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Behaviour Problem or Problem Behaviour?

It is not uncommon for animals to develop a behavioural problem, and this can affect the relationship between you and your pet as well as potentially affecting their quality of life.

Differentiating between a problem behaviour and a behaviour problem is vital when looking at treatment options.

A problem behaviour is a normal pet behaviour that is undesirable to us, such as jumping up on visitors to greet them, defecating on your favourite rug or generally having no manners around people. This means that your pet is showing a normal behaviour which is undesirable when they are domesticated with humans. Some good advice from us via a phone call as well as some further training with a recommended dog trainer can usually rectify these problem behaviours. See below for some links to recommended trainers.

A behaviour problem is a whole different set of problems. A lot of behavioural problems stem from anxiety but can also be due to particular phobias, such as thunderstorm phobias. Such behavioural problems are not considered a normal behaviour and cannot simply be rectified through training. In fact, disciplining your dog if he or she is anxious, could even exaccerbate the issue. It is essential that dogs that are aggressive, show excessive fear, separation anxiety or severe noise phobias are seen by a veterinarian and discussed in detail.

Each case is different and should be approached in an individual manner. In these cases, the dogs’ quality of life is affected and often they require specific medication (the type of medication depends on the problem) to help them from day to day. Before any medication can be dispensed, a full physical examination and behaviour assessment through a series of questions needs to be carried out and usually a blood test is required.

The earlier a behavioural problem is addressed, the more likely that there will be a positive outcome.

Spraying cats can often be a combination of a problem behaviour (as cats do this naturally) and a behavioural problem (with anxiety often being the underlying reason or even a urinary tract infection), so please speak to your vet and have your cat examined if this is occurring as sometimes it can be a urinary tract infection and so medical problems need to be ruled out.

BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATIONS

There are veterinarians at Gordon Vet Hospital that have a particular interest in animal behaviour problems, attending various behaviour specific conferences and seminars. Please phone us to book an appointment to see us on 9498 3000 if you are uncertain whether the behavioural problem requires veterinary assessment and treatment.

Behaviour consultations require a minimum of 30 minutes so please ensure you book in for a 30 minute (long) consultation.

Sometimes, for complicated behavioural problems, a referral is needed to a behaviour specialist. There are only a handful of veterinarians that specialise in behaviour in Australia (see list below).

Specialist Animal Behaviour Services (based at Seaforth) headed by Dr Kersti Seksel

www.sabs.com.au or ph 9949 8511

Dr Robert Holmes (based in Melbourne but does regular trips to Sydney and home visits as well as phone consultations)

www.animalbehaviour.com or ph (03) 9882 6789 or 0419 384 922

TRAINING

Training should begin early on with a 4 week puppy class which we hold on Saturdays 1pm at Gordon Vet Hospital (bookings are essential so phone us on 9498 3000). This is great for socialisation and learning the basics of training, however is certainly not a replacement for obedience classes as an adolescent (5-7 months). Ongoing classes for obedience can be accessed through Get Smart Dogs at St.Ives Showground, so check out the following link below:

http://www.getsmartdogs.com.au/PetSMART.html

The Pet SMART program offers 8 hours of tuition with a 3:1 ratio of students to trainers and is suitable for most ages and breeds. For those dogs needing a bit of individual attention, this can also be arranged. Either speak to one of the Get Smart Dog Trainers or find another trainer that uses the right techniques (positive training methods rather than punishment techniques) by visiting the Delta Society website below:

http://www.deltasocietyaustralia.com.au/

For more tips on how to ensure you have a happy life with a happy dog, click on this link to read more.

