Dog behaviour

We are pleased to be able to work closely with Andrew Hale, a local dog behaviourist, and to have a team member with a particular interest in dog behaviour, Laura Holderness RVN, who completed her nursing certificate in Animal Behaviour in 2023.

Andrew runs Train Positive, a local dog behaviour and training service.  We have chosen to work with Andrew, as like us, he believes in using modern, gentle and force free methods.  He offers help and advice for all dog behavioural issues including anxiety, phobias and aggression.

Andrew is involved in training our team to make visits to the vet less stressful for dogs, using techniques such as ‘consent training’.

For dogs with behavioural issues, a vet visit is often advised at the outset to check for any physical problems. Laura Holderness runs ‘behavioural first aid’ clinics at our surgeries to provide initial help to dog owners with issues such as separation anxiety, confrontational behaviour, and sound fear-anxiety.  The cost of the appointment and follow up report is £45. To book an appointment with Laura give us a call, email or WhatsApp. Beyond this, we can refer patients to Andrew for further behavioural intervention.  Andrew has also helped us put together a puppy training and behaviour handout, which you can download here.

Testimonial about Laura’s clinic, August 2023

“We had an initial consultation with Laura as our rescue dog, Norman, was incredibly stressed and reactive due to circumstances when he was a pup.  Laura was incredibly patient and took a lot of trouble to find out the background and different behaviours that Norman was showing.  She gave us so many helpful tips and ways of calming him and a clear training plan.  We have worked through many of these and Norman is definitely showing a big improvement.  Many of our friends and family have noticed, including his groomers, who felt there had been a big change.  Laura has also taken the trouble to follow up on several occasions and offer further advice.  I can’t recommend her highly enough!”

Laura has also written a series of helpful articles for owners, as well as doing training with the rest of the team.

Behaviour articles:

Dog and cat behavioural responses – an important read for any owner

Introducing a new baby to your dog

Basic puppy training

Sound therapy – for prevention of noise phobias

Choosing a dog trainer or behaviourist

Is your dog anxious about visiting the vets?

Many dogs love to come and see us – we make a big effort to encourage a positive relationship revolving around treats, positive reinforcement and cuddles! However we are well aware that some dogs do not feel so positive about coming in to see us.

We do ask that dogs are kept on a short lead and that you check with other dog owners before your dog makes introductions in the waiting room.  Some of our patients are ill or in pain and therefore may not be up for play time.  We also ask that dogs are not allowed to approach cat carriers.

If your dog is frightened to come to see us, we encourage you to make frequent visits for your dog to be weighed and/or generally made a fuss of in the waiting room or consulting room, without any injections. Our nursing team run free puppy and socialisation clinics for this purpose, led by veterinary nurse Laura Holderness.  It is also helpful to get your dog used to being ‘examined’ at home from an early age, including checks of teeth, ears and feet, with plenty of rewards for good behaviour.