"As one of many anecdotes that illustrates the problem with certification percentages, consider the evening of July 24, 2013, when Anant Agarwal, the president of edX, appeared on the Colbert Report, a satirical news show hosted by the comedian Stephen Colbert on the Comedy Central television network. Figure 1 plots day-to-day registration cohorts as a solid thick line and shows that enrollment in HarvardX courses2 more than tripled after the broadcast, with 406 registrations on Wednesday, July 24 (UTC) to 1356 registrations on Thursday, after the Colbert Report broadcast. The numbers of these registrants who ultimately become certified in a course are shown as a thin solid line. The five-day average before the broadcast was 12 certified registrants per day, and the five- day average after the broadcast was 24 certified registrants per day, a doubling of certification numbers."
Full report here: http://goo.gl/9O4n3t
Getting certified sounds like a great idea, it would give you access to a great network and info sharing amongst fellow members. A couple of behaviourists I know spend quiet a chunk of their time giving talks and trying to put seeds out there among dog owners of basic dog relating education and understanding. Trying to prevent later significant problems through education I think, very admirable. Imagine an entire generation where dog biology, behaviour and interaction skills were part of the education curriculum. There wouldn't be any problems left to solve!
Recommending veterinary investigation is also the route my behaviourist friends follow, if nothing else, to make sure that the aggression isn't a result of some health issue that doesn't manifest physically. I've also heard some very interesting accounts of things like single pup litters relating to aggression. Or just plain unexplainable, intense, aggressive responses in very young puppies. Although I've also heard that in some cases, with very early identification and an intensive, high-effort management plan can be controlled and managed over the life of the animal. That's why it's so important for potential owners to scrutinize the parents, pregnancy, and the puppy's behaviour. But there are those very rare individuals that seem like they can't be rehabilitated, and I never heard what the plan was for their treatment or if medication would help.
Psychosis is particularly interesting, although not my area, I have a rather ominous pile of journal articles I would like to get to on that. I'm afraid I'm not much help on the pharmacology side of things either. Although many of the medications we use for human psychosis are often tested on animal models of the same disorder as the first step it's usually rodents and/or apes. And rarely an extensive evaluation of the side effects of such drugs on the health of, specifically, dogs (if at all, the wellbeing of the test animals is scarcely a concern).
But you're talking depression and anxiety. Although they experience these disorders and they are often debilitating, I don't think the prognosis is the same for dogs as humans. Particularly depression anyway. They may have a predetermined level of anxiety, like some people are more anxious than others, but as long as the cause that pushed it to a debilitating level is addressed and maintained, they usually return to a functional level. I think. I think the long term anxiety problems arise when people slacken on the management plan and application to other areas of the animals life, after all, your training the dog to adjust their response from something they've been practicing consistently. There are heaps of cases of dogs requiring drugs specifically approved for treatment of separation anxiety. Personally I would go to this as a last resort, when the health and welfare of the animal is being compromised because of ongoing stress that cannot be alleviated through CBT. And there's no way of knowing in these cases whether it's a genetic predisposition, prenatal exposure, developmental deficits etc. So I guess it's something you, the vet, and the client need to work together for on an individual basis.
I would say definitely dogs and other mammals are not exempt from complications not just with their hypothalamus, but other areas of the brain common to deficits in humans. The extent and resulting neurological impacts is where it gets interesting.
My posts are always WAAY too long, I hope I made sense?
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