Diagnosis and Treatment Plan 

1.5 to 2-hour evaluation and 1-hour behavior consultation

For dogs any age


An increasing number of dogs are euthanized each year due to behavioral disorders. 

More often than not, owners are not even aware of problems in the making. Common puppy issues, such as jumping and chewing go unrecognized as potential problem behaviors and are easily tolerated by most dog owners, due to the small size and “cuteness” of a puppy. In fact, many owners are told that their puppy will “grow out of it.” 

Dog owners often do not seek out professional help until their dog has destroyed a valuable item or has bitten and injured someone. Many dog owners think that a general class or program will bring the results they are looking for. Unfortunately, for both dog and owner, this can do more harm than good if underlying problems go unrecognized. 


Our Behavior Evaluation is suitable for all breeds, ages and problems.

                                                      Common problems are:

 

  • Aggression (such as Biting, Territorial or Dog aggression)

  • Anxiety (such as Separation Anxiety)

  • Coprophagia (Stool Eating)

  • Compulsive and Obsessive Disorders 

  • Destructive Behaviors

  • Fears and Phobias (such as Storm and Thunder phobias)

  • Housebreaking/Elimination Problems 

  • Resource Guarding

                              and many more

 


Why is a Behavior Evaluation beneficial?

In order to eliminate and/or control unwanted problems or behavior disorders, we must first determine the underlying causes.  Genetics, breed disposition, temperament, nutrition, exercise, socialization experiences and previous training are all important factors that can influence your dog’s behavior.  

We take all of these and other important factors into consideration and will provide you with a detailed written report to make training and behavior modification successful. The report provides all of the following:

       

 

1.    Diagnoses

2.    Length of Treatment

3.    Course of Treatment

4.    Nutrition and Exercise needs specific to your dog

5.    Treatment with medication if and when appropriate

6.    Recommended training programs, methods and tools

7.    Comments (explaining the diagnoses of each

       behavioral problem)             

8.    Recommendations (outlining the most suitable and

       effective approach for training and behavior modification)

 


How does it work?

Our Behavior Evaluation is a very thorough process. The evaluation consists of a 1.5 to 2-hour evaluation appointment (with your dog) and a 1-hour follow up Behavior Consultation (without your dog), approximately 7-10 days after the initial evaluation.

  1. Prior to your appointment, we will email, fax or mail the behavior evaluation questionnaire to you. This will allow you to complete the questionnaire as thoroughly as possible. You will also receive a letter that confirms the date and time of your appointment, as well as a checklist of important things to bring to your appointment (such as your dog’s pedigree or adoption papers if applicable, vaccination history and other things that may be important to the assessment of your dog). Whenever possible, we recommend that you fax or mail the completed questionnaire and any other pertinent information to us prior to your appointment. This allows us to review your dog’s history and will help us to assist you better. If you are unable to get the completed questionnaire to us prior to your appointment, please allow at least 15-20 minutes upon arrival so that our behavior experts have enough time to review the completed questionnaire. 

  2. At your evaluation appointment, we begin by obtaining a thorough history on your dog and will ask you to further elaborate on some of the information you provided on the questionnaire. Your dog’s pedigree (if applicable), adoption/rescue information, medical concerns, family lifestyle and many other things will be taken into consideration. The hands-on portion will begin with a series of tests. We normally begin by allowing your dog to investigate our training room and become comfortable in this new environment (5-10 minutes). This is especially important for shy, fearful and timid dogs that may startle easy. We will then have you demonstrate obedience commands your dog may already know and determine if your dog has completed the learning phases for each of the commands he/she already knows. Depending on your dog’s understanding of obedience commands, we may try several different auditory and visual distractions to determine how reliable your dog is around distractions. Depending on your dog’s age and your areas of concern, we will conduct a temperament test if and when appropriate. During the final portion of the evaluation, we provide general reading material as appropriate. We will review the information obtained from your evaluation and develop a preliminary diagnosis and training plan. Time permitting, we will begin addressing the most important issues and will discuss the next steps with you. We provide you with a detailed written report, approximately 2-5 business days after your evaluation appointment. This will allow our behaviorist the time needed to further review your dog’s history (such as pedigree or adoption papers), to contact your dog’s breeder, veterinarian, groomer or previous trainer as necessary and permitted by you, before the report is finalized. 

  3. At your follow up appointment (1-hour Behavior Consultation without your dog, approximately 7-10 days after the initial evaluation) we will discuss the report with you and go over any questions you may have. We then begin addressing the behavior problems that are of concern and begin implementing the treatment plan. You will be counseled on how to address the problems you are experiencing with your dog and how to prevent other possible problems. 


Ready to get started?

Please contact our office by phone (703) 369-9912 to get started. Behavior Evaluations are done at our office and generally not in a client’s home. If you have multiple dogs, we normally recommend to schedule behavior evaluations on separate days. Should driving distance be a concern for you, we will do our best to meet your scheduling needs. The cost for the appointments (1.5 to 2-hour evaluation and a 1-hour consultation) is $295 and we require a $195 deposit to book the appointments. Once your appointments have been scheduled, we will email you a confirmation of your scheduled date and time, as well as the Behavior Evaluation questionnaire.

We look forward to assisting you and of course your dog!