What Is A Behavior Consultation?
No two dogs are the same. Some are easy going and get the gist of what we want with minimal coaching, while others struggle to adapt and go with the flow of their lives. That struggling can present as dysfunctional or abnormal behaviors including:
- aggressive behaviors such as barking, lunging and biting
- separation, isolation, or confinement anxiety/distress
- stressful responses to stimuli such as thunderstorms or traffic
- fears and phobias
It can also manifest as normal behaviors, like digging, barking or pulling on leash, that occur at such intensity and/or frequency that they interfere with normal functioning or create serious safety issues for those around them.
If one or more of these are the types of issues that you and your dog are struggling with, then a behavior consultation may be your next best step.
Behavior consultations are one-on-one sessions where we evaluate and treat your dog’s behavior holistically and functionally. We begin with a thorough intake interview to gain a deep understanding of your dog’s background and current situation. Gathered information will include behavioral history, environment, genetics, diet, health and wellness, family dynamics of all humans and animals involved, and previous training and socialization, as well as an evaluation of your dog and their behavior.
From there we can prioritize your dog’s issues, set some realistic goals and lay out an individualized plan. All behavior has a function. Assessing the function of your dog’s behavior as part of the planning process allows us to assure that we meet their underlying needs alongside replacing the behaviors that are unfavorable to you.
Then we will utilize smart management along with behavior modification techniques such as systematic desensitization, counter conditioning, and differential reinforcement. Our goal is to not only change your animals behavioral response to their situation (their actions), but to also transform their underlying emotional state. All techniques are based in the science of positive reinforcement and creating positive emotional associations.
Structured follow-up sessions, with direct support between sessions, are as important to the process as the initial intake. Your behavior consultant will be available to answer your questions and will expect reports from you between sessions. You will likely be asked to send videos so that necessary adjustments can be made 1-2 days after a session instead of allowing for a week or more of sub-optimal practice.
Additionally, you may receive a referral to your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist if deemed appropriate for your situation.
Please know that changing your dog’s responses in a manner that is both humane and effective can often be a complex and time-intensive undertaking. By choosing to focus primarily on conditioning and positively reinforcing desired behaviors, rather than suppressing unwanted ones, we address the root causes of the behavior, not just provide a quick fix that leaves your dog more stressed and with less options for dealing with it.
Our approach not only lowers the risk of inadvertently increasing fear or aggression, or instigating new issues that may occur through programs that use aversive techniques—it optimizes the likelihood of safe and lasting behavior change thus providing the best quality of life possible for both you and your dog.
Initial Intake $280—Includes an 2-hour intake consultation and text/email support. After your initial intake you will have a better sense of all the factors relating to your dog’s behavior, a management plan to assure training efficacy and safety for all involved, a clear understanding of the training steps required to modify your dog’s behavior, and any suggestions for changes to your dog’s lifestyle or environment that will support effectiveness of training and quality of life.
1-hour follow-up session $140—These are available for troubleshooting and to support you as your dog’s training plan progresses. They also include text/email support.
*A small travel fee will be added to your total cost if the location of the appointment is more than 4 miles from our facility.
Vaccination & Health Requirements:
Click here to view our vaccination requirements.
What to Bring to Your Session:
Click here to view what items you should bring with you to your session.
How to Register:
Please call the front desk at 773-961-8880 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up! Thank you!