Behavior Treatment and Modification
Pets who act out with any kind of aggression or suffer from fear or anxiety need behavior treatment, not training. Training is only one tool to help a pet become a happy and well-behaved member of polite society. Most pets do very well with basic training only. Pets with emotional issues need more tools.
Behavior treatment is a multi-faceted approach to addressing the underlying emotional state that causes the undesired behavior. For more information, please see our blog post on How to Solve Your Pet’s Behavior Problem.
Initial Behavior Treatment Consultation
Prior to the initial consultation, you will complete a very long (sorry) form that details the problem(s), your pet’s history, lifestyle, and other aspects of their situation that are important. I conduct a full medical examination and in certain cases, also obtain full lab work to ensure the pet doesn’t have any medical conditions that can cause or exacerbate the behavior issue. If there is a medical concern, we address it first. In some cases, that alone resolves the behavior issue!
At the same visit, Jael performs the baseline behavior assessment. We address any safety concerns and provide alternative management strategies to reduce the pet’s fear, anxiety, stress, or aggression. Jael and I discuss your goals and expectations for behavior treatment. Then we collaborate with your family to design a plan that achieves reasonable success.
Some pets need medications to help them achieve an emotional state conducive to learning. However, medications alone will not solve any behavior problem. Our goal is to use medications as little as needed, though some pets with chemical imbalances will require medications life-long.
Implementing the Behavior Treatment Plan
After the initial consultation, Jael meets with your family weekly for 6 sessions to assess your pet’s progress and give you techniques to help change the emotional state associated with the behavior problem. You can read more about these techniques on our post How to Use Science to Make Dog Training Easy. These simple exercises, such as rewarding calm behavior simply by dropping some kibble in front of your dog’s nose as they relax, promote the calm relaxed state we want to see in our pets.
Jael will be coaching you in how to interact with your pet in new ways. You’ll learn to read your pet’s body language for subtle signs of anxiety so you can act earlier to prevent fear from escalating into aggression and other undesired behaviors.
We will develop strategies for helping your pet to cope with the things that cause fear, anxiety, and stress. If you follow our plan completely, you will see marked improvements in your pet’s behavior. And you’ll have the tools and skills necessary to continue that improvement after the behavior sessions have ended.
Sometimes pets do not get along. This is a very stressful situation and can be quite dangerous to all pets and humans in the home. Inter-pet aggression is one of the most challenging behavior problems to treat. We think it is because the current methods are flawed. Veterinarians are trained to pick out the “problem child” and to focus all of their attention on reducing the aggression in that pet. That method ignores the fear, anxiety, and stress suffered by the other pet. The very same fear can lead to the supposed victim pet becoming the aggressor.
A family problem requires a family solution. That is why we created the Dysfunctional Family Behavior Treatment Plan. It’s our unique approach to solving a very difficult, stressful, and dangerous problem for families with multiple pets.
About Our Behavior Services
Our Behavior Team
- Elite Fear Free Certified veterinarian
- Silver Low Stress Handling Certified
- Member American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior
- Member International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
- Member International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management
- Fear Free Certified Trainer
- Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer and Mentor
- Fear Free Certified veterinary professional
- Certified Professional Coach
Jael’s passion for training and behavior consulting also started at home. She has been a dog trainer since 2014 and joined Family Veterinary Mobile Clinic in 2022.
How to Get Our Behavior Services
There are 3 ways to receive our behavior services.
- Current clients simply fill out the Behavior History Form.
- You may transfer your pet’s care to us. Please complete the New Client, New Patient, and Behavior History Forms. If there are aggression problems between pets, please also complete the Dysfunctional Family form. You may return to your regular veterinarian for your pet’s care after treatment if desired.
- Your veterinarian may refer you to us. Please complete the New Client, New Patient, and Behavior History Form, plus the Dysfunctional Family Form if applicable. Your veterinarian will complete the Referral Form.
Behavior Service Pricing
Initial Behavioral Consultation
$95. That fee is applied to the Treatment Package if accepted.
Lab work, if not done within the last 3 months, to rule out medical problems.
Sedation for the exam and lab work if necessary
$175-250 depending on your pet’s weight. This can be done in your home at the initial consultation.
Treatment Package of 6 weekly one-hour sessions
Dysfunctional Family Package for up to 2 pets
Additional sessions if needed
$100 per session
No pet is too old or too “damaged” to improve with proper behavior modification. Even if you have tried training and medications in the past, we can improve your pet’s quality of life with our compassionate comprehensive approach. You and your pet deserve it!