Predictive Detective Work

May 5, 2021

dog anxious home alone

A dog’s anxiety may begin to heighten long before his guardian’s departure, becoming confirmed when the door is closed and he is left alone © Can Stock Photo / ChandraSekar

I often hear my clients say they don’t understand why their dog is doing this or that, or that there’s no reason or cause for the behavior at all. But of course, there is always a cause for a dog to behave in a certain way, no matter how perplexing it may seem.

Sometimes, to get to that root cause, we have to don our best detective gear because it’s not always easy to figure it out. In this article, I’m going to focus on one such behavior, often described by my clients as “bizarre” or as having “no apparent cause,” firstly because it seems to occur so often (dogs are quick to link cause and effect), secondly, because it actually amazes me how outlandish some of these connections can become, and thirdly, because my young dog has tried and tested some of these connections herself recently.

What I’m referring to is how dogs form links and associations, and ultimately engage in prediction.

(Issue 48, May 2021, pp.40-42). Read article