Positive ones only! All behaviour change and training is carried out using positive reinforcement - food treats and praise for doing the right thing. Punishment, harsh training equipment and telling off are never used because these make a dog feel worse and won't fix the behaviour problem in the long term.
I have heard that anyone can be called a behavourist. Are you qualified?
Unfortunately the industry is not regulated in the UK, which leaves dogs and owners open to poor advice from those without expertise. The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) is the organisation in the UK most trusted by vets and owners to set the industry standard. Becca is a provisional member having gained academic qualifications of a Bachelors and Masters in animal behaviour and welfare and is en route towards the esteemed Certification as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist, of which there are few in the UK.
How much time will I have to put in?
Training sessions are one hour long for basic issues. For behaviour, the consultation and first practical sessions take 2.5 hours. Changing a dog's behaviour can be a long process which requires time and effort, however the treatment techniques suggested are designed to be quick and simple to fit into busy lifestyles where possible, such as on your usual walk with your dog.
Do I need to prepare anything in advance?
For training or adopted dog settling in sessions there is nothing to prepare in advance, just a quick chat to ensure your needs will be met. For behaviour consultations a questionnaire is filled out beforehand and a referral form by your veterinarian. This is code of conduct for the APBC and helps ensure there are no underlying medical causes of your dog's behaviour. If you dog has seen a vet recently and seems fit and well, this form can be completed with your vet by email.
What does behaviour or training support cost?
Get in touch to discuss what you need for your dog so we can arrange a tailored package.
What types of dog do you work with?
Any breed can have help from Becca. Her expertise is with rescue and adopted dogs, having worked for several leading international animal welfare charities for the last 6 years (CIWF, Brooke, Dogs Trust), this experience is brought to help you with your dog. Sighthounds such as ex-racing greyhounds, whippets and lurchers are catered for as Becca has a lot of practical experience in helping these dogs adapt to home life after adoption. In East London, Becca has helped many smaller breeds such as terriers, who can find the busy streets of London a challenge.
What dog behaviours do you work with?
Training is offered for problems such as coming back when called, toileting indoors, or pulling on the lead. For a newly adopted dog settling in advice is offered, if there are no concerning behaviour problems. Behaviour consultations and practical re-training sessions are offered for problems such as barking, growling, biting, anxiety or separation issues. If you are not sure type your dogs needs, please get in touch.
What locations do you cover?
I am based in East London. Clients can be visited anywhere in London. The South-East of England is also covered, additional travel charges apply. For owners who have just adopted a dog and would like settling in advice, support can be offered by Skype to any location.