Temple Grandin and Mark Deesing’s paper, “Distress in Animals: Is it Fear, Pain or Physical Stress?”, reviews the most current understanding of two of the most basic types of suffering – fear and pain – only to arrive at an unexpected conclusion: in most vertebrates, fear causes greater suffering than pain.
Just think about that, think about all the times we see pets that are not physically hurt but are scared or fearful!
- Fearful of being alone!
- Fearful of being punished!
- Fearful of being isolated!
- Fearful of loosing safety or security!
- Fearful of meeting a stranger!
- Fearful of meeting or encountering a strange dog!
- Fearful of loud noises or bright flashes
- The list goes on …..
Why are we quick to administer medications for physical pain but not for mental suffering?
If a dog is suffering from fear we must remedy it as quickly as possible. We can either use the appropriate non fearful approach to conditioning a new emotional response and/or administer medications with the help of a veterinarian to help bridge the gap so a behavior change program can work.
We cannot train out fear, it’s not a behavior it is a emotional response!
Choose your professional wisely.