In an ideal world…
An ideal dog would be well behaved and part of the family. It should be responsive to commands and eager to participate in family life. Your dog should be sociable with other dogs and people, curious, alert, exploratory and affectionate. In public the dog should be a good canine citizen. If this describes your dog, then you can congratulate yourself on owning a stable and happy animal.
If you’re reading this though, it’s more likely that your dog is exhibiting unwanted or anti-social behaviour. But did you know that you, or your handling of the situation, may be exacerbating the problem?
Dogs may have issues or problems for a range of reasons including prior learning, breed predisposition and lack of socialisation and habituation.
Your dog’s issues or unwanted behaviour is highly unlikely to cease without correct intervention and may even become worse. The longer it continues it is often more difficult to remedy.
What’s involved in a Behaviour Consultation?
- Dependent upon the problem and other factors we may ask you to have your dog undergo a full health check with your vet prior to a visit. This is to rule out any possible underlying medical reason for your dog’s behaviour.
- You will be required to complete a fully confidential Behaviour Questionnaire prior to the consultation. This is to save valuable time during the Behaviour Consultation. Although we may need to clarify certain points with you upon meeting you and your dog.
- Ideally we will visit the dog and all of owners family who live/provide care for the dog, in the environment where the problem occurs. Often, dogs will behave very differently in different locations and with different people.
- My initial assessment consultation lasts approximately 2 hours. Following on from this meeting I will design a behaviour modification plan that you can implement yourself, offering guidance regarding the dog’s management and subsequent treatment.
- Although with more serious behavioural problems follow up consultations may be required, for many of my clients just one visit with some support via the telephone/email is sufficient.
- It should also be noted that, for certain types of aggression, there may not be a total ‘cure’ as such but an overall improvement.
- The problem might however require long-term management strategies.
What’s included in the Behaviour Consultation?
- An initial phone call to discuss and outline the problem behaviour prior to the Consultation (you are responsible for the cost of the call)
- A 2-hour home visit within 10 miles of central Cardiff
- Assessment of your dog and its behaviour
- Teaching you how to resolve issues and manage the dog
- Email support for 12 weeks from the date of the initial consultation
- You will also receive a packet of Feelwells treats and a clicker
(A) Behaviour Consultation at your home lasting 2 hours £125.
(B) Behaviour Consultation at your home lasting 2.5-3 hours £155.
(C) Behaviour Consultation at your home lasting 2 hours with full report for your referring veterinary surgeon £155.
(D) Behaviour Consultation Package comprising of 1st visit 2 hours and follow up visits 2nd and 3rd one hour (one visit each week for three weeks) £195.
Behaviour Consultations prices within 10 miles of central Cardiff. Travel charges will be applicable to visits further than 10 miles from central Cardiff, charged at 50p a mile.
- Destructive behaviour
- Separation problems
- Excessive barking
- Generalised anxiety
- Compulsive behaviour
- Jumping up
- Pulling on lead
- Submissive urination
- Inappropriate toileting
- Geriatric behaviour
- Fears and phobias
- Aggression to people or other animals
How to book
Complete our online booking form with a brief outline of your training issues and I will contact you via email the arrangements for a Behaviour Consultation.
Behaviour Consultations Sessions are usually undertaken during these hours:
- Monday – Friday 9:00am – 6.00pm
Earlier and later weekday appointments and weekend appointments where available are by arrangement.
Barney’s owners were at their wit’s ends. Their much loved puppy had grown up and now seemed to be on a one-dog mission to destroy both their sanity their home piece by piece. And what Barney hadn’t chewed his way through, he’d peed or pooped all over. It had come to the stage where they were almost convinced Barney was doing it all to spite them and were even considering re-homing him when they called me as a last resort.
