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What is a Behaviour Consultation

What is a Behaviour Consultation?

A behaviour consultation is when you consult a behaviour specialist about one or several problem behaviour(s) that your dog is displaying.

Any problem behaviours that involve fear, aggression or reactivity are obvious candidates for behaviour consultations. 

Other issues  are:

  • barking
  • chewing things
  • come when called
  • "dominance"
  • eating inappropriate objects
  • growling and/or biting
  • guarding food, toys, people
  • house training
  • jumping up on people
  • play biting
  • pulling on leash
  • running away
  • separation anxiety
  • shrinking away from petting or handling

It is important that your veterinarian is involved in this process, because there could be a medical issue underlying or contributing to the behavioural issue. At the very least, your veterinarian should be kept informed about the issues you're working on.  

Some dogs may benefit from temporary or longer term anti-anxiety medication to support the behaviour modification programme. 

What is a Behavior Consultant?

A Certified Behaviour Consultant specializes in behaviour modification and has been certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

The Behaviour Consultant works directly with the client, and may do so under the supervision of, or in cooperation with, a more highly qualified professional, like a board-certified veterinary behaviourist.

What happens at a Behaviour Consultation at Cowichan Canine?

The first step is to fill out a Behaviour Information Form and pay the relevant fee. Once this is completed, you will have a one-hour in-person evaluation session, to go over the form and discuss your dog's history, lifestyle and behaviour characteristics.

From that, we discuss and agree your dog's behaviour modification priorities.

The first step of the behaviour modification programme is that we take you through a series of educational materials, set up appropriate management protocols and training exercises.

Lesson notes and feedback is supplied as appropriate, usually after the first lesson and the after further lessons as needed. Further lessons are scheduled as appropriate.

Brief additional support in between lessons - via telephone or email - is available at no extra cost. However, if the problem is complex or time consuming, a charged call or an extra consultation lesson may be necessary.

At the subsequent consultations, usually at 1-2 weeks' intervals to begin with, we follow up on your progress, answer questions you may have, and then progress with the next steps of your dog's customized behaviour modification programme.

All advice we provide is based on the most recent scientific (evidence-based) behaviour modification protocols, which emphasize force-free and reward-based methods.

How long will it take?

It is impossible to predict how long a behaviour modification programme will take, or even if a "cure" is possible, as it depends on many factors, including:

  1. How much time, effort and consistency the owner/handler and family members are able to invest. 
  2. The dog's genetic predisposition for the behaviour.
  3. The dog's learning history, including early puppyhood socialization.
  4. Why the dog is acting out; fear-based problems usually take longer to resolve than regular "misbehaviour" issue.
  5. How long the dog has been practising the behaviour: the longer it's been going on, the longer it will take to resolve.
  6. Which factors and stimuli are involved in driving the behaviour, such as other stressors in the dog's life, other pets or people contributing to the issues, past or present use of corrections, etc.
  7. The owner's willingness to use anti-anxiety medication, if applicable.


Please call our behaviour consultant, Lisbeth Plant, on 250-732-5415.

What's New?
What Clients Are Saying:

Dear Lisbeth, I have just passed my Foundation Programme with my dog Lucky. I just want to mention how much I enjoyed the classes with Karen. She was delightful to work with and I look forward to some more classes with her in the spring.

Maxine Yeomans & Lucky

My dog Evan is so lucky that I attended the Impulse workshop tonight!!! More knowledge was obtained by me in this fun and enjoyable class to help him live a happy and doglfull life with the humans. Thanks Lisbeth for sharing what you know.

Denise Williams

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Behaviour Consultations in the Cowichan Valley area, on southern Vancouver Island, servicing Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Cowichan, Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Duncan, Glenora, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Malahat, Maple Bay, Mill Bay, Saltair, Saltspring Island, Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island and Youbou.
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