Animal Behaviour problems are not the same as training problems. In practice I often see the most obedient, highly trained dogs or cats that unfortunately suffer from anxiety and so may display Behaviours that their owners find problematic.
Unlike a Dog Trainer, I have the skills and training required to expertly diagnose underlying psychological problems and am able to prescribe medications (if necessary).
The average initial behaviour consult usually lasts about 2-3 hours. Depending on Coronavirus restrictions, the majority of these first consultations are carried out as a home visit.
During the consult we take time discussing your pet’s past experiences, the problem behaviour and their environment to allow me to make an initial determination. We then discuss the prognosis, target goals and strategies to modify that behaviour as well as any medications that might support our objectives.
After the session I will thoroughly document the case and provide you materials including instructions, techniques and goals to begin implementing at home. In our next session we have a quick “debrief” on progress and any challenges you faced before progressing with our strategy. Behaviour is all about teamwork. My aim is to ensure you feel supported and confident at all times.
It depends on the problem! Behavioural problems are usually quite complex and chances are, if you have come to me, you consider it to be significant. Experience shows that a collaborative approach involving smaller, gradual goal setting and achievement is the most effective way to make a lasting behavioural change. For those of you with children, you will know what I mean!
I prefer to see my patients on an ongoing basis to work through the behavioural modification process together. This prevents you feeling isolated or burdened and helps me to provide the most current, targeted support.
Most behavioural problems involve some ongoing work at home.
All animals are different. Some behavioural problems are extremely hard to eliminate and the prognosis depends on a number of factors. In almost all cases it should be expected to see demonstrable improvement even if the target problem is not entirely eliminated.
We discuss your pet’s prognosis and agree a target outcome during consultations.
Yes! I often see dogs that are aggressive to both other dogs and also people. Special care and attention is required, but I do not believe it fair to apply a surcharge just because of their particular condition.
I currently do the majority of my initial consultations via House Calls (Covid restrictions dependent!) Follow ups are performed either via Zoom or in person as required.
Yes. Prior to the initial consultation, I will need a referral from your GP Veterinarian.
I will also provide you with a basic questionnaire to complete prior.
I see a wide range of behavioural problems. The most common include:
• Urine spraying/ inappropriate urination in cats
• Aggression in cats and dogs
• Overgrooming in cats
• Barking dogs
• Thunderstorm phobias
• Separation issues
I am extensively experienced in managing a whole range of behavioural problems, as well as providing instruction and support on preventative behaviour management.
I most often see dogs and cats but am fully qualified in many other species (birds, reptiles, rabbits even your pet fish!). If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss.
It depends! Lots of patients do not need medication – but this is almost never used in isolation. In many cases medication is essential to reduce an animal’s anxiety levels and enables them to learn as part of a behavioural modification program.
As a fully qualified and practicing Veterinarian, I am able to write prescriptions as required.
BVSc: I am a degree-qualified Veterinary Surgeon, registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
BSc (Hons): I hold a first class degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare
MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour): I am a member (by examination) of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. This is a further qualification which demonstrates an in-depth knowledge in a certain subject (in my case Behaviour)