Behaviour Consults

Pets' unique needs can cause stress; seek veterinary guidance for harmonious living.

Pet behaviour consultations for effective management

Over the last few decades, our pets have become a close integral part of our family. We expect them to live in our worlds seamlessly, however it doesn’t always work out this way. Our pets have their own personalities, needs and wants that we must acknowledge and seek to fulfil. This is not always obvious or easy to achieve.

This can result in increased stress and anxiety in our pets.

Dr Amanda Ling offers behaviour consultations that can help guide owner’s on how to manage behaviour problems in their pets. Common behaviours that are seen:
  • Dog to dog aggression
  • Dog to human aggression
  • Resource guarding
  • Separation-anxiety related problems
  • Noise phobias
  • Destruction
  • Stereotypies
  • Excessive barking/vocalisation
  • Feline urine spraying
Behaviour consult process

When you book a behaviour consultation, you will be need to fill out a questionnaire at least 48hr prior to your consultation time.

It will take about 20-30mins to fill out and we recommend the whole family participates, as we often get differing responses.

The behaviour consultation will be for 1 hour. The initial consultation is to try to understand the underlying emotions that lead to the undesirable behaviour. This will help you have a better understanding of your pet and is starting point to help manage their issues.

Treatment often involves a combination of:

  • Behaviour modification exercises that aim to change their emotions
  • Environmental changes that help manage their environment to minimise exposure to certain triggers or aid in creating a calmer space
  • Medication (short or long term) that aim to reduce their anxiety to a manageable level so the above treatments have a better chance at working

A basic treatment outline will be formulated in the first consultation.

A follow-up consultation 4-6 weeks later is recommended to fine tune the treatment plan.

The consultations include a behaviour report that summaries the consultation and treatment plan. You may also be sent helpful handouts that have additional information or instructions.

Cost of the initial consultation (1hr) is $250

Re-visit consultation (45mins) $190

Routine check ups

It is recommended your pet has a general check-up prior to the behaviour consult to rule out any other medical condition that may be exacerbating or contributing the behaviour issues e.g. Pain.

It is recommended routine blood and urine tests are done to check for any underlying conditions and also to ensure your pet is healthy if they are to be placed on medication.

If these tests have already been conducted in the last 6 months, please send the results to us. Alternatively, these tests can be performed at our clinic.

Video footage

It is recommended that you take multiple short videos of your dog's behaviour. We wish the videos to be representative of your dog's daily life, reflecting some normal behaviours as well as some of the behaviours you are concerned about (if safe to do so). Videos are a great supplement ; however, they are NOT mandatory for the initial consultation. Videos should be captured as they occur; please DO NOT set your dog up and/or compromise you or your dog’s safety or welfare to obtain a video. You can either submit your videos to MPS prior to your consultation via email or have a device that allows you to share them with your vet during the initial consultation.

Videos may also be recommended to monitor response to treatment. We recommend you install a video camera, especially if it is a behaviour that occurs when you are not home.

Floor plan

This helps us make more specific recommendations to "environmental changes" that are more likely to suit you and your pet. A video walk-through of your home/property is another option. This knowledge is particularly helpful for cat behaviour consultations.

Why is seeing a Behaviour Vet different to going to a dog trainer?

The focus of behaviour modification is very different from obedience training. Behaviour consultation target to understand the mind and emotions behind behaviours. A behaviour consultation is not a replacement for dog obedience training classes. While obedience training is still an important part of teaching your dog good manners, behavioural problems are not the same as training problems. Many highly trained obedient dogs still require a behavioural consultation as their problem is not related to training or lack thereof.

How do I sieve through all the behaviour advice?

Animal behaviourism is a largely unregulated profession. Unfortunately, unqualified and unregulated individuals can oversee behaviour cases, despite the welfare risk to the animal, caregiver and other individuals. Owners seeking help can also become overwhelmed by the various advice given to them or read/seen online.

Animal behaviour science is well-respected and developed. It offers a wealth of valuable information, yet many behaviourists are not up to date or are unable to interpret or apply the principles.

When seeking help, owners should consider relevant qualifications of the behaviourist and their accreditation with an appropriate organisation which assesses knowledge and skills and ensures that the behaviourist adheres to a code of ethics and remains up-to-date with developments in the field of animal behaviour science.

Dr Amanda Ling is a veterinarian with further qualifications obtaining Memberships in Veterinary Behaviour Medicine and as such is highly qualified to give behaviour advice.

Pet behaviour consult booking? Complete questionnaire. Download here
Dr. Scot Plummer

Meet Dr. Scot Plummer


Dr Plummer has always had a deep love for animals and graduated from the University of Queensland with Honours. in his Bachelor of Veterinary Science. After the success of his Brisbane clinic, Dr Plummer has launched Melbourne Pet Surgery with the goal of lowering the cost of high-quality pet care for all Melburnians.

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