Information for Referring Trainers and Behaviourists

Referring a case to a Behaviour Veterinarian

As a professional trainer, you’re bound to come across many of the following situations:

  • You notice one of your Puppy School students is ‘different’ to the rest of the class
  • You suspect that one of your students is suffering from an anxiety disorder
  • One of your students is struggling to learn simple behaviours like basic obedience
  • Clients complain that they struggle to keep their dog under threshold, even with heavy management
  • One of your long-term students stops improving, despite high-level training
  • A client wants help with their dog who chews through walls during storms
  • You receive an enquiry about a dog with severe repetitive behaviours
  • One of your students struggles to sit still
  • You suspect that your student is suffering from a painful or uncomfortable medical condition that is affecting their ability to learn

Or, you just need a second opinion on a difficult case.

Many of these animals may be suffering from anxiety or a physical health condition that may be impeding their ability to learn, think clearly and make good choices.

By referring these cases to one of our behaviour veterinarians you are ensuring that your student’s medical needs are also being addressed as a part of the overall behaviour management plan.

Only once the underlying emotional dysfunction is addressed can some of these animals truly achieve their full behavioural potential.

Referring a Case to our Animal Behaviourist (PhD)

If you have a tricky training case that you would like to seek a second opinion for, our Animal Behaviourist Dr Melissa Starling is available to provide you with a fresh pair of eyes on your case. Dr Melissa has had extensive experience in providing management plans for difficult and even dangerous dogs and is commonly referred cases by her fellow training colleagues. Dr Melissa specialises in providing functional analysis of behaviour to really get to the bottom of the drivers behind the problems that you are seeing in your students.

How to make a referral

If you are referring a case to one of our staff, please ask the client to contact us directly on (02) 8599 0859, or ask them to find our website and fill out the Contact Form. If you have a specific preference for which specific clinician you would like your client to see, please let your client know to mention this upon booking, otherwise we will use our best judgement and they will be offered the first available appointment.

Once they book in, we will contact you to let you know, and to thank you for your referral. We will ask you to provide us with either a verbal or written (preferred) account of the problem that you are referring them for, and a summary of the techniques that you have been working on with them, preferably at least a week before they are booked in to see us.

We strive to collaborate with you, the referring trainer as much as possible throughout the entire process. We keep you closely involved in the management of any case that is referred by updating you on the patient’s progress regularly if the client consents to this. We make a point of advising clients to continue seeing you for behaviour modification both during and after medical treatment. We also highly value your feedback on your progress each time you see the patient as this will help direct our treatment plan.

If you aren’t sure if a specific case requires a behaviour veterinarian’s opinion, an animal behaviourist’s opinion, or even if you just want to have a general chat with one of our friendly staff, then please feel free to drop us a line. Alternatively, you can give your clients our details and they can contact us directly to make an enquiry.