Behavioural problems in dogs arise for many different reasons, and many different factors may be involved. Gaining a good understanding the impact of these factors and why they cause your dog to behave in certain ways is crucial to successful long-term behavioural change. Merely trying to stop an undesirable behaviour by trying to coerce your dog into suppressing it is unlikely to be successful in the long-term, and may actually worsen many behavioural problems.
The behavioural consultation process addresses behavioural issues and problems - things which would not be taught and covered in a normal training class - including any type or form of aggression or inappropriate behaviours towards people or other animals, fears and phobias, such as fear of fireworks and other loud noises, house-training problems in adult dogs, separation problems and stereotypical (obsessive) behaviours. Inevitably the majority of behavioural referrals involve aggression in some way, whether it is directed towards people, other dogs or other animals, and Helen is experienced in all types of behavioural problems in dogs, and is knowledgeable on most breeds. When aggression is involved, it is very unlikely that an owner - even a well-informed one - can resolve the problem without professional help and attempted treatment of behavioural problems by unqualified, unregulated practitioners (who often use outdated, unproven methods) can easily make behavioural problems worse or result in new behavioural problems emerging.
The APBC and ABTC requires that treatment of behavioural problems requires referral from a veterinary surgeon. This is routine procedure, but an essential one to ensure obvious physical causes are ruled out and that the veterinary surgeon is kept informed of all behavioural problems and treatment regimes. Referral can made on paper (via a short referral form which is completed by the vet). However, vets may also refer to me verbally or by email. Don't worry if you have not discussed the problem with your vet, or have not yet obtained a referral - this can easily be arranged after you make contact.
Consultations take place in your own home (if I cover your area).
1. If not already done, veterinary referral is obtained. Physical health, injuries and illnesses affect behaviour. Veterinary referral is required by all reputable behaviourists' governing bodies and membership associations so that any obvious physical contributory factors are ruled out, or I am made away of them prior to treatment of the behavioural problem. Referral can be by means of my referral form, letter, email or fax.
2. You will be sent a behavioural history questionnaire to fill in and return, along with your referral.
3. An appointment is then made for the consultation at your home. The lead time varies depending on location and current workload but can be between 3 and 6 weeks. If your case is urgent (ie involves significant aggression that may result in injury to someone or something else in the same house) I will do my best to fit you in as an emergency.
3. The behavioural consultation itself usually lasts between 2 and 2 1/2 hours, during which a behaviour mofication plan is drawn up and demonstrated. Payment for the entire process is made to me at the end of this session (see below). If you have pet insurance, you may be able to claim at least part of the cost back - if you wish to - and a receipt is provided to attach to your claim.
4. Within 7 days of the consultation date, you will be sent a detailed written report (usually by email, but by post if this is not convenient). The report is also sent to the referring vet.
5. Follow-up if needed is then normally provided by email free of charge for one month. If a second session is requested (which is very unusual), then this is charged separately.
See the Downloads and Forms page for details of how to complete the paperwork, how to prepare for your consultation and whether I cover your area.
For information on methods used see Methods.
Consultation fee (covers the entire consultation process including report):
Two or more dogs in household (you require help with - or the case involves - two dogs) £230
Three or more dogs in household (you require help with - or the case involves - three dogs) £270
(all plus the callout charge by postcode)
By phone or email: free of charge for one month following consultation.
Ad-hoc support by email/phone: £20 per hour or part
Home visit: £40 per hour plus callout charge (local postcodes DT9/10/11, BA8, SP7/8)
Email support retainer: £30 per month (paid in advance)
I accept cash and cheques (Made payable to Helen Taylor Dog Training and Behaviour) or instant bank transfers (please ask for details).