Choosing a Canine Behaviourist
The process of choosing a canine behaviourist is a very important. As dog behaviourists are becoming increasingly common and are as yet unregulated, anybody can give themselves this title and charge good money for their knowledge. It is becoming increasingly important to be aware of who you pay to come to your home and offer you advice on your difficult dog. The practitioner should have a good understanding of canine psychology and behaviour based in specific theoretical qualifications. For instance, an Animal Behaviour degree is not canine specific qualification as it has little or no content dedicated to canine behaviour.
Of equal, if not of more, importance is vocational experience. Having successful extensive firsthand experience of all problematic behaviours in all types and breeds can only come with regular work over many years in this field. Such behaviourists often belong to recognised associations or councils.
As a member of the CFBA Vets can instruct a client to contact myself regarding a behavioural issue after completing a referral form or providing a referral letter. Alternatively, the vet can contact myself and pass the client and case details directly.
My referral form can be downloaded here; K999 behavioural referral form
The CFBA is recognised and accepted by Pet Insurance companies who cover behavioural problems and meets their criteria for competence and excellence. This often means the behavioural consultation costs being reclaimable on the dog’s insurance.
1) After a consultation with your vet to rule out or identify any physical issues or illnesses which may affect your dog’s behaviour the vet can then refer you to me. This requires a referral form to be completed and sent to myself.
2) I will send you a pre-consultation form which is to be completed and returned.
3) We will make an appointment for a consultation at your home (lead time may vary but serious aggression cases where there is a high risk of injury will be prioritised where possible).
4) The behavioural consultation will take place at your home (or at another suitable venue) which typically lasts around 2 to 3 hours. During this your dog’s behaviour will be explained, why the behaviour is occurring and how it can be addressed. Canine communication will also be taught before the practical aspect of the consultation will take place. Here we will go through all of the necessary techniques and routines required to progress your dog through it’s issues. Canine nutrition and diet will also be discussed and explained. Payment is required at the end of this session.
5) Shortly after the consultation a written report will be delivered summarising the session and covering all aspects of working with and progressing your dog.
6) Follow up sessions are available on request although hopefully only the one session is required. Such sessions are charged separately from the initial consultation.