Behavioral problems can be caused by a variety of things such as bad experiences, a lack of socialization at a young age, medical problems, and even genetics. Unfortunately, behavioral problems are very common with our furry companions today. Most behavioral problems are an expression of fear and anxiety, though not all.
Having experienced behavioral difficulties with her own pets and those of her clients, Dr. Hawker has developed a passion for helping dogs and cats that suffer from anxiety and fear. Dr. Hawker works with you and your pet to develop an individualized and applicable behavior treatment plan based on your pet’s unique behavioral problems.
Behavior problems could include:
- Reactivity towards dogs and/or people
- Resource guarding
- Separation anxiety
- Elimination problems
- Compulsive disorders
- Destructive behaviors
- Hyperactive behaviors
Our team uses only positive and scientifically sound techniques that include counter-conditioning, desensitization, and positive reinforcement. In addition to the behavior modification plan, medications may be prescribed at the time of the appointment to aid in the progress of your dog’s behavior.
What is your role in your dog’s behavioral rehabilitation as the owner?
You will be asked to make a commitment to our behavior modification plan. There are no easy or quick fixes for many behavior problems, so there will be work at home, in public and in the veterinary practice that you and the behavior team will commit to. This plan will include, but not be limited to home activities and modifications, training and desensitization activities, and medications.
Being the owner of a pet with behavioral problems can create different challenges and obstacles than being an owner of pets without them. Working with these pets takes more time, sacrifice, communication, education and significantly more patience. You have the important role of caregiver, protector, and advocate. These roles can be emotionally taxing, yet they can also bring joy that can only be experienced through seeing our pets start to conquer their fears, a joy that can’t be experienced with just any pet.
Appointments are an hour long and can be scheduled with our reception staff. You will be asked to complete an extensive questionnaire prior to your appointment.
Recheck appointments are typically scheduled 6-8 weeks after the initial consultation and then every 4-6 months as needed.