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BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATIONS

All classes and in-person consultations and sessions are currently suspended due to new restrictions in force. Clients with existing bookings will be contacted about deferring their sessions or changing to a video consultation where appropriate.

All new dog and cat behaviour consultations and one-to-one puppy advice sessions, are available live online via Zoom, or Skype.

For a quote or to book a behaviour consultation, please email me with some details about the problems you're experiencing.

HOME VISITS

When restrictions allow, I can offer home visits for behaviour consultations and follow-up, provided that the following conditions can be met:

  • Visits take place outdoors in the clientís garden (using supporting video to show any problems indoors)

  • Social distancing of 2m will be maintained between you and me at all times

  • I will apply hand sanitiser at the start of the session, and will minimise any contact with your property

  • I will minimise contact with your dog or cat, but some contact may be necessary in order to demonstrate training or techniques. If I have touched them, it is suggested that you wipe the pet with a dampened cloth (not disinfectant) before handling them yourselves, and any equipment should be disinfected.

If you don't have suitable outdoor space for the home visit, please consider one of the following options.

IN-PERSON CONSULTATION AT MY PREMISES

For some dog cases - those involving reactivity towards unfamiliar dogs - it may be possible to have the behaviour consultation and follow up sessions outdoors at my premises (Onehouse, near Stowmarket).

This involves being outside and for the first consultation means being fairly sedentary for up to 2 hours, and the weather may not be very kind, so this option may not suit all dogs (and owners!).

This option is not appropriate for dogs that display aggressive behaviour towards unfamiliar people away from the home.

LIVE ONLINE BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATIONS

Where home visits are not possible, Iím using online video conferencing to carry out the great majority of behaviour consultations. (The exception to this is dog cases involving aggressive behaviour towards other dogs where there is no fear or reactivity to unfamiliar people or fear of noises - in these cases it may be possible to carry out the consultations outdoors in my field under social distancing restrictions.)

For all other cases, we will work using a platform such as Skype or Zoom so we speak face to face. From what I see during the session and from any video footage you can supply ahead of the session, Iím able to assess your petís behaviour and diagnose the underlying cause exactly as I would during a home visit, and because the session is live and interactive we can discuss the behaviour programme, you can ask questions, I can demonstrate any training with my dogs, and you can practise while I observe and support you.

As always, I provide full written reports and behaviour programmes, and offer phone and email support for six months while you work with your dog or cat.

As well as protecting us all from the spread of Covid-19, working in this way has some additional benefits:

  • There is no stranger in your home so your pet will show their normal behaviour and they wonít be distracted by me

  • Fearful dogs or cats wonít be stressed by my presence in the home

  • Sessions can be scheduled at times that suit you, to fit around work and family commitments

  • Sessions can be flexible: if it suits, we can have shorter sessions and do more of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions/ concerns regarding video consultations:

Donít you need to observe my petís behaviour in person? I donít always need to see the behaviour ďliveĒ to be able to diagnose the underlying cause, and in many cases it could be dangerous to provoke the problem behaviour, or doing so might compromise the petís welfare. In these cases, even in-person consults rely on you, the owner, describing the behaviour to me and where possible providing video obtained at other times.

How can you train my dog without being here? I donít train your dog Ė you do! This is always the case, whether Iím visiting in person or working via live online sessions. Iíll explain the training and either demonstrate live with one of my dogs, or send you pre-recorded video demonstrations, then youíll practise with your dog while I observe and give feedback. After our live session you will work on the training on your own Ė as with all cases Ė and keep me updated, and I will continue to support you and help you to progress, using email, phone follow up or video calls as appropriate.

What if I donít have the right software or equipment for video conferencing? You donít need much in the way of equipment: an internet connection, a computer with webcam and microphone, or a mobile phone / tablet. You  may already use Skype or WhatsApp for video calls; if not we can use Zoom and I will set up the meeting and send you a link Ė all you have to do is click and follow the instructions.  

My internet connection is patchyÖ If it helps, we can schedule your sessions at times when your other family members are not online and your connection is more stable. If online sessions really wonít work, an alternative is to have a number of phone consultations supported by videos, where you record and send me videos showing your petís behaviour ahead of our phone consultation and I send you training videos to demonstrate any exercises for you to work on, and we would talk through these together. Likewise you can update me with progress videos. We will find a way to make it work so that I can give you the help you need!

I am self-conscious about video conferencingÖ So am I! But I promise it passes. Once we get into our discussions we will be thinking much more about your dog or cat than how we look onscreen!

