10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dog Behaviourist

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Hiring a dog behaviourist can help resolve behaviour problems, but it’s important to choose the right professional. To ensure you make an informed decision, ask potential behaviourists about their experience, approach to behaviour modification, training philosophy, references, assessment process, success rate, availability, fee structure, plan if the problem persists, and type of support offered after the initial consultation. By asking these questions, you can find a behaviourist who can help your dog become well-behaved and happy.

  1. What is Your Experience with Dog Behaviour?

    The first question you should ask a potential dog behaviourist is about their experience. Ask how many years they have been working with dogs, what type of dogs they specialise in, and what types of behaviour issues they have experience in addressing. This will help you get a sense of whether they have the necessary expertise to address your dog’s specific behaviour problems.
  2. What is Your Approach to Dog Behaviour Modification?

    Different dog behaviourists may use different approaches to modify behaviour. Some may use positive reinforcement techniques, while others may use more traditional methods that involve punishment. Make sure you are comfortable with the behaviour modification approach that the behaviourist uses before hiring them.
  3. What is Your Training Philosophy?

    The behaviourist’s training philosophy should align with your own. If you prefer a more positive, reward-based approach, make sure the behaviourist is on the same page. On the other hand, if you prefer a more traditional, discipline-based approach, make sure the behaviourist is comfortable with that as well. You can read more on approaches to Dog Behaviour Modification & Training here.
  4. Can You Provide References?

    It’s always a good idea to ask for references before hiring any professional. Ask the dog behaviourist if they can provide you with references from previous clients who had similar behaviour problems as your dog.
  5. How Do You Assess Behaviour Problems?

    Before a behaviourist can develop a behaviour modification plan for your dog, they will need to assess the problem. Ask how the behaviourist will assess your dog’s behaviour, and what type of information they will need from you to make an accurate assessment.
  6. What is Your Success Rate?

    Ask the behaviourist what their success rate is with similar cases. This will give you an idea of how likely it is that your dog’s behaviour problem can be resolved.
  7. What is Your Availability?

    Make sure the behaviourist’s availability aligns with your schedule. If you work during the day, find out if they offer evening or weekend appointments.
  8. What is Your Fee Structure?

    Ask the behaviourist about their fee structure. Some behaviourists may charge a flat fee, while others may charge by the hour. Make sure you understand how much you will be charged and what services are included in the fee.
  9. What Happens if the Behaviour Problem Persists?

    In some cases, behaviour problems may not be resolved after working with a behaviourist. Ask the behaviourist what their plan is if the problem persists after a certain amount of time.
  10. What Type of Support Do You Offer After the Initial Consultation?

    Behaviour modification is a process that may require ongoing support. Ask the behaviourist what type of support they offer after the initial consultation. Do they offer follow-up appointments, phone consultations, or email support?

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