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Behaviour Consultations

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Behaviour Problems in Pets

Our dogs and cats have an important role in our lives; many of us feel that our pets are members of the family.

However, our companion animals can suffer from a variety of behaviour problems, such as aggression, fears and phobias, separation anxiety, house-soiling, destructive behaviour and, for dogs, barking or howling.

These behaviours cause anxiety, stress or embarrassment to the owner, damage the bond between people and their pets, and are usually the result of underlying distress in the animal, so don't delay in seeking qualified, professional help!

Click on the links below for more information about the behaviour of our pets and the problems they can develop.

Dog behaviour Cat behaviour Rabbits & small animals Horses, birds & exotics



How do I arrange a Behaviour Consultation?

1. First, have your pet checked by your vet. Ask the vet to refer you to me for behaviour counselling (they may wish to carry out medical investigations before doing so) and to complete my referral form (download it here). They can send it to me with any significant medical history, or you can keep it until we meet at your behavioural consultation.

2. Make contact with me via email or phone. Let me know a little about your pet's behaviour, and your location. 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 a Clinical Animal Behaviourist 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.



The importance of Veterinary Referral

Because behaviour problems are sometimes a symptom of pain or another underlying medical condition, it is essential that your pet is seen by a vet to rule out medical causes before you begin behavioural modification.

Before making an appointment please visit your vet so that any medical causes of the behaviour problem can be ruled out. Ask your vet to complete my referral form (which can be downloaded here), then bring it along to your behavioural consultation. My report will then be copied to the referring vet to be kept with your pet's medical records.

I will not be able to carry out your behavioural consultation without the vet's signed referral form.


What happens during the consultation?

The behavioural consultation takes place in your home, with as many members of your household as can attend. This is so that I can obtain the fullest possible picture of the problem and see the pet in its normal surroundings.

The first behavioural consultation lasts around 21/2 hours. I'll take a complete history of the pet and the problem, make a diagnosis and talk you through the treatment plan, demonstrating methods where necessary.

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 visit, 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.

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 200-300 depending on the nature of the problem. I offer different packages based on the type of behaviour problem, which are designed to offer enough support to optimise outcomes while remaining affordable to you.

The fee includes:

  • the initial consultation (a home visit lasting 2-3 hours)

  • 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 visits and/or training sessions as detailed in my confirmation email to you

  • follow-up telephone / email support for 6 months

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 advice over the telephone for behaviour problems in cats, rabbits and other pets. If I think it's likely that I will need to see the pet I'll let you know early in the conversation.

For telephone consultations I charge 30 for up to one hour, 10 per hour thereafter.

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.


Website copyright 2019 (Lucy Bingley). Where noted, photos courtesy and copyright of Reed Cottage Photography www.reedcottagephotography.co.uk