CPT-e  Behaviour

Behaviors, problems and disorders


Email : joel.dehasse@skynet.be
Make an appointment online: http://joeldehasse.com/prof/rdv.drdehasse.html


Document for clinical treatment.

Drafting in progress: March 12, 2023

Behaviors are essentially genetically based, modulated by neurological (and by all organic) function, modulated by environment (learning).

Everything is genetic (epigenetics)

The psychobiological element (behavior, motor-pattern, emotion, mood, cognition, sensoriality, personality...) has a genetic basis in quality and quantity (minimal). It cannot be suppressed. It must be satisfied in its need (genetic) part and redirected in its pleasure part. It is impossible to suppress the motor-patterns, the behaviors... genetically programmed. It is impossible to change the personality (the temperament) of a dog (cat, human).

The (genetic, quantitative) ‘need' part can be (forced) reduced by 50% under medication, as long as the medication is administered, and returns to 100% (genetic quantitative) when the medication is stopped. The medication reduces emotional (outbursts) and stabilizes mood, which reduces reactivity quantitatively, making it easier to learn new behaviors.

You can't change a wolf into a lamb, a malinois into a bichon, a border-collie into a couch potato...

You can't make behaviors appear that are not pre-determined by genetics.

Learning and environmental effects

The learning of new behaviors and the reinforcement of adequate behaviors installs memories that are superimposed on (but never erase) genetic, traumatic, and experiential memories: this is operant (counter)conditioning and imitation.

The change of emotions, cognitions, and moods, installs memories that are superimposed on (but never erase) genetic, traumatic and experiential memories: this is associative (counter)conditioning, and habituation by systematic desensitization and/or controlled immersion.

In a healthy animal, learning (re-education) requires numerous repetitions to perfect (conditioning), over a period of 1 to 2 weeks (in no-failure mode) for acquisition, and 6 weeks for long-term memorization.

Everything is functional neurology.

Behavior (or any psychobiological element) is an approximation algorithm (programming, software) inscribed in +60% of the brain, in the (connections between) neurons (connectome).

The (problem of) behavior is 'functional neurological'.

Behavior (as studied in ethology) is an emergence of the neurological structure and function and of the body structure.

Behavioral disorders are disorders (in the function) of the brain (and the central and peripheral nervous system). Psychiatric disorders are functional (and sometimes lesional) neurological disorders.

Anything that affects neurological function (and structure) will modify behavior, emotions, mood... in quantity, sometimes in quality, often in the context of expression.

Functional neurology is modified by:

-hormones: sex hormones (excess, deficiency), thyroid hormones (deficiency more often than excess), adrenal hormones (deficiency, excess)...

-chronic psychological and/or environmental and/or organic stress, which facilitates inflammation

-acute and chronic inflammation, acute and chronic infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic)...

-toxins, toxins

-vascularization and oxygenation

-Psychological and physical traumas (especially head trauma to the brain)

-the influence of the microbiota (dysbiosis), of the gut-brain axis by the ascending parasympathetic

-Inadequate nutrition in quality, poor nutrition (rich in carbohydrates...), facilitating dysbiosis

Field of action of a behaviorist

The behaviorist coach acts on behaviors (emotions, cognition...) by learning techniques and adapting the environment to the animal's needs), on a dog (cat) in good organic (neurological) health, and on a sick dog (cat) with the agreement and the supervision of a veterinarian.

The experienced (and trained) behaviorist coach can suspect psychological and organic disorders/pathologies, and suggest to the pet's owners to refer to their veterinarian or a veterinary specialist for diagnosis (and treatment).

It is illusory, ineffective (and a waste of time) to attempt rehabilitation or therapies on a sick dog (cat).

Field of action of the veterinarian (specialist) behaviorist

The veterinarian performs medical procedures: collection of symptoms, physical examination (neurological, hormonal, immune...) and behavioral, proposal of diagnoses (of disorder or pathology) psychic and / or organic, treatment of pathologies, epigenetic treatment, and advice of therapies, coaching of medical behavioral follow-up.

This examination takes time: first consultation: 30' (if referred by an experienced behaviorist) to 60' (usually) + interventions / follow-up consultations on demand.

The veterinary behaviorist has a vested interest in collaborating with the behaviorist coach in the application of the therapies in the field, and in motivating the clients.

Owner (Re)Education Investment

Owners should:

Change their belief that everything (behavior problem) is related (in reaction) to external factors, or traumas, or child non-treatment...

Owners should understand that:

-one does not suppress (reduce) the genetic behavioral needs of the dog (cat) (except drug treatment before adolescence): one must satisfy the genetic needs, whether it is of pursuit, capture (biting), retrieving, (play of) fighting, trotting, galloping, jumping...

-we must teach the dog (cat) alternative behaviors in R+, multiple repetitions, for weeks...

-one should not transform a subject (dog, cat) into an object (stuffed animal...)

-we must treat the whole animal in its social and physical environment (holistic medicine)

-we must treat the organic to make the neurological functional, and allow the emergence of better adapted behaviors

This requires a serious commitment, and an emotional and intellectual, time and financial investment.

Translated from French with deepl.com

See also

Guérir les problèmes de comportement… ?

Génétique : la race d’un chien ne détermine pas…


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