BORDER COLLIE BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATION
Border collies learn very quickly, bad things as well as good! It's important to contact a behaviourist for a border collie behaviour consultation as soon as your collie starts to exhibit any sort of behaviour that you find problematic. The following behaviour problems are common issues for border collies and their owners:
- Chasing, lunging or barking at cars, runners, cyclists, lawn mowers etc
- Fear of people, other dogs, noises, household objects etc
- Aggressive behaviour towards people or other dogs
- Play biting, chewing, jumping up and other unruly behaviours
- Pulling on the lead
- Refusing to come when called
- Repetitive behaviours eg. shadow chasing, spinning, licking
- Separation related behaviours
A problem behaviour is a behaviour that you, your dog or someone else finds problematic so if you need help with any aspect of your border collie's behaviour, please get in touch for help as soon as possible. The longer a dog practises a behaviour, the more difficult it is to change.
In order to ensure the best continuity of care, and because many behavioural problems are caused by pain, I only accept problem behaviour cases through veterinary referral, as per the code of conduct of FABC and the ABTC. Having your vet on board can help to save on costs because the behaviour treatment can work more quickly and effectively if any medical issues are addressed at the same time as implementing a behaviour plan.
In the first instance, please get in touch and I will send over a form for you to forward to your vet.
Border Collie Behaviour Consultation
I can offer a border collie consultation only, for £290, in which we have a 2-3 hour consultation (via zoom or in-person depending on where you live), at the end of which I will be able to tell you why your border collie is carrying out the problem behaviour. Following this, I'll send over a training and behaviour plan for you to follow independently. Alternatively, for £350, I offer the initial consultation plus 3-month follow up, which includes the initial consultation followed by as much help as you need for 3 months. This is often covered by your pet or home insurance. Please check with your insurance company.
The consultation package includes:
- I will ask you to fill out a detailed behaviour questionnaire to enable me to gather all the information required.
- This is then followed by a full 1-2 hour consultation either in person or by video link.
- A bespoke behaviour plan with how-to guides and clear explanations of training required.
- Further follow-up meetings or video calls to talk through the behaviour and training plan.
- As much assistance as you require by phone, email, message or video link, as required, for three months at no additional cost.
If you'd like to meet in person, we can meet either in my clinic, which I hold at a very well-resourced local dog rescue centre, or I can travel to you within the local area (near Spalding). If you live further away, then there will be an additional charge for travel.
I'm very approachable and very happy to help with any problem behaviour that you may be experiencing. If you're not sure whether to proceed or not, please get in touch for a chat, and I'll be able to help with any queries.
1. The Consultation
Prior to the consultation, I'll ask you to fill in a behaviour questionnaire. This provides a comprehensive account of the whole picture so please answer all the questions, even if they don't seem relevant - it all helps!
Once I have this back, I will go through it in detail and make notes about any points we need to discuss further, and any questions that I need to ask in order to establish why your dog is carrying out the problem behaviour. Knowing the cause of the problem is the key to helping you and your dog to work together to alter the behaviour.
I will then take all of the information we will have covered and give you a tentative diagnosis about why your dog is behaving in this way.
2. Behaviour Modification Plan
Once we know what is causing the problem behaviour, I will be able to create a behaviour modification plan that is completely unique to your dog, family and situation. The plan includes the following details:
- Why your dog is behaving the way that he is.
- How we will manage any risks.
- How we will contain the behaviour in the short term.
- How we will train the dog to behave in a more acceptable manner.
Your plan is unique to your dog and your situation - don't be tempted to go on to the internet and ask for advice for behavioural problems. The wrong advice can often make behavioural problems much worse.
3. Follow up
The behaviour modification plan will be quite straightforward and step by step instructions for the training plans will be given. As part of the main consultation, we will be able to talk it all through in detail.
However, it's always helpful to have someone to ask when things don't quite go to plan.
As part of the consultation fee, you'll be able to contact me to help with any part of the plan that needs further clarification or that you need extra help with for 3 months. All dogs respond differently and there may be things that don't go smoothly, so you're stuck with not knowing how to proceed.
Extra follow up sessions either in-person or by video call, are available as needed for those three months.
Behaviourists look at every aspect of the dog's behaviour and unique circumstances/history/health/living arrangements/routine etc. It's only by looking at all this information together that we can define the cause of the pet's behaviour and develop a behaviour management plan to help to change the behaviour to something more appropriate.
Trainers, by contrast, don't usually work on changing problem behaviours, and they usually don't have the detailed training that enables them to do this. Instead they will just use general methods to train your dog. These may work for your dog or they may not, depending on what is causing your dog's behaviour. So in the long run, by going to a trainer to fix a problem behaviour, you could end up spending more time and resources than by choosing to use a qualified, experienced behaviourist from the outset.
Unfortunately the industry is not regulated and anyone can call themselves a dog trainer or behaviourist. Always look for qualifications! A good behaviourist should be a member of FABC or the APBT and will either be CCAB or CAB certified or will be working towards this. They should also have a university level qualification in animal behaviour as well.
Each dog, each family, and each situation is different. As behaviour consultants, we will ask for all the details that we need to know in order to fully understand you and your dog's unique circumstances. The information that can be critical to each case includes:
- Your dog's background
- Past experiences
- Daily routines
- Training already carried out
- Medical records
- As much detail about the problem behaviour as possible
- What happens immediately before the problem behaviour
- What happens immediately afterwards
- What you have already tried to fix the problem
- How you feel about it
The list goes on.... it's only by asking all of these questions that we can accurately diagnose the cause of the problem behaviour and create a behaviour plan that can resolve the problems you have been experiencing.
Asking someone for help online when they don't know everything about your unique situation is like asking a jury to convict a suspect based on what they are accused of alone, without hearing any of the evidence. It may work, if you're lucky, but more likely you will end up wasting time and maybe even making the issue much worse.
Yes, I am fully insured to work as a dog trainer and behaviourist.