Scared of thunder? Peeing on the sofa? Hunger strikes? When these happen to a child, we can usually coax them out of it… with a pet it’s not so easy.
Without the power of language, how do we communicate with our troubled furballs, and more importantly, how do we educate them on changing behaviours?
Well, just as us humans might have a therapist, so can our animal friends!
Meet Penaran Higgs, aka The Pet Shrink, a behaviourist and dog trainer who has the power to calm your canines and chillax your cats.
In what sounds like pure wizardry, Penaran’s innate connection to our pets is complemented by a diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling from Southampton University, one of the UK’s most rigorous courses in animal behaviour.
Speaking about her work, Penaran said she strives to explore the root cause of problems instead of just looking at symptoms, so that the end result will be a happier pet, a more confident owner, and a more harmonious relationship between the two.
Penaran said: “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ as each animal and their relationship to their owner is unique, and therefore responsive to different treatment.
“I provide a tailor-made solution using only gentle and kind methods, consisting of a report, with step-by-step guidelines and practical guidance.”
The programmes kickstart with an initial consultation carried out at your home, with you, your pet, and as many members of the family present as possible.
In order to get a full picture, Penaran will then ask lots of questions about your pet’s problem behaviour, their veterinary history and general background, such as what, where and when they eat and sleep, and how much exercise they get per day.
This then leads to preliminary diagnosis and discussions as to how to potentially solve the problem, using only kind methods based on praise, rewards, and trust.
While the procedure sounds too good to be true, Penaran said it’s important to remember that your pet cannot be given a pill to magically make them well-behaved.
Penaran said: “Changes in behaviour will typically take time, the problem may have developed over many months or years and inadvertently been reinforced.
“You will need dedication to stick with the programme and work to make progress.”
For anyone who has had a little terror, you’ll know that work is well invested.
To get your beastie back on the straight and narrow, click here: The Pet Shrink.