Special clinics to curb aggressive dog behaviour discussed in Prague

Photo: dimitri c, stock.xchng

A number highly publicised dog attacks has put the spotlight on canine behaviour in the Czech Republic. On Tuesday, a special seminar on the subject was held in Prague, which brought together a number of experts, including vets and psychologists, to discuss how Czechs could enjoy their pets whilst ensuring that their dogs' behaviour did not cause problems for others.

Photo: dimitri c, stock.xchng
So what did those attending the discussion hope to learn?

"Firstly, I'm the owner of one dog - I have a sweet dachshund - and I know how a dog can influence one's entire family. Secondly, we've had to face so many cases of canine "aggression" lately. So I would like how to handle and treat dogs properly."

Veterinarian Michal Cap was one of the experts speaking at the seminar. Does he think it would be helpful for Czech dog owners to be able to receive expert advice in special clinics on how to ensure that their dogs behave properly?

"I definitely think it would be worth it, because we have an awful lot of dogs here in the Czech Republic. And it's obvious that this huge quantity of dogs is bound to mean that there is also a large number of problematic cases, so it would definitely be useful to have this sort of behavioural consultancy centre here."

In Western Europe, clinics that help dog owners to curb their pets' aggressive or problematic behaviour are quite common, but it's a fairly new concept in the Czech Republic. Although Dr Cap can see the value of such services being made readily available here, he is not sure if Czechs would take to the idea of special clinics for dogs with behavioural problems.

"The problem with this type of service or centre is that we need [people with] a lot of experience. But the main problem is that Czech dog owners or breeders are not really aware how this sort of advice could be useful. In foreign countries where they have this kind of consultancy clinic, owners go there and they know that the vet won't be giving their dogs any medical assistance such as injections and operations etc. They will purely be receiving advice on their dogs' behaviour. Despite this foreign dog owners are aware that they have to pay for this type of service. But I think owners here in the Czech Republic are not yet able to appreciate why they would have to pay for this sort of advice."