Frequently Asked Questions
What is a veterinary behaviourist?
Veterinary behaviourists are qualified veterinary surgeons who also have additional training in clinical behaviour. This allows them to assess and work with behavioural issues as well as being able to recommend appropriate medications and discuss possible disease processes with the referring vet.
2. Why do I need a veterinary referral to book?
It is very important that physical health is considered when assessing behaviour. Therefore having access to your veterinary notes is very helpful. It is also a good way to start a positive relationship with your primary care vets, and helps us to work as a team. Many organisations such as the APBC also state that having a referral is essential and failing to do so would be in breach of their code of conduct.
3. Can I claim for behaviour referral on my pet insurance?
Often, yes you can! It will depending on when the issues started, in relation to when your policy began as well as your specific policy details about behaviour. Many insurers will cover behaviour work from a veterinary surgeon and/or an APBC member.
4. Can you work with my dog if they’ve bitten someone?
Yes. I am happy to work with any dog. During our video call we will discuss the behaviour in more detail and ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable with an in person meeting. But no dogs will be excluded from getting help.
5. What do I do if my vet cannot examine my dog before referral?
Speak to your veterinary surgeon about why you would like a referral. Often the behaviour seen at the vets will not get better until you have been able to get specialist advice and support. Some vets will be happy to do a referral without clinical exam. I am also happy to discuss with those who are less willing to do so and see if we can come to a compromise.
6. Do you do home visits?
Yes. All my consultations start with a video call element. But clients who are within my travel zone (approx 1hr of OX5) may also choose to have a visit as part of their assessment.
7. Can you still train older dogs?
Yes! You definitely can teach an old dog new tricks.
8. Do you work with bullbreeds?
Absolutely, I actually have a big soft spot for bullies and used to have my own SBT cross who I miss dearly. Any breed, including those of the banned breed list will be accepted.
9. Does my dog misbehave because I’m not a good pack leader?
No. Your dog doesn’t need you to be a pack leader. They need you to listen, to be kind and to be a teammate. Behaviours we often see an ‘misbehaviour’ are usually natural dog behaviours, or attempts to communicate which we are not responding to.
10. Do I need to use special equipment or tools to train my dog?
No. You don’t need anything fancy. The most important ‘tools’ are a willingness to learn and see things from your dog's perspective, patience, empathy and some tasty snacks.
11. How long will I need to train my dog each day?
I will always aim to make training as realistic and accessible as possible. Most people don’t have an hour a day to spend training their dog, and that’s ok. We try to find ways to fit training into time you already spend with your dog, such as during walks. As well as keeping training as simply and efficient as possible, aiming to spend 10-15 mins training 5-7 times a week.