Behaviour Problems

I help dog owners with a wide variety of behaviour issues in their pets through careful diagnosis of each problem and application of humane, evidence-based behaviour modification protocols using the Least Invasive Minimally Aversive (LIMA) approach. I emphasise comfortable, positive interaction with your dog by enhancing our understanding of their communication gestures. I also advocate progressive, reward-based training in helping your pet gain confidence in performing the behaviour we want.  

Problems frequently seen include:  

  • Aggressive behaviour towards the family, strangers, and/or other dogs 

  • Separation related behaviour such as destructiveness, vocalising or depression  

  • Noise fears and phobias, and other anxieties  

  • Reactivity on the lead, livestock worrying, recall problems, problems with house training, unwanted attention seeking behaviour, raiding the bins… this is not an exhaustive list! 

Some behavioural issues are complex, requiring detailed behavioural investigation and follow-up support. Others need the same level of exploration, but the outcome may be a simpler behaviour plan which is easier to execute. Some cases of unwanted behaviour are more easily assessed and corrected though careful re-education of the dog over a series of training sessions. To find out what you need, please get in contact. In some cases, you may also need an initial assessment phone call to help work out which services you and your dog need – the cost of this can be redeemed against your behaviour and training package. 


Behavioural Consultations 

Behavioural consultations are conducted at your home. They take 2 - 3 hours to complete and involve taking further details on your dog’s behaviour, lifestyle and relationship with you. Provided it is safe to do so, I also observe your dog's behaviour and interaction with you and in any other environment where there is a problem, such as on a walk. The aim of this is to fully evaluate your dog’s unwanted behaviour, what his or her motivation is for the behaviour, their emotional state surrounding the problem, and what they are trying to communicate. This thorough diagnosis helps me to create a practical, individual and humane treatment program with you. You will be supplied with a written report containing the all-important action plan, broken down into its individual steps to help guide you and stay on track. 


Examples of complex cases requiring thorough behavioural investigation: separation related behaviour issues, noise fears and phobias, aggressive behaviour, stress and anxiety related behaviour.  


Back up support 

This is essential to helping you and your dog develop new skills, habits and emotional responses. As every dog and owner is different, follow up support is also tailored to suit you:  

  • Written behaviour modification program (included in cost of behavioural consultation) 

  • Messenger and email for simple queries and progress reports 

  • Telephone and Skype coaching and mentoring sessions to help with more complex support 

  • Follow-up visits are also available to help you with skills training and other practical aspects of behaviour modification where you need hands-on help 


Private Training 

Some problem behaviours are very easy to diagnose and require a training-oriented approach. These cases become apparent during the initial assessment phone call. In these circumstances the case history is easily taken over the phone during that initial assessment call, and the first remedial training visit follows as a shorter, 1 to 1 ½ hour training visit with further training visits as needed, as well as access to the other forms of follow-up support described above. 


Examples of simple cases: Recall problems, livestock worrying, lead reactivity, excessive attention seeking behaviour. 


Puppies and dogs under one year of age 

It's not unusual to experience problems related to the dog's age, often the result of puberty and the “terrible teens”! Such problems may be related to house training, attention seeking, or even aggressive behaviour or fearfulness. Provided there aren't above average complexities to such cases, most owners and their young dogs benefit from a specifically designed puppy/adolescent consultation with the above follow-up services as necessary. The puppy consultation usually takes around 2 hours and covers the behavioural and emotional development of your young dog, as well as bespoke management and training advice to help them grow up emotionally well-balanced dogs. 


Vet referral 

All of my dog behaviour services are only available on veterinary referral. If you are having a problem with your pet’s behaviour it is important that you consult your vet first, just in case the reason for your pet’s behaviour is medical. If no physical problem is diagnosed, you can ask to be referred to me. 

Jenni Nellist Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Jenni: 07974 569407

1 Orchard Close, Port Eynon, Swansea, SA3 1NZ

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