signs of illness or a medical condition.

Ethology is defined as the scientific discipline which studies both human and animal behavior. In the case of dogs, canine ethology helps owners, vets, and scientists understand normal animal behavior in order to spot health conditions.

The importance of canine ethology for dogs with behavioral problems

Thanks to canine ethology, you can distinguish between instinctive, natural behavior and behaviors that are caused by a problem or an underlying illness.

As a branch of behavioral biology, the aim of ethology is to study the normal behavior of animals in their natural habitat. However, this doesn’t just focus on wild animals. The domestication of animals has made it necessary to also research the behavior of domestic animals, livestock, etc.

Canine ethology is particularly relevant in homes where there are difficulties. In fact, many owners aren’t aware of what sort of behavior to expect from their dog, nor understand their animal’s habits or needs. This can then cause unnecessary tension between the dog and the owner.

White dog covered in mud

Below are common behavioral concers of owners that can be easily solved with the help of canine ethology:

  • Problems with aggression or destructive behavior.
  • Phobias, fear, and anxiety.
  • Trust problems with other animals and people, as the result of late socialization.
  • Excessively dominant or impulsive behavior.
  • Compulsive behaviors.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Separation anxiety.

Fear of people – one of the most common problems

Fear of dogs and people can result in aggressive or anxious behavior. In fact, these can even get to the point of causing problems in your dog’s health. Nevertheless, Ethology, as a discipline that focuses on animal behavior, looks for the solution to these sorts of problems.

Dog on bed

In particular, the environment that the dog has grown up in, the presence of his mother, and the weaning process are all crucial for their socialization. In turn, this enables them to feel comfortable with you and other animals.

When you go to a canine ethologist for an assessment of your dog’s behavioral problems, make sure that he/she is a professional with an official qualification. Therefore, by doing so, you can avoid any scams.