For Vets

Working with vets to improve the lives of dogs and their owners across Country Durham. 

I strongly believe in the importance of collaboration between behaviourists and veterinarians to benefit their clients and their dogs. Choosing a behaviourist can be a daunting task, but the establishment of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) has made significant progress in this field. However, we need to move forward and regulate the animal behaviour industry to ensure the safety and well-being of pets. Currently, it is not illegal for unaccredited or unqualified individuals to offer behaviour services or call themselves ‘behaviourists’. But it is imperative to consult with qualified and accredited professionals to achieve positive outcomes and avoid any negative consequences.

I follow the APBC Code of Practice, which requires me to work on veterinary referrals only. To get started with my services, a veterinary surgeon can refer a client to me either by completing the downloadable APBC Vet Referral form available on this page or by sending an email directly. In case a client reaches out to me directly, I will ask the vet to sign the veterinary referral form before proceeding with any services.

Behavioural Services FAQS

How quickly will my dog's behaviour issues be resolved?

Canine behaviour can be highly complex, and there is no quick fix. You can see results early on, but you must work on your dog's daily training for real long-term benefits. There are so many factors to take into consideration when working on behaviour problems, and we have mentioned some below:

- Your dog may be genetically predisposed to behave a certain way. Are you aware of this, and do you know how to channel your dog's behaviour into acceptable activities that meet their needs?
- How long has the problem behaviour been going on?
- Your dog's early experiences (or lack thereof) at under 16 weeks of age will significantly influence their behaviour as an adult.
- Has it escalated or developed into other problem behaviours?
- What has your dog already learned from exhibiting this behaviour?
- Have you inadvertently rewarded the problem behaviour in the past?
- How has the problem behaviour been dealt with in the past?
- What is the underlying reason for your dog's behaviour? For example, your dog may have a medical condition, or their diet may be causing or contributing to the problem.

How much time and effort you can put into helping your dog is crucial to behaviour modification. Behaviour modification can take many months, so are you willing to change your daily routine to help your dog? Are you able to commit to an intensive training programme? Is your dog in an environment where you feel you can improve things? Can you ensure that the training is delivered consistently? Can you increase your dog's mental and physical exercise as a critical programme part? We are here to help you, guide you, and offer the best advice, but you must put work and commitment into your dog.

Why do you do behaviour consultations on vet referrals only?

Behaviour problems in dogs may arise directly or indirectly from concurrent or previous medical issues. Therefore, veterinary involvement is essential in eliminating organic causes of the problem and prioritising the diagnostic and treatment strategy in any given case. Some Pet Insurance Policies will cover fees for behavioural consultations referred by your vet, so check your policy.

The referral is required because your pet must receive a complete medical check-up to rule out the many other medical problems that can cause behavioural changes (liver disease, neurological disease, chronic pain, to name just a few).

How do I get a vet referral for dog behaviour help?
There are a couple of ways this can happen. Your vet may recommend us if they believe your dog may benefit from behaviour modification. If they do, they will need to sign our referral form, or you may contact us directly for an appointment, in which case we will send you the form for your vet to complete. The referral form is on our website.
Will you speak to my vet about my dog’s behaviour?

Under Data Protection laws, we need your permission to do this. Still, if we felt a health issue was involved or that the behaviour modification may benefit from veterinary intervention, we would contact them. After completing the consult, we will send the referring vet a summary of our advice.

Can I claim the cost of behaviour treatment on my dog’s insurance?

As Vicky is a Clinical Animal Behaviourist and full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, you may be able to claim back your dog’ behaviour fees via your pet insurance. In most instances, your insurer will pay our fees minus your excess. Please contact your specific insurer before booking a consultation to determine if such cover is included in your policy.

It is standard practice for clients to pay a clinical animal behaviourist direct who will then provide a receipt for service so that this can be claimed back from the insurance company. Due to the nature of our service, payment is required before the consultation as we offer a service, not a product and a service cannot be returned.

I have a multi dog household, do I have to pay the fee for each dog?

Your behaviour programme fee covers all the dogs living together in the same home. We do not charge per dog. 

How much does it cost?

The three-month programme fee is £320.00, payable once you have decided to book the service. We can accept payment in two separate instalments and can discuss this with you at the time of booking.

It is standard practice for clients to pay the behaviourist directly, who will then provide a receipt for service so that this can be claimed back from the insurance company.

Due to the nature of our service, payment is required before the consultation as we offer a service, not a product, and a service cannot be returned. Again, this is standard practice for registered clinical animal behaviourists.

After three months, we offer follow-on support for a fixed fee of £50.00 monthly.