What does a behavioural consultation involve?
1. Referral & Client History.
After your initial enquiry, you will be sent a full client questionnaire, consent form and a formal referral and clinical history request will be made to your veterinary surgeon. Please note that behaviour consultations are only taken on referral from a veterinary surgeon. It is advisable to speak to your vet before organising any behavioural consultation. If your dog is covered by insurance it is always advisable to check that your policy covers behaviour work. This is not a stipulation for a behavioural consultation but may alleviate any financial worries.
On completion and return of your questionnaire an appointment will be made for you. If a client questionnaire is not completed then an appointment may not be arranged for you. Most consultations take between ninety minutes and two hours and where possible all members of the household should be present. Some information sheets may be provided during the consultation but it is advisable that you take some notes during your session to assist you in remembering any pertinent points, so have a note pad and pen available (to aid your memory before you receive your full written report) as well as a very high value toy or food treats, you will be advised on what to have available prior to your consultation. We provide a range of alternative items to assess your dog’s motivational choices and have access to an indoor sand school or outdoor secure field. A home visit will be made if deemed more appropriate for your needs.
Due to the nature of some of the presenting problems, behavioural consultations are carried out in the most appropriate location and we will advise you on this. Where dog to dog or dog to human aggression is reported as a problem, these consultations are always carried out in one of our secure locations.If aggressive responses are only demonstrated in certain locations the techniques you will be trained will be practised within our safe environment until such time as you and your dog are ready to progress to a public location. Where there are dog to human aggressive problems, such as territorial related aggression or fear based behaviour then the behavioural consultation will most likely be carried out in your home. Safety requirements must be adhered to and will be suggested before the consultation.
Information and initial advice regarding current UK Law and Insurance will be offered and a referral to a specialist Dog Lawyer may be given if your situation is in need of this support.
During your consultation you will be guided to why your dog is demonstrating the problem behaviour. Where possible, a diagnosis will be offered and a treatment plan will be suggested. Practical handling techniques will also be demonstrated with suggestions for initial home work prior to receiving the full written report. During this practical session additional equipment requirements may also be suggested and a trial carried out. No equipment is advised or sold to you until it has been tested as appropriate to your dogs needs, where possible. Any suggested supplements may be ordered via the clinic or your vet. Any additional therapies that may assist you will also be discussed we can also suggest diet sheets, provide nutritional advice, massage or veterinary laser or acupuncture treatments through our internal referral process.
4. Comprehensive Behaviour Report.
Following your consultation you may receive a full and comprehensive written report covering details of the consultation with a rehabilitation plan where appropriate, a more detailed 'step by step' plan will be available as your rehabilitation sessions progress. A letter outlining the report will be sent to the referring vet and a full report is available for them if requested. Any suggested medication will need to be agreed and legally prescribed by your vet and they will be advised of the pharmacological intervention suggested by our clinical behaviourist. Your vet centre will then contact you when your prescription is ready if they are in agreement with any suggestions. Dean Hart often works with a homeopathic Vet and other complimentary therapists and in these cases the above also applies.
A follow up consultation may be booked and usually we offer three sessions within our behavioural package price, please refer to our charges guide and a rehabilitation trainer will be assigned to work with you. The follow up sessions last around 60 minutes each or as suitable for your dog and they will provide ample opportunity to monitor your progress and discuss any concerns or additional problems you may be experiencing. Further support is always available by telephone or email. It is important to remember that the rehabilitation process can take several months and support is available for you during this time depending on your individual needs ad progression.
If additional services such as acupuncture, massage, vet nurse assessments or other training such as agility or obedience classes are suggested they will be charged at the current scale of fees available at the time of consultation through our internal referral services. At no time does commercial interest influence our internal referral process. For us, welfare always comes before profit.