What to expect

You may be wondering what you can expect when you pursue behavioral treatment for your pet. Is it just training? What is involved?

Behavioral treatment is not just training. While applying some basic positive reinforcement based training methods in the treatment, it is much more than simple training. Applied Behavior Analysis is a method whereby the principles of learning are applied in order the make behavioral changes in the individual. It is often used in the treatment of children with challenging behaviors. However, it has been discovered that this method is easily applied to pets.

Functional behavior analyses are performed in order to determine the function of the pet’s behavior, i.e. what the pet is getting out of performing the behavior of concern. The information obtained from the functional behavior analysis (FBA) is then used to determine an appropriate replacement behavior to teach the pet.

When you pursue treatment for your pet’s behaviors of concern, your pet will be assessed and you will be taught some basic training techniques to get you started. When the behavior professional returns to your home with the behavior plan, she will provide a full demonstration of all methods to be used and answer all questions to get you started on the right path with your pet. Carolyn will continue to provide support and necessary services until your pet’s behavior is back on track. So you never have to go it alone!

When you purchase the Getting Started package…

  • FIRST APPOINTMENT: Assessment (virtual or in-person)
    • This appointment is up to two hours in length.
    • Carolyn comes to this appointment prepared to dig deeper than the initial paperwork with you.
    • We will explore the root causes of your pet’s behavioral issues.
    • You will be provided with practical things you can put into effect immediately:
      • changes in the pet’s schedule
      • changes in the pet’s environment
      • demonstration of exercises for you to start with your pet
      • All materials will be in writing for you to work through as you proceed.
    • You will be given an overview of what to expect.
    • You will be prepared to move forward.
  • SECOND APPOINTMENT: Behavior Plan (virtual)
    • This appointment is approximately an hour in length.
    • You will receive a full, written behavior plan at this time.
    • Carolyn will review the entire plan with you during this session.
    • Carolyn will explain all additional exercises and directives.
    • You will provide updates with regard to your pet’s progress.
    • You will receive directives on how to overcome obstacles.
  • THIRD APPOINTMENT: Phone call
    • This is your check up:
      • How far have you gotten?
      • What successes have you seen?
      • What challenges do you face?
    • At this point, the behavior specialist will make any necessary tweaks to the plan.
  • FOURTH APPOINTMENT: Phone call
    • Progress assessment/recommendations:
      • Have you completed the plan?
      • Have you met your goals?
      • Further recommendations are made at this time, as needed.

The vast majority of my fully compliant clients will achieve their goals by this fourth appointment.

However, for those who are unable to do so (typically certain refractory or long-term behaviors, et al.), there are additional services available to help the owner complete the plan and cross the goal line. These services are most often phone calls designed to: keep you accountable, continue making necessary tweaks to the plan, and/or break down the plan into smaller steps that will help the pet make more progress.

Will my pet need to be seen in person?

Most behaviors will not require you to have an in-person visit. In fact, fixing your pet’s behavioral anomalies is easier than ever because you will not have to leave your home!

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