Ethology is the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily adaptive trait. Ethology is a rapidly growing field and understanding ethology, or animal behaviour, is important in animal training. Considering the natural behaviours of different species or breeds enables trainers to select the individuals best suited to perform the required task. It also enables trainers to encourage an animal’s natural behaviours and discourage bad behaviours.
Veterinarians at Hospital Veterinario Bodión-Zafra, in Badajoz, are focused on the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with the handling, behavior, nutrition and genetic selection, of dogs, cats and other companion animals. Many abnormal behaviors exhibited by companion animals are pathology related, such as aggressive dogs towards family members may be caused by joint pain, epilepsy, or by an endocrine disease such as hypothyroidism. Another example includes cats that urinate out of their tray or cats that have alopecia on the abdomen may have urinary stones, etc.
Handling problems, weaning, introducing a new pet into a multi-cat household, teaching hygiene habits in puppies, separation disorders, stress in cats, environmental enrichment in dogs and cats, adaptation to noise and phobias are all examples of this specialty and require the consultation of a veterinary ethologist.