Behavior problems are the #1 reason why dogs are surrendered to animal shelters. This, in turn, makes behavioral issues the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age! The overwhelming majority of these behavior problems can be either corrected or prevented in the first place. Dogs can be kept out of shelters if the people who love them increase their understanding of dog behavior and training.
According to Dr. Janet Scarlett, Professor of Epidemiology at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, "Many of the pets being relinquished because of 'behavioral problems' to shelters are, in fact, just displaying behaviors normal for their species. Hyperactivity, chewing and digging holes are normal behaviors for dogs. Too many dogs displaying these behaviors are bored, lack physical exercise, or haven't been taught how to behave in the company of humans. For example, they jump up on visitors or children, or they drag their reluctant owners down the street. Many of these 'problems' can be addressed with obedience training and provisions for adequate exercise."
Levittown Animal Hospital is pleased to offer a complete lineup of behavior services to help your canine companions through all stages of life.
Puppy Socialization - for all puppies 7 weeks to 5 months of age
This is a five week class with "rolling admissions" so your puppy can join at any time. Among the commands and topics covered are: Come, Sit, Look, Potty Training, Leave It, Drop It, Easy, Off, Down, polite walking on leash, and problem solving. These classes meet at Levittown Animal Hospital (in the back courtyard when the weather is nice -and indoors when it's not) every Saturday at 12 noon and Monday at 7:30pm. Saturday sessions are led by Mr. Jon Schnelle of Best Friend's Dog Training. Monday sessions are led by Ms. Gabby Marciano, who trains dogs for Best Friend's in addition to working as an assistant at our hospital. For more information or to enroll your puppy, please ask any of our staff or just come to one of the classes.
Basic Obedience Training - for all dogs over 6 months of age
This is a basic group obedience class that meets once a week for six weeks. The program focuses on loose leash walking, basic commands, and general manners with an emphasis on real world distractions. Dogs of all breeds and temperaments and accepted into the program, as long as they're at least six months old and up to date with vaccinations. These classes meet at Levittown Animal Hospital (in the back courtyard) every Thursday at 6pm and are led by Dr. Mary Travers and Mr. Chris Smith of Superpaws Dog Training. For more information or to enroll your dog, please ask any of our staff or call Chris or Mary at 516-249-7297.
Behavior Modification - for adult dogs with specific behavioral issues
Dr. Mark Nunez, our head veterinarian, has a special interest in animal behavior, and is our consulting canine behaviorist. He can help address a number of dog behavior problems including: aggression, fears/phobias, house soiling, separation anxiety, leash pulling, destructive behavior, poor obedience/failure to listen to commands, jumping on people, or excessive barking or whining. Dr. Nunez is available for both at-home and in-hospital behavior consultations.