Dog Behaviourist Consultations in Bristol

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If you are looking for an experienced, knowledgeable, qualified dog behaviourist then look no further...

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We know first hand how difficult it is to live with a dog who may be guarding items, barking at other dogs, chasing inappropriate objects or showing fear of people…Midnight walks, no visitors in the house and that sinking feeling when your misbehaving dog gets hold of something unsafe; all make life miserable when it should be joyful and full of fun for you and your furry best friend. 

To help you see below the surface of a behaviour issue, Clair will always start with a 2 hour dog behaviour assessment. This is usually carried out in your own home. Clair takes a holistic approach and considers all the factors which may be impacting the problem. This includes your dog's environment, early learning, breeding, health and diet. 

Once she has identified next steps, she will recommend a tailored behaviour programme. Clair won’t just give you a written plan and leave you to it, she will actually help you in the real world by setting up a behaviour programme and regularly supporting you to move you on to the next stages.

In order for you to experience a positive change in your dog’s behaviour we teach you how to read and understand your dog. This includes being aware of the fine details, recognising when to intervene and when to protect your dog from needing to perform a behaviour. Clair works with your vet to determine potential physical causes and to offer additional therapy where required. 

Clair understands the impact that negative associations are having on you and your family. She will help you navigate your feelings during the behaviour programme through detailed and regular communication. She listens, she understands and she helps. 

Clair aims to change brain pathways, therefore her scientific knowledge is essential. With a thorough understanding of brain chemistry, dietary effects, breed needs and owner frustrations combined with her friendly support and empathy, Clair believes she offers an expert service.

Behaviour assessments start at £235.

If you have read to here, Clair would love to talk to you!

Book a FREE discovery call HERE

 

Please note: If you are finding it difficult to leave your dog alone or think they may have separation anxiety, please contact Emma at Competent Canines or go to www.julienaismith.com to find someone in your area who can help

Pick My Brain

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    Looking for a quick bit of advice?
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    Can’t find the answers anywhere?
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    Need some reassurance?

Being a dog parent isn’t straight forward but I’ve been there, done it and got the T-shirt. 

Every week I receive a handful of emails or calls from owners looking for me to provide advice, answers and resources. 

I’ve lost count of how many calls I’ve had where the problem the owner thought they had, wasn’t really the problem. Trying to work it out on your own can be frustrating. You can’t spot what to change, stop doing, start doing or ditch.

I love providing resources, brainstorming ideas, and bringing impact. I try to help and talk to everybody that needs me or wants to talk to me. To answer these requests, I have developed a “Pick My Brain” 30 minute session. 

A “Pick My Brain” session is a high-value, information-intensive zoom or phone call that allows you to begin to get unstuck quicker, diagnose your problem and start to solve your frustrations by pointing you in the right direction. I will listen carefully to understand the issues you're experiencing with your dog, ask you further questions and end with reassurance, clarity, actions and next steps.

Pick my brain sessions are not designed to solve your problem, they will set you off in the right direction. More complex next steps could include a variety of options including a vet visit, a full behavioural assessment or the need for a full programme of behaviour modification etc.

Sessions can be booked instantly for a day and time that suits you.

FAQs and A Guide to Behaviour Consultation Costs

Why is an behaviour assessment required?

I will always start by offering you an assessment for your dog. Behaviour is always more complex than what we initially think and therefore it is important that I take time to do this well.

What we see and the reason you have asked for help is the tip of the iceberg, we need to look at all those factors in order to treat your dog effectively.

There will be some factors we cannot change such as genetics and early learning experiences and I promise I will always be honest with you about what I feel is achievable. 

Assessments are a set price of £235 - for more information on assessments, please click here.

 

Following the assessment/prognosis, are there any further costs?

Following the assessment, ongoing costs will depend on the prognosis. This prognosis is dependent on:

  • Any potential underlying physical issues which I need to investigate
  • Need for liaison with your vet
  • The severity of the problem
  • The ability of your dog to learn
  • Your ability to learn
  • My ability to train you
  • Your environment
  • How many people are involved in the care of your dog

 

What is the average cost for prognosis?

Generally a three month programme costing £275 per month. For more information, please click here.

 

What would increase this cost?

The severity of your dog's behaviour plus multiple issues with your dog may require a longer programme. Some cases will be six to 12 months long. 

Any need to investigate potential physical issues (80-85% of cases) may result in a delay to a programme commencing. In other cases, I may recommend behavioural medication in conjunction with your vet and there will be a period of time for these to be at an optimum level.

What if things are really difficult?

On occasions, conversations at assessment are more difficult for all of us and we have to look at whether your dog's needs can be met within your environment and circumstances or even whether this is safe for all concerned. 

 

Why is there such a difference in prices between behaviourists and trainers?

The dog training and behaviour industry is unregulated. This means that anyone can say they are a behaviourist, simply because they have had dogs for years. 

Qualified trainers focus on training dogs to perform certain behaviours such as come back when called or walk on a loose lead.

Qualified behaviourists have studied dogs in a more holistic way and have a knowledge of genetics, sociology, ethology, physiology, learning theory, environmental factors and welfare as well as behavioural medication and nutrition. They will therefore look at all of these when assessing and treating your dog. Many have qualified to degree or advanced degree level and others to higher diploma level. There is a huge variation in practical versus theoretical  components in qualifications.

Experience also plays a part and all qualified behaviourists are required to undergo continued professional development to maintain their organisational memberships. Many vets will recommend a behaviourist based on their experience and knowledge of an individual. 

Behaviourists will work in a way that they find works for them. Some may ask you to fill out a pre-consultation questionnaire. Some will see you for a long assessment and give you a report which includes explanations and recommendations only. Others will want to work with you in detail over a period of time. Some work remotely and others in person, or a combination of both. 

Look for someone with an organisational code of conduct and complaints procedure as well as clear terms and conditions and a contract.

 

Will my pet insurance cover the costs?

Some insurance companies will cover behaviour work with certain organisations and qualifications. However, claims can lead to a huge hike in renewal prices the next time round and this can be devastating for people. It is always worth checking with your insurance beforehand if you think you may want to make a claim. 

What people say about our behaviour consultations and programmes

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"Clair is so knowledgeable in all aspects of dog behaviour I feel like I’ve learnt a great deal from her. I never thought I’d be letting my dog off lead or anywhere near other dogs again after she was attacked but Clair has helped me and Luna build our confidence back up and the changes in Luna have been amazing she is a happier dog now she can run around a field again and not be scared of other dogs.

Clair built my confidence in letting my dog off the lead again. I can now let me dog off her lead and she is less anxious and not attacking other dogs."
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 "All of our confidence has improved since starting the programme. We now have the confidence on how to handle triggers when we encounter them. Juno is a whole world a way from the dog she was when we started the programme, she is much more confident and less stressed in general. Juno's ability to handle triggers when out and about has increased hugely and I am confident that with the techniques we now have this will only continue to improve.

We had spent over a year making almost zero progress with Juno's reactivity, since working with Clair a few months ago we have seen such a positive change in Juno's behaviour and stress levels."