Behavioural Services

Every day I help people enjoy their lives with their dogs and horses.

Call me on 07512 203734 or email me at info@animalbehaviourclinics.com

I’m fully qualified, registered and insured and I know exactly what needs doing to resolve your horse or dog behaviour problem, however serious.

My basic behaviour package fee is £270 and we can get started just as soon as I receive the go ahead from your veterinary surgeon.

Behaviour takes time to develop and it takes time to undo. These are basic psychological principles. I take a whole animal, whole of life approach and my advice will stand you in good stead for years to come, as well as helping you overcome the problem behaviour you are seeing right now.

I offer the following services:

Clinical behaviour consultations under veterinary referral*
Behaviour assessments
Welfare assessments
Expert witness
Supervision/mentoring for new consultants

*Veterinary referral means that your veterinary surgeon formally consents for me to consult with you. Potential clients are free to contact me directly, or your vet can get in touch in the first instance.

Please scroll down this page for full details of fees and bookings.

What happens at a behaviour consultation?

Unlike vets or doctors, animal behaviour work is not regulated by law and this can make it very difficult for horse or dog owners to know who to choose.  It’s essential to ensure that your adviser will not make matters worse by using unsuitable or unsafe methods, or even techniques that will cause your animal pain or fear.  The Animal Behaviour and Training Council is the only regulatory body working closely with the UK Government to rectify these risks and it sets and maintains the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to work in the animal behaviour industry.  By making sure that you work with a Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist such as me, you can be assured that you are being advised by one of the UK’s most qualified and experienced behaviourists.

Horse owners: it’s not every day that a behaviourist turns up to help you with any problems you might be having with your horse, so here is some information about what to expect when I visit you.  Firstly, I’m very easy to talk to!  I understand that it can be difficult for you to seek help from a specialist, when we’re all supposed to be expert horse people; and I know I’m never the first person on an owner’s list of “who to call when things go wrong” – you’ve probably asked your instructor, your farrier, your vet, and no doubt you’ve had all sorts of advice from other people on your yard, whether you asked for it or not!  So, whilst my assessments and vet reports are based on good scientific evidence about equine behaviour and ethology, when I am with you and your horse my primary focus is to support both of you in helping you through the problems you’re having, so that when I leave the yard you will have some immediate and positive changes you can make for the better.

Dog owners: following approval from your vet and receipt of your completed questionnaire, I will come to your home to visit you and your dog, first visits will usually last around two hours.  I will assess the factors contributing to your dog’s behaviour and prepare directed treatment plans which may include changes to your dog’s routine or management, and step-by-step behaviour modification and retraining programmes.  I will explain my recommendations to you and I will follow this up with a written report explaining your dog’s behaviour and the treatment plan I have recommended.  A copy is also sent to your vet for their records.

Before the visit

When you phone me to request a consultation I will take basic details from you together with a brief description of the problem.  I consult on behavioural problems only, not physical or medical issues, and I always work under veterinary referral from your registered veterinary surgeon so that if we do suspect an underlying medical issue we can refer back to your vet.

I will send you a questionnaire to complete and return, where you can give more details about the behaviour problem and your animal’s management and history.

I will obtain a formal referral from your veterinary surgeon; this will advise me of any physical or medical conditions that I need to be aware of.  The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 lays responsibility with vets for the diagnostic health and welfare of animals registered in their care.

Rusty and me by Fiona 023

During the visit

My first consultation visit to you will usually take around two hours and we’ll talk through these areas:

  • daily/weekly routine
  • turnout, stabling and exercise regimes (horses)
  • daily routines at home and on walks (dogs)
  • medical considerations as advised by the veterinary surgeon
  • description of behavioural problems
  • ownership history (this usually applies to horses but can apply to rehomed dogs too)

I will:

  • make an assessment of the behavioural problem and explain to you why it is occurring
  • discuss options that will work for you in your situation
  • work with you to develop a personalised retraining plan that you will be able to carry out to help resolve the problem
  • coach you in how to apply my recommendations correctly

After my visit

I will:

  • give you a written action plan and advice sheets
  • write to your vet with a summary of my assessment and recommendations

The treatment plan I develop for you will be based on sound psychological techniques to establish the behaviour you want.  They are scientifically validated and effective.  I will not ask you to make any changes that you feel uncomfortable with.  If you follow my recommendations you will see the positive changes you want in your horse’s or dog’s behaviour, and I will give you ongoing telephone and/or e-mail support while you are working through your retraining plan.

Accompanied dog walks are always available to help you along with your progress, and can be any number to suit your needs. Group training walks can be arranged too if you have dog walking friends who you regularly meet up with.

Fees and services

To book a consultation, please call 07512 203734 or email info@animalbehaviourclinics.com.

You can also book an initial phone consultation, lasting up to 45 minutes, if you would like to discuss the best way forward before committing to a consultation.  You will receive some basic helpful advice but this will not replace a full behaviour consultation. The fee is £40.

Insurance: My professional qualifications and accreditations mean that your insurance policy should cover my professional fees, but you should check this with your insurer first.

All animals are unique and no two behaviour cases are the same. In cases where your horse or dog is showing unwanted behaviour it is essential to look for the causes of the problem and treat those causes; this involves going beyond obedience training or reschooling and taking a psychological rehabilitation approach specific to the individual animal.  The recommendations I will give you will help you to change your horse’s or dog’s individual unwanted behaviour.

All my consultations are conducted under referral/approval from your veterinary surgeon.

Fees:

Stage one behaviour consultation:
Contact with your vet
Initial visit to your home or your yard (2 hours)
Full assessment of the behaviour problem
Stage one of your individualised treatment plan explained to you and provided in writing
Weekly progress review
Typically a stage one consultation includes a total of 6 hours assessment, consultation, coaching and advice time @ £45/hour = £270.  If this is likely to differ, we will discuss and agree a different package for you.

Behavioural support, further stages:
We will review your progress together and decide whether you need further behavioural support, which may be face to face or via Skype, email or phone.
Further stages if needed are charged at £55/hour. Additional support will always be discussed and agreed with you.

Complex or serious behavioural disorders, or where you need further support, may often require between one and three additional follow up visits; these will be agreed with you and the final decision is always yours.

Visits outside 30 minutes from Wilmslow SK9 also incur a charge of £15/hour travelling expenses.

All fees are payable in advance by bank transfer.

Accompanied training walks for dogs: individual £35/45 minutes; groups £60/hour for up to 4 dogs

Training/Centered Riding coaching sessions £35 per 45 minute session.

Other consultancy services e.g. expert witness, lecturing, workshops, speaking engagements: please contact me to discuss.

Supervision/mentoring for new consultants: please contact me to discuss.

Sanctuaries and welfare organisations, please contact for details of reduced price or pro bono consultations.

2 thoughts on “Behavioural Services

  1. Good afternoon,

    I am looking at taking my dog, a 2 year old female cockapoo, into the school where I am the head. The insurance quotations that I have received stipulate that they must see a certificate or testimonial from a dog behaviourist.

    Is this something that you would be able to help us with? I live in Poulton-le-Fylde so am not too far you in Wilmslow.

    Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Brendan Hassett
    Head
    Carter’s Charity Primary School, Preesall.

    • Hello Brendan,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I will consider doing this, subject to your insurance company’s expectations, living animals having that inherent characteristic of unpredictability. Assessments such as these always carry an element of risk analysis and any assurance I can give will be contingent upon conditions being met.
      Please could you email me at info@animalbehaviourclinics.com and I will be pleased to send you my full conditions and prices.
      Best wishes,
      Debbie Busby

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