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Gordon Vet Hospital
4.8
Based on 116 reviews
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Lisa Elliott
Lisa Elliott
06:17 20 Oct 20
I can't rate Gordon Vet Hospital any higher. I took my 11yr old staffy in for surgery with the beautiful Imogene Ewen (amazing surgeon) and was managed by incredibly professional front office staff (Maddie). My dog, Coco was in the best of hands. The after care service is detailed and their love of animals is so very clear to all who enter. Exceptional service for the North Shore.
Jonathan Summers
Jonathan Summers
09:51 09 Oct 20
We love these guys. We have 3 cats and they are all well looked after.
jo kleoudis
jo kleoudis
22:08 04 Oct 20
Best vets and nursing staff. Great advice. Convenient and always easy to book.
Roopam Ghosh
Roopam Ghosh
10:49 25 Sep 20
Great service and very prompt with appointments. Lovely staff
Michelle Keir
Michelle Keir
08:30 01 Sep 20
Great service my dog loves going there! The staff are very caring and the vets very knowledgeable and do not over service.
Ayanthi Gooneratne
Ayanthi Gooneratne
06:22 24 Aug 20
The Vets are fantastic and so are the support staff. My dogs have been with Gorden Vets for over 10 years.
Steve Walker
Steve Walker
11:33 11 Aug 20
Helen was great. Took great care of our dog.
Eve Barratt
Eve Barratt
01:17 04 Aug 20
I took our little girl Coco for her very first vet visit yesterday. Dr Helen gave Coco a thoroughly check-up and provided me with useful information as the first time puppy owner. Coco is now enrolled in the puppy school and will return back for her 2nd vaccine in a couple of week!
Claire Turner
Claire Turner
05:21 19 Jul 20
Care & attention for your furry friends second to none.
Kimba
Kimba
02:50 09 Jul 20
Dr David and the team have provided real care, support and expertise for our furry family members over 25 years. They've also readily taken in injured wildlife. A great team of Vets and nurses - thanks for all you do!
Jayna Hirani
Jayna Hirani
03:43 09 Apr 20
Quality care and advice at every visit. The staff are friendly and informative and genuinely care about your pets. I am 100% confident that my cat and dog always receive the best pet healthcare and as pet parents that's all we want.
Marianne Broeng
Marianne Broeng
23:23 28 Jan 20
Gordon Vet has looked after my golden retriever since she was 9 weeks. Everyone has been amazing and caring with lots of experience. I have been able to ask any questions and always been welcome. Even one day when she stepped on a bee in the evening, they stayed open until we got there and helped her get it out. Thanks to all the staff :-)
Lizzie Wei
Lizzie Wei
00:56 18 Jan 20
We just moved to Gordon couple month ago and need to get my cat vaccinated. We found this hospital through google and I need to say they provide excellent service and very professional! The doctor really knows cat. Highly recommended!
Lara Bisley
Lara Bisley
08:15 27 Nov 19
Exceptional veterinary hospital. I have been taking my dog here for many years and although I now live in the Eastern Suburbs, I still drive across town to see the Vets at Gordon. The staff are highly skilled, compassionate, friendly and helpful. My 9 year old dog has had 2 knee operations (1 on each knee!) and the outcome of these surgeries far exceeded my expectations. I have been incredibly impressed with the care provided during all of our visits. I would highly recommend Gordon Vet Hospital.
Eugenie Goodyer
Eugenie Goodyer
23:22 21 Oct 19
Very friendly staff. Wonderful care for all our animals A++
Jennie Keogh
Jennie Keogh
06:36 21 Oct 19
Fantastic and friendly staff who you can tell really care about your pet. Their follow up service is also very reassuring. I also board my cat with Gordon Vet and I feel very comfortable to know he's in safe and caring hands. I'm so glad I found this clinic.
Newsha Amiri
Newsha Amiri
20:24 03 Oct 19
We took our dog there and Dr. David take care of his skin issues. he was so caring and professional.
Luxe Sydney Mum
Luxe Sydney Mum
06:37 02 Sep 19
Compassionate, caring and highly skilled veterinary surgeons who treat their patients and owners with respect. The nursing and administration staff are efficient and remember their patients by name which is a lovely touch. A lovely vet practice which despite our Golden Retriever Finn’s complex medical history, is always welcoming to him and he never displays any signs of anxiety when attending. Dr Helen is lovely and a firm favourite of ours!
Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
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