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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 is a trainer that 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. 

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. We then take you through a series of educational materials, set up appropriate management protocols and training exercises. This constitutes your dog's initial behaviour modification protocol.

Follow-up sessions will be scheduled at this time, with notes and feedback supplied as appropriate.

Additional support in between sessions - 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, 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:

Today I was paid the ultimate compliment by Lisbeth Plant, owner of Cowichan Canine. She said I had helped my puppy Daphne (now 6 months old) develop into a really nice young dog. I agree! But of course I could not have done it without the wonderful folks at Cowichan Canine: professional, caring, knowledgeable and a bonus - all with a great sense of humour! Lisbeth, Stephanie, Andrea, Glenda and Steph all continue to help me guide Daphne and I am so grateful for their help, knowledge and kindness and for occasionally talking me down from a proverbial cliff! How lucky we are here in the Cowichan valley to have access to a full spectrum of resources to help guide and develop our dogs into the best they can be! Let the learning (and fun) continue!

Theresa Coles

I just wanted to drop a note and let you know that Jody worked with us and our puppy over the month of August, and she was absolutely excellent. The private training was the perfect choice to address our specific questions and learn about returning to Alberta with the pup, and how to help her adjust. We look forward to more training next summer at the lake! Jody has such a wonderful attitude toward the training, and we felt very confident with our plan for introducing our puppy to Alberta. The introduction to our neighbour dog (the one who charges and barks as his "greeting") was perfect. We did a parallel walk across the green space, then got closer and used treats from me for both dogs. There was no charging, and they are now well introduced and quite good pals already!

Happy Puppy Parent

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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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