I work on behalf of various vets in the south Cheshire area, conducting home visit consultations to help owners understand more about their dog and give the advice and support to deal with or manage the behavioural issue presented.
What is a Behaviour Consultation?
The behaviour consultation takes place in your home and lasts about 1.5 ~ 2hrs. During the initial consultation a detailed history of your dog is recorded, the presenting behavioural concerns discussed and the problem behaviour assessed. This is to highlight the motivations and reinforcements behind the behaviour so a modification program can be devised, explained and demonstrated.
To deal with any behaviour problem the most important question is to ask “why?” why is your dog behaving this way? The behaviour itself is the dogs way of communicating to you something is wrong.
Often people want to deal directly with the behaviour exhibited – such as a bite, the bark or the chewing. But this is often the end result of the chain reaction process, it is vital that we deal with the causation factors, so developing a dog that doesn’t need to respond in a particular way or by developing a more appropriate, positively associated, behaviour for the dog to exhibit instead.
Corrective, harsh methods do not work and this has been documented and proven many times over across the world. These methods more often than not make the behaviour worse or develope other coping mechanisms in the dog that result in other sociably unacceptable behaviours.
By understanding why your dog reacts or acts in a given way is often a surprise to many owners, “I just thought he was naughty” or “I thought that’s what all dogs do” are common responses during a consultation. Providing the knowledge and tools to an owner to manage and dela with behavioural issues can in some cases be life changing and allow the owners to help develope the true potential and enjoyment of their canine companion.
Common behavioural concerns we deal with are;
• Separation Anxiety
• Aggression – towards other dogs or and people
• Vocalisation – Barking, whining
• Fear and Phobias
• Over excitability
• Toileting Issues
All behaviour consultations are conducted either following a veterinary referral or discussion with your vet.