Dogs on the Couch with Psychology Suite for Pets; Animal Crackers: Humans Need to Understand Canine Culture

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Byline: Helen Bruce

An animal psychology suite is being created at Birmingham Dogs Home to help humans understand the workings of the canine mind.

The pounds 750,000 centre, in New Bartholomew Street, Digbeth, hopes to find a cure for aggressive, noisy or unstable dogs which may be difficult to rehome or which misbehave with their new owners.

Billed as a new kind of after sales service, experts will handle four-legged complaints including violent streaks, fear of being left alone, howling, barking and chewing things up. Kennels manager John Goodhead said: 'They have a whole variety of problems - they're just like humans.

'We never want to think that someone has a dog from us, they go out and the door and it's bye bye. This we feel is a step forward.

'It's mainly designed to help the dog because that's the important thing. And if the dog's happy so is the owner.'

Animal psychologist Carol O'Herlihy , from Bark Busters, which operates in Birmingham, said humans had to learn to understand dog culture.

'They let the dog run the household, which some dogs can do quite capably,' she said. …