Pets can develop a range of behavioural problems over their lives which may not only by inconvenient or embarrassing for you, but may also be impacting on your pet’s welfare and day to day enjoyment. This includes problems such as aggression, destructiveness, inappropriate toileting, vocalisation, nervous behaviour and self-mutilation.
If your pet develops a behavioural problem you should make an appointment with the vet who can rule out underlying medical conditions as well as giving basic behavioural advice. However, if the problem persists then we recommend seeking advice from a recognised behaviourist.
Anyone can call themselves a behaviourist which is why it is vitally important to find someone with the right skills and experience to help you and your pet. Inappropriate or out-dated advice may make the problem worse or impact on your pet’s welfare. The highest level of expertise is provided by a board certified veterinary behaviourist of whom there are only six currently practicing in the UK. This is someone who is not only a qualified vet but will completed at least four years additional training in the subject. To read more about what makes veterinary behaviourists different click here.
Veterinary Specialists: Bristol University- Langford Behaviour Referrals
Dr. Sagi Denenberg runs the behaviour referral service at Bristol University Vet School and possesses the highest level of qualification possible in this specialty.
Sara Davies- Veterinary Behaviourist and member of Association of Pet Behaviour Councillors (APBC). Only has availability for puppy classes (for pups under 18 weeks of age)
If visiting a veterinary behaviourist is not an option or the problem is less severe we would encourage you to find a behaviourist who is a member of either:
- The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) who accredit Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourists (CCAB). The requirements for which include an honours degree or higher in a relevant subject, attending appropriate training courses and at least three years of regular clinical experience.
- The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) who also represents animal behaviourists. APBC members have a relevant degree and two year’s experience or a postgraduate qualification and one year’s experience as a minimum.
To find an ASAB Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) visit http://www.asab.org/ccab-register/
To find an APBC behaviourist visit http://www.apbc.org.uk/help/regions/southwest
These behaviour experts will work to identify the root of the problem allowing the development of a structured treatment plan suitable for you and your pet. It is also worth checking to see if your pet insurance will cover behavioural therapy as many leading pet insurers will now cover for consultations provided by a suitably qualified behaviourist. We have also compiled a list of local behaviourists who may be able to help.
Disclaimer - The behaviourists on this list have been recommended to us by experienced veterinary behaviourist Sara Davies. The practice has no personal experience with these individuals and takes no responsibility for their actions.
Non- Veterinary Behaviourists
Andy Hale- Member of Association of Force Free Professionals
Chrissy Beckhust- Petmatters. Provide puppy and socialisation classes as well as 1 to 1 behavioural consultation. Requires referral for behavioural cases.
Elaine Brooks MSc CABC – Companion Animal Behaviour Counsellor
If you have any further questions or queries on behavioural problems feel free to contact the practice to make an appointment with a vet.