Still unsure? See testimonials from other clients here.

 

EMERGENCY PHONE CONSULTATION

If you have an urgent issue with behaviour where your safety or the welfare of your animal is at risk, I can offer a "first aid" management and safety phone consultation for £30 (please note that this will only offer short term management advice: it is not possible to adequately assess and diagnose behaviour problems over the phone, and a full behaviour consultation (video session) will need to be booked in order to provide a behaviour modification and training plan). Please email me in the first instance to book this phone session.

 

 

How do I arrange a Behaviour Consultation?

1. First, contact your vet to ask them to confirm that they are happy to refer your pet to me for behaviour counselling, and to forward my referral form (download it here) and your pet's medical history to me. If your pet's behaviour has changed very suddenly, your vet may wish to see them before referring you to me, as sudden behaviour changes can be triggered by illness or pain.

2. Make contact with me via email or phone. Let me know a little about your pet's behaviour. I will advise on the most appropriate approach for us to take, and what this will cost, and I will let you know how to book the first session.

3. If your pet is insured for Vet Fees, my fee may be covered. Please check your policy: many insurers cover costs of referral to an ASAB Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) or member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. If you will be claiming, let me know so that I can provide you with a receipt and evidence of my membership.

                       

 

 

 

 

What happens during the consultation?

The behavioural consultation takes place either in person or via video as agreed between us.

The first behavioural consultation lasts around 2 hours. I'll take a complete history of the pet and the problem and make a diagnosis. If the consultation takes place in my field, the consultation will include some direct assessment of your dog's reaction to other dogs. I will talk you through the treatment plan, demonstrating methods where necessary (using my own dogs if we are working via video).

Following the consultation I'll provide a written report to you (and send a copy to your vet), summarising our discussions and confirming the step-by-step treatment programme.

Please don't expect a magic wand or a quick fix! Behaviour problems are complex and it is essential to address the underlying emotional issues, rather than merely treating the symptoms, otherwise the pet is likely to exhibit more problems in the future. There will be work involved for you, but we will discuss how to fit this in around your other commitments and routines. While I will leave you with some starting points at the end of the first consultation, and there may be improvements in some areas fairly quickly, be prepared for the full treatment plan to take weeks or months to complete.

In most cases your fee will include at least one follow-up session, and may also include some practical training sessions. We will arrange follow-up sessions at a suitable point in your behaviour programme. In these sessions we will review your pet's progress, and if appropriate I'll help you get started on the next stages of your behaviour programme. Follow-up sessions last approximately one hour. After you have completed your "package", additional sessions can be arranged at any point if you feel they would be helpful, and are subject to an hourly fee and travel expenses if applicable.

I encourage you to keep in regular contact so that we can monitor your progress and make adaptations to the plan as needed, in a timely manner. Outcomes are greatly improved when clients provide regular updates. Your fee includes ongoing support via telephone or email support for up to six months after initial consultation.

 

 

 

 

Click here for full Terms and Conditions

 

How much does Behaviour Counselling cost?

A behaviour consultation and follow-up support costs £200-400 depending on the nature of the problem. I offer different packages based on the type of behaviour problem, and the packages are carefully worked out so that they offer enough support to optimise outcomes while remaining affordable to you.

The fee includes:

  • the initial consultation

  • demonstration of handling, management and training techniques

  • written report(s)

  • any necessary communication with your vet (for example regarding further investigation of potential medical problems or prescribing of medication to assist the treatment programme)

  • follow-up sessions and/or training sessions as detailed in my confirmation email to you

  • follow-up telephone / email support for 6 months

  • travel expenses for home visits

Please contact me for a quote for a Behaviour Consultation.

Can I phone or email for advice?

I don't offer any advice for dog behaviour problems (except emergency safety advice) over the telephone, as I don't believe it is safe or professional to attempt to make a diagnosis without seeing the dog, or to offer a treatment plan without a full discussion with owners, and demonstration of techniques.

In some cases I may be able to offer some basic advice over the telephone for behaviour problems in cats, rabbits and other pets. For telephone consultations I charge £30 for up to one hour. There are limitations to the advice that can be given over the phone without properly exploring the history and the behaviour, and in most cases involving soiling or aggressive behaviour a full behaviour consultation including vet referral and written guidance will be necessary to address the behaviour and avoid the risk of worsening problems.

I don't carry out email consultations as it isn't possible to gain a full picture of the problem without speaking to the owner.

Of course you can email or phone me at no cost for a chat about your pet's behaviour and to arrange a full consultation.

 

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