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. It can be carried out either at your home or in-clinic. Certain behavioural problems are most effectively assessed at your home, given it is your pet’s primary environment. I can advise at the time of booking.
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 can either come to you or you can come to me!
Certain behavioural problems are most effectively assessed at your home, given it is your pet’s primary environment. I can advise at the time of booking.
For in-clinic visits, I am available at Rose Bay Vet Hospital or Woollahra Veterinary Hospital in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Yes. Please fill in and return the initial assessment questionnaire to me before the consultation. This questionnaire will be emailed or posted to you at the time of booking.
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
BSc (Hons): I also 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)
APBC (Provisional member) – I am a provisional member of the APBC, which means I have gained the academic requirement, but am working towards the required monitored practical experience needed to gain full membership.