Ep. 18: Working With a Vet Behaviorist With Dr. Chris Pachel

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In today’s episode, Marissa Martino of Paws & Reward interviews the amazing Dr. Chris Pachel, board certified veterinary behaviorist. Learn what it’s like working with a veterinary behaviorist and how they can support a canine’s training and behavior modification process. 

What sorts of behavior concerns does a vet behaviorist typically encounter?

  • Anything!!! But more specifically:
    • Fear
    • Generalized Anxiety
    • Aggressive tendencies towards a variety of stimuli, people, other dogs, etc.
    • Separation Anxiety
    • Compulsive behaviors
    • Puppy and Adolescent dogs
    • Reactivity, for example, barking and lunging on leash 
  • So like we mentioned…..everything! 

Resources we mentioned:

Karen Overall Relaxation Protocol

Five Freedoms 

Dr. Pachel, do you feel as though you are starting to see more and more dogs needing either a veterinary behaviorist and/or drug therapy support in their behavior modification plan? 

  • Hard to say. We might know more now and are trying new ways of approaching these concerns. So maybe they were already there, just now we have a better awareness. 
  • We’re also asking a lot of our dogs! We expect them to live in busy cities, accompany us to the farmer’s market and the local brewery, live in close proximity to other animals, etