Find a clinical animal behaviourist

Pets can develop a range of behaviour problems, such as aggression, destructiveness, toileting indoors, self-mutilation, barking and howling, nervousness and phobias. Such behaviour can be inconvenient for you, but more importantly, it's often a sign that your pet is unhappy. Here's what to do if your dog develops behaviour issues.

Ask your vet first

If your pet develops a behaviour problem, you should start by asking your vet for advice. It's important to get your pet checked over by a vet first to rule out any form of illness or injury that could be causing the behaviour problem. If your vet can't find anything wrong, they can then refer you to a behaviour expert.

How to find a behaviour expert

It's important that the behaviour expert you trust with your pet's welfare is someone with the right knowledge, skills and experience to treat your pet.

Anyone can call themselves a behaviour expert, but many don't have the up-to-date knowledge or necessary skills needed to treat pets with behaviour problems. Inappropriate or outdated advice or methods may negatively affect your pet's welfare and can make their behaviour problem worse.

The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC)

The Animal Behaviour and Training Council sets and oversees standards of professional competence and animal welfare in the training and behaviour therapy of animals. ABTC-Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourists and Veterinary Behaviourists have been assessed as having the right skills, knowledge and experience to support you and your pet.

ABTC-registered professionals will work with you to identify the cause of your pet's behaviour problem and then develop structured treatment plans that are suitable for you, your pet and your circumstances. If your pet is insured, leading pet insurers in the UK now allow their policyholders to claim for consultations provided by accredited Clinical Animal Behaviourists.

Find an ABTC registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist or an ABTC registered Veterinary Behaviourist.

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