During the Behaviour Consultation we discussed the possible causes and this helped the owner to understand how it was from her dog’s point of view and to see that, in part, Barney was suffering due to their close bond and his over- attachment. Many of the ways they’d been handling the situation were making things worse, so I suggested a plan of action, including changes to in exercise and feeding regimes. This was coupled with desensitising Barney to the triggers which he had previously associated with being ‘abandoned’.
VERDICT: SEPARATION ANXIETY, IMPROVED WITH ONE VISIT AND RESOLVED WITHIN THREE MONTHS
To the horror of his owners, their gentle Jack Russell Alfie had turned into a teenage hoodlum. Alfie was a lovely boy with people but would bark aggressively as soon as he saw another dog.
His owners had become part of the ‘midnight walkers brigade’ in an attempt to avoid other dogs.
Alfie’s aggression could be traced back to a bad experience when out walking, he had become fearful of other dogs. Alfie had been neutered previously at a sensible 14 months, this was on veterinary advice due to medical reasons. Alfie’s owners had inadvertently contributed to the problem by continuing to expose Alfie to boisterous dogs who were off lead when he was on lead! Luckily this problem had only manifested a couple of weeks early which makes it so much easier to resolve when Behaviour Modification is sought early on. We did some exercises involving the clicker, BAT, systematic desensitisation and counter conditioning. We did a walk together with me handling Alfie and then each of the owners. We arranged a few walks together with my dogs and dogs that I know and trust, and the improvement was impressive. The owners are more confident and better able to read Alfie and potentially difficult situations and Alfie is enjoying his normal time walks once again and has gained trust in his owners once more.
VERDICT: CASE IMPROVED WITH ONE VISIT AND A FEW ORGANISED SOCIALISATION WALKS
Mia was a young, exuberant rescue dog. Owners who lose an elderly dog often forget how lively a young dog is, particularly as they have grown older too!
Mia wasn’t a bad dog, she was an untrained dog. She wasn’t doing things on purpose she didn’t know how she should behave. Once I had explained this and how dogs learn, we started on some basic training and Mia was amazing. Her owners were so impressed and I could see their relationship start to improve immediately. Various husbandry issues were covered and the owners were pleased with the progress made. They enrolled on a training course a few weeks later and Mia was like a different dog. She easily gained her Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award. STOP PRESS Mia has now started Agility lessons and is progressing well.
I received a call earlier this year from Milo’s owners. Although he was generally well behaved, the family were being driven to distraction by Milo’s barking and attacking the letter box whenever the postman came to call. It would take Milo half an hour to calm down and the postman was threatening to cease visits.
I visited Milo at his home and established related behaviour problems that had not even registered with the owners as anything to be concerned about. I quickly got to the root of the problem and, with some simple distraction techniques and after explaining the root of the problem, his owners now report that Milo no longer barks at the postman.
VERDICT: CASE SOLVED WITH ONE VISIT AND WITH CONTINUING TO REINFORCE THE LESSONS I TAUGHT THEM
Roxy had been adopted from a family member, and had lived with the previous owners’ elderly cat until it passed away.
The new owners couldn’t understand why Roxy wanted to chase their two cats who had previously lived with an elderly dog which too had passed away. They had anticipated no problems.
Older animals are calmer and an old, wise cat may be less likely to run and elicit a chase behaviour in Roxy. The same with an old dog, he may be less likely to chase than a younger inquisitive dog. With cases like this the safety of the existing animal is paramount.
I assessed Roxy and she was mildly curious of the cats but not predatory or aggressive. We did some control exercises with Roxy on a lead. Roxy luckily loved the treats more than even thinking about chasing the cats! As Roxy was crate trained she was put in her crate with a Kong stuffed with extremely high value food and the cats carried into the room and placed on the opposite side of the room with some tasty food in their bowls. All animals ate and although the cats kept an eye on Roxy she had no interest in them. A behaviour plan outlining how to proceed was given and a week later I was contacted to say all is progressing well.
CASE SOLVED WITH ONE VISIT AND BY FAMILY CONTINUING TO REINFORCE THE LESSONS I TAUGHT THEM