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Frequently Asked Questions

Select questions below to drop down to the answers.

What is the Animal Behavior Network?
What is a Pet Behavior History Analysis?
What is Behavior Case Supervision?
How do I choose a Qualified Behavior Consultant?
What are possible Behavior Consultant Credentials? (can be combined)
What are the possible formats for Consultations? (In order of effectiveness)
What are considerations when choosing a Behavior Consultant?
Why are Medical Work-ups recommended with Behavioral Treatment Plans?
What is the role of the Attending Veterinarian?
What About Cost?
Does ABN offer refunds for unsatisfactory service or outcomes?

What is the ABN Client Satisfaction Guarantee?
NOTE: There is no guarantee of behavioral improvement

What is the Animal Behavior Network (ABN)?

ABN is a network of families, pet professionals, and veterinary practices working together to improve relationships between people and pets.

What does the Animal Behavior Network (ABN) offer?

  • Pet Behavior ECourses for families, pet professionals, and veterinary practices
  • Animal Behavior Network Education Library of topics, slide shows and videos
  • Weekly Positive Pet Parenting ECourses with proven, gentle training methods
  • Pet Behavior History Analysis and Veterinary Behavior Case Supervision
  • Veterinary Behavior Consultant and Veterinary Behavior Technicians
  • Curriculum by a Credentialed Teacher with an MS in Psychology.

What is a Pet Behavior History Analysis (PBHA)?
The Pet Behavior History Analysis gives the family, veterinarian and pet professional a pet profile that describes the probable causes of unwanted behaviors and what is needed to begin or restore positive, loving, problem-free relationships between families and pets.

A Veterinary Behavior Consultant (VBC) works with the client and veterinarian on a behavior treatment plan.

The pet's veterinarian retains all medical services and the prescription of behavior medications as indicated. The Veterinary Behavior Consultant creates and supervises the pet behavior education and modification plan to support the success of the pet, the client and the attending DVM.

What is Veterinary Behavior Case Supervision (VBCS)?

After the Analysis is complete, the client may choose additional education and coaching on how to proceed with the VBC recommended education and behavior plan from the Veterinary Behavior Technician assigned to the attending DVM.

How do I choose a qualified Veterinary Behavior Consultant (VBC)?

To identify probable causes on unwanted behaviors and to be able to understand behavior-related concerns requires a veterinarian with special education and experience in the behavior science, neurology and psychopharmacology. Trainers work with command response - obedience training. Behaviorists work with emotional response - behavior training.

What are possible Consultant credentials? (can be combined)

1) A Veterinarian becomes "Board Certified" in Animal Behavior by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
2) A "Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist" is a member of the International Animal Behavior Society.
3) A Ph.D. degree in Animal Behavior (if no medical or pharmacology issues in the degree related to pet behavior - as opposed to other species research)
4) A Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine with a special interest in animal behavior
5) Certified Veterinary Technician with a special interest in animal behavior
6) Certified Dog or Animal Trainer (Various certifying bodies and levels of certifications)
7) Authors of pet related books or articles
8) Experienced pet owners ( = lowest likelihood of success)

What are the possible formats for Consultations? (in order of effectiveness)

1) In-Home consult (Trainer or Behaviorist comes to your home)
2) Office visit at the location of the behaviorist or veterinarian (may be inconvenient)
3) Pet Behavior History Analysis (online history and analysis by phone (convenient)


What are considerations when choosing a behavior consultant or trainer?

1) Academic credentials (see above)
2) Special training and experience with the species of your pet. (Dog, Cat, Bird)

3) Special training in the specific behavior concerns (e.g. aggression, phobias, etc.)
4) Number of years of successful experiences using gentle methods (references)
5) Success rate in the past for your specific behavioral concern (gentle methods)
6) Testimonials and recommendations by previous clients
7) Geographic proximity

Why are medical work-ups recommended with behavioral treatment plans?

A change in behavior can occur with illness or discomfort. Medical causes must be identified or ruled out before proceeding with behavior modification efforts or medications. Resolving medical issues speeds up management of behavior issues.

It is also routine to collect a current "minimum data base" of information before starting behavior medication, if indicated from a veterinary exam to rule out possible unknown minor, chronic physical discomfort that may be influencing the threshold of any behavior (e.g. causing frustration), and insure that all the internal organs are functioning normally before starting medication, and to gain baseline values for this animal to compare for future use.

What is the role of the attending veterinarian (ADVM)?

The local attending veterinarian retains the primary doctor-client-pet relationship. Any medical tests or prescriptions recommended by the Veterinary Behavior Consultant are discussed with the ADVM who makes all final decisions related to the pet's medical care. The behaviorist is acting as a consultant to the veterinarian, and with the veterinarians permission may continue behavior education and modification consultations with the client.

What about cost?

You are choosing to invest in a better relationship with your pet. The return on your time and any costs are intended to produce a  lifetime of increased joy with your pet.  Specific factors that influence your total cost investment include:

  • Medical tests needed
  • Medication indicated
  • Need for basic obedience training
  • Need for in-home private training
  • Complexity of case, and effectiveness of client compliance

Based on Pet Behavior History Analysis, the family will be given an cost estimate.

Does ABN offer refunds for unsatisfactory service or outcomes?

Any request for a refund will be reviewed and honored based on the ABN Client Satisfaction Guarantee below. Note this is a guarantee of satisfactory SERVICE and not a guarantee of positive outcomes. Your success is largely dependent on the level of family participation.

What is the ABN Client Satisfaction Guarantee?

If a client is not satisfied with the SERVICE provided by Animal Behavior Network, he or she may complete a form describing the circumstances, and with reasonable cause, receive a refund of any money processed within the preceding 30 days. After 30 days no refunds are available.

There is no guarantee of behavioral improvement, since there are many factors that influence success rate. The client is purchasing either printed behavior topics, and professional time for analysis, opinion, recommendations, and follow-up. ABN provides services solely to clients with a client's agreement to hold the behaviorist, veterinarian, and all related parties harmless for any negative outcome.

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