SFVS’s Sophia Yin, DVM, an animal behaviorist, is profiled in the March 2009 issue of Veterinary Practice News. An excerpt:
For a decade, Yin has built a cottage industry on animal behavior: She teaches her training methods to clients and their pets. She developed a dog-training system for the now-defunct Sharper Image, utilizing her positive-reinforcement method of “training by treats.”
She frequently presents behavioral seminars at professional conferences. She serves as a consultant to such groups as the Santa Barbara Zoo, where she used behavioral training to help the zoo’s lions relax.
She has been published widely, including a stint as pet columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, and has written several books. Her most recent book and DVD, “Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats”(CattleDog Publishing, $149), is aimed at helping veterinarians and support staff better approach their furry clients. It grew out of her teaching, as she found that even the best-intentioned people sometimes lack an understanding of how to approach animals.
“If you went to a physical therapist and they just grabbed you and shoved you in a chair, you wouldn’t trust them,” Yin says. “And yet, that’s what we do with dogs and cats all the time. We just move them. Nobody ever taught us the right way to do it.”
Through it all, her timing has been good.
For practical reasons, veterinarians have shown increased interest in animal behavior over the past several years. Understanding behavioral cues can help veterinarians recognize health problems and provide more safe and efficient care, says John Ciribassi, DVM, immediate past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Veterinary care goes much more smoothly for all involved if the animal is not under stress; even test results are more reliable and representative in non-stressed animals, Ciribassi says.
Read the entire article: Profiles in Medicine // Problem Solver
Related: SFVS’s Behavior Department