Services to help people and pets cope with behavioural concerns
RSPCA Victoria has launched a new one-stop pet behaviour centre to help people manage problem behaviours in dogs and cats. The Good Pet Behaviour Centre is the first of its kind in Australia, offering a comprehensive suite of behaviour training options delivered by a world-class team.
RSPCA Victoria launched the service after noticing a growing number of pet owners reaching out for help and animals arriving at its shelters with behaviour concerns after the pandemic.
Services offered include:
A free dog behaviour helpline where members of the public can have a consultation with a certified dog trainer to discuss pet behaviour issues and get some practical advice to address them – this can be done by video call and is accessible to all Victorians across the state;
A Good Pet Behaviour service where pet owners can have dogs and cats of all ages thoroughly assessed and work with the expert team to implement a custom behaviour management plan – this is open to individual pet owners, rescue groups and animal organisations;
An onsite puppy school at RSPCA Burwood East to get puppies and their families off to a good start.
The Good Pet Behaviour service is headed by Dr Gabrielle Carter, a highly credentialed Veterinary Specialist in Animal Behaviour with eighteen years of experience in the field. Dr Carter is one of only four veterinarians in Australia and fewer than 100 in the world holding these qualifications.
Dr Carter said the goal is to help people and their pets to live their best life together and get on top of behaviours that are causing stress.
“We’re here to help owners address concerns about their pet’s behaviour before they escalate because we want people and their pets to stay together.
“My job as a veterinary behaviourist is to build and maintain the relationship between owner and pet to improve quality of life for pets and their families. While the work involves treating and managing behaviour and mental health problems in pets, my focus is often on finding the best ways for pets and people to live together, celebrating what each brings to the relationship.”
The team at Good Pet Behaviour focuses on complex animal behaviour issues that require an in-depth analysis and uses a fear-free, positive reinforcement approach to training and behaviour modification.
“Good Pet Behaviour offers a comprehensive service including physical and mental health assessments, behaviour modification strategies and customised treatment plans that suit your pet and your family’s needs,” said Dr Carter.
In addition to the specialist services offered by Dr Carter’s team, RSPCA Victoria has partnered with animal trainers K9Connect to run fun and educational puppy school classes, with Power-up Pup sessions aimed at dogs aged 8-18 weeks and Starters Obedience sessions for dogs over 12 months old.
The free Dog Behaviour Helpline is designed to address the drivers of a dog’s behavioural issues, provide advice on positive reinforcement techniques, and includes referrals to Good Pet Behaviour if required. The helpline offers a free video-call consultation to discuss the animal’s behaviour. The service has already proved popular, and appointments are required.
Good Pet Behaviour appointments can be made online here
Dog Behaviour Helpline assessments can be booked online here
Puppy School Sessions can be booked online here or call (03) 9886 7768