What To Expect
We offer behavior consultation for dogs and cats. Behavior consultation is a service we recommend to address specific behavior problems. An initial consultation is 1.5 hours long; follow-up sessions are 1 hour long. During an initial consultation, a behavior questionnaire is completed with the client. The purpose of the behavior history questionnaire is to gather important information about the animal’s background, current routine, and the behaviors that are problematic. This is an important first step to understanding what the problem is and how it may relate to, or impact, the rest of the animal’s everyday life. Observation of the animal is also part of this consultation – we will observe how does the animal interact in a new environment, with a new person, how does the animal respond to his owner, what does the animal do when not directed? We’re observing for sociability, responsiveness, confidence, etc.
During the consultation, we will identify problem behaviors and formulate a plan of action. We identify goals that the client has for the animal, and begin to develop a behavior modification plan to address the behaviors. We will begin to demonstrate methods to modify the behaviors. An e-mail with a recap of the training suggestions or suggested behavior modification plan will be sent following the appointment. In most cases, follow-up sessions are recommended. In some cases, a class or day training may be recommended in addition to follow-up sessions. We also included appropriate video or book references when applicable. A follow-up phone call will be made within 2 weeks of the last follow-up session. Behavior packages should be used within 3 months of purchase/start date.
Please understand, for many problematic behaviors, we need to meet several times to work on the training methods, evaluate, and give feedback. It’s simply not possible to meet with a client one time, give the owner all the information needed to solve the problem and send him on his way. Behavior modification takes time, consistency, and effort. Follow-up sessions are included as part of an overall package so that owners can get the coaching and feedback they need during implementation of behavior modification techniques. Keep in mind, if you have waited months or even years before getting help for a behavior problem, it is unrealistic to expect that it will take just one or two sessions to undo.
Lastly, you can be assured that the training methods we use to modify behavior are humane and backed by scientific research. We believe in using methods that are safe for owners to implement at home and will not be harmful physically or emotionally to your pet, nor harmful to your relationship with your pet.
UPDATE: As of September 1, 2016, we are no longer taking on new “in-home” behavior clients except for those with significant behavior challenges which inhibit their ability to be seen at the school. Behavior consults and lessons will be seen at the training school (or in home if necessary) on Fridays. Please be sure to call or e-mail ahead to book an appointment. Most behavior issues can be addressed through lessons at the school.