3 WHO WILL BE INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM?
Your behavior program needs to be a total team effort. First of all, your kennel staff will be safer and more efficient if
they understand the behavior of companion animals. Also, receptionists and technicians can give some advice on puppy and kitten
training as well as identify families who call and need help with more serious problems. And finally, technicians can assist
in behavior therapy.
The doctor's job is to consult and work up behavior problems, perform medical examinations, and prescribe behavior medications.
He or she also advises families during puppy and kitten visits.
But don't stop there. Remember, an interested, engaged team is critical to your program's success. And involving team members
in behavior counseling is a great way for them to grow in their jobs and careers and contribute to the practice. Your team
plays a huge role in educating pet owners. Here are some of the ways they can be involved:
Educate pet owners about normal pet behavior. Team members need to discuss with clients the pet's stages of development—and
any associated behavior issues—at every visit. They'll talk about:
> providing for pet's needs—socialization, exercise, mental stimulation, and environment enrichment
> learning and shaping behavior
> handling and restraint
> other common problems.
Team members can also provide this type of information at puppy and kitten visits and at puppy parties.
With puppies, it's also wise to have team members discuss house training, destructive behavior, play biting, confinement training,
obedience, leadership and control, and appropriate punishment. With kittens, team members can highlight litter box training,
destructive behavior, nocturnal behavior, play problems, and appropriate punishment.
Recommend and sell the behavior products your practice prefers. You may want to consider offering head halters, toys, treats,
odor-cleaning products, pheromones, and behavior devices such as motion-activated alarms, food puzzle toys to entertain dogs
with separation anxiety, training clickers, citronella anti-bark collars, and whistles and horns used to interrupt behavior.
Teach puppy classes and basic obedience. This is a great opportunity for your team to reach out to clients and help them bond
with the practice. Plus, many team members love to be challenged to grow professionally in the area of pet behavior.
4 WHAT RESOURCES AND CE WILL YOU NEED?
This depends on what you want to accomplish. You can learn enough through reading to offer basic behavior advice. But if you
want to offer more involved consultations for more difficult problems, you'll need to take on some training with a mentor,
behavior-focused CE, or a residency. Organizations such as the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the Companion
Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group, and the Veterinary Information Network also offer information to help you develop your