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INTERVIEWS

 

Are you interested in discovering the latest facts and information about well known people or celebrities and how they either work or share their lives with dogs and other pets? Why not browse through our up-to-date collection of some of the most interesting people we have had the pleasure of being able to interview.

Dr Barbara Fougere, Veterinarian, Author, Lecturer.........

Charlotte Reeves, Pet Photographer

 

Interview:

Kate Mornement has always loved animals and been fascinated by their behaviour and decided to become an Animal Behaviourist. Kate runs her own consulting business called Pets Behaving Badly and writes for various print and online publications including That's Life! Magazine (The Pet Whisperer). Here Kate takes time out to answer a few questions for us........

Q.    What made you decide to become an animal behaviourist?
I decided to become an animal behaviourist for lots of reasons. Number one - I love animals! Secondly - I have always been fascinated by animal behaviour and how an animal's environment influences it's behaviour. Thirdly - I worked in a pet shop for a short time and found that many people did not understand why their pet behaved the way it did, especially when the behaviour was problematic. I was constantly giving advice and realised their was a niche for this kind work - helping people and their pets.
Q.    What do you think are the most important things people should consider when selecting a new pet?
The most important things people should consider when selecting a new pet are: Can I provide the animal with an appropriate environment? Do I have the time to devote to the care and training of the animal? Can I afford the costs (food, vet bills, boarding etc) associated with caring for the animal? Can I commit to the long-term care of the animal? If the answer is 'yes' to all these questions, then the research should start to help them decide what type of pet is best suited to their lifestyle.
Q.    What's the first piece of advice you would give someone who has a new pet?
Ideally I would give the person advice BEFORE they got their pet. The advice would be to research as much as you can before deciding on the pet that best suits your lifestyle and living situation. A pet is a long term commitment and by doing lots of research before choosing your pet you are more likely to make a good choice.
Q.    What's the number one thing most people misunderstand about their pet's behaviour?
The number one thing that most people misunderstand about their pets is why they behave the way they do. Animals do things (behaviour) that gets them what they want. If a behaviour isn't rewarding it is less likely to be repeated. Most problem behaviour that is ongoing has been inadvertently rewarded by the owner.
Q.    How important is a pet's surroundings i.e. backyards etc?
A pet's surroundings is incredibly important! Most pets, including dogs, cats and parrots, evolved to live very different lives to the one we provide for them in a domestic situation. These animals need opportunities to express normal behaviours to ensure they don't develop behaviour problems.
Q.     Why do you consider that obedience training is one of the most important things a dog owner can do with their dogs?
Obedience training is so important because it teaches dogs appropriate behaviour. It also socialises them to different people, dogs, children and situations. This helps to ensure dogs remain friendly and sociable. Obedience training should be ongoing. In the wild, dogs learn appropriate behaviour from their pack. As their human pack, it is up to us to teach our dogs appropriate behaviour.
Q.    You have owned many pets, is there any one in particular that had characteristics and personality traits which stood out from the rest?
All of the pets I've owned have had their individual personalities from a soft and cuddly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Lucy to a rough and rambunctious Rainbow Lorikeet called Oscar. I would have to say that out of all the pets I have owned my Boxer Archie stands out from the rest. He has such a strong personality and makes me laugh every day. I have learned so much about animal behaviour from him and I look forward to learning so much more.
We would like to thank Kate Mornement for taking the time, out of her very hectic schedule, to answer our questions and hope you, our readers, found the interview as insightful as we did. Carol and Monika

 

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