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Behaviour Problems

dog barking image

What constitutes a behaviour problem? It's not always that easy to answer because what some owners find acceptable behaviour with their dogs and cats, others do not.

Owners do not deliberately set out to create behaviour problems with their pets. However, sometimes, despite their best efforts, things can go wrong. In addition, people assume that their pet will ‘grow out of it’ but in reality this does not happen. The sooner a problem is addressed the easier and quicker it is to resolve.

There are numerous types of problem behaviours with dogs and cats but the most common I treat are:

 

Dogs

Cats

Aggression (towards their owners, other dogs or strangers)

Spraying in the house

Over-boisterousness

Nervousness

Excessive barking

Aggression to people

Destructiveness

Aggression to other cats in the home

Loss of house training

House soiling

Nervousness

 

Phobias (fireworks, thunder, traffic)

 

 

When a pet’s behaviour is causing problems or just not meeting the owner’s expectations, there are three choices available.

 

1. Improve / Modify the pet's behaviour.

2. Do nothing and continue to live with the problem.

3. Part with the pet.

 

 

My Methods

The methods I use are based on a deep understanding of how dogs and cats think and what causes changes in their behaviour. I NEVER do anything that involves hurting or frightening animals. This is why vets and rescue centres are confident in referring their clients to me.

Unpleasant methods such as shouting, hitting, choke chains, prong collars (these have metal spikes that dig into the dog’s neck), electric shock collars, throwing rattle cans or water bombs at the animal, none of which are necessary.

Any such behaviour inflicted on an animal by humans, is nothing more than physical and mental abuse!

This ‘old fashioned’ approach invariably creates more problems than it solves and so is counter-productive in the long run. In addition, it usually renders a resolvable problem totally impossible, especially in cases of aggression.

 

What does a Behaviour Consultation Involve?

Allow me to explain what happens when you book a behaviour consultation with me.

Prior to the consultation I will send you (usually via email) a questionnaire about your pet(s) that needs to be completed and returned to me; no later than 48 hours before I’m due to see you.This is so that we do not have to use up the consultation time in order to gather the routine but necessary information.

We arrange a date and time when I will visit your home to meet you and your pet(s) and assess the problems. We will take your dog(s) for a walk or trip to a local park if this is where problems can arise and will be included in the fee. My visit usually lasts 2 – 3 hours, depending on the severity and/or complexity of the problem.

Then we discuss an individual behaviour plan for you to work to with your pet(s). I will explain and demonstrate any practical exercises or management techniques where necessary. This is because I need to be sure that you are able and confident to put these things into practice when I have left.

Once the plan has been set in place, you keep in regular telephone or email contact to discuss progress and how the plan is working. If you do not and you have a problem or just a question, if I don’t know I can’t give you further advice and help.

 

**Please note**

Improving your pet’s behaviour will require time, effort and commitment. There is no such thing as a ‘magic wand’ that can teach your pet(s) new ways to behave; only you can do that. I will give you the very best information and support, but it is down to you to implement my advice and follow the behaviour plan.