Pet Behavior Expert to Give Two-Part Seminar for Interestedpublic and Veterinary Staff

A veterinarian known internationally for his expertise on pet behavior will address the campus and community on how to correct and prevent common dog and cat behavior problems.

Dr. Rolan Tripp, an animal behaviorist, will give a seminar for the public from 7-9 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 300 W. Drake Road. A seminar the following evening will include community veterinary staff and interested public. Both nights are free and open to the public.

In his first talk, "Inside the Mind and Spirit of Cats and Dogs," Tripp will explore the emotional makeup of pets and how people can understand how pets think. He will look at specific techniques that enable owners to communicate more clearly with their pets.

"This seminar is for anyone who has a relationship with a dog or cat and wants to increase the joy, love and happiness in that relationship," Tripp said.

In order to give the audience a deeper understanding of how dogs and cats think, Tripp will look at the genetic wiring of the brain that explains their behavior. He also will explain how pets behave from an evolutionary point of view.

"Many times friction between pet and human originates from a lack of understanding of how the other thinks," Tripp said. "For example, if the dog has an accident on the carpet, the owner might rub the dog’s nose in it and tell him he is bad, hoping to discourage him from doing it again. The owner is trying to communicate: ‘You have done something wrong. Don’t do it again.’ However, what the dog understands is: ‘You want me to eat my own stool?’" Tripp said it is much easier for a human to learn to think like a pet than it is for a pet to learn to think like a human.

Tripp, a published author, international speaker and instructor at Colorado State, is known for his captivating speaking style and extensive use of body language in his presentations. His engaging lectures are presented in a way that entertains as well as educates.

For the second seminar on Aug. 27, Tripp will give a talk for all interested veterinary staff in the community including doctors, receptionists and technicians. Topics will include understanding the basics of clinical animal behavior, how to select a referral animal behaviorist, and using behavioral techniques to bond clients and pets to a practice. He also will discuss ways to handle difficult situations such as barking in waiting areas and restraining aggressive animals. Veterinary staff are encouraged to attend both the Aug. 26 and 27 seminars.

Tripp, owner of the La Mirada Animal Hospital in California, is a favorite speaker among veterinary staff and students. He drew the largest audience of any speaker for two consecutive years at the Student American Veterinary Medical Association Annual National Symposium. In April, Tripp presented a paper at the International Conference of Behavioral Medicine in Birmingham, England, and he has been invited to speak at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in October.

"There are a lot of people who simply don’t know how to correctly discipline or communicate with their pet," Tripp said. "I am going to explain the mind and spirit of the animal, and how to optimize the relationship."

The seminars are offered as a community service of the Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine.For more information on either of the seminars, contact Rosalie Mittman at (970) 491-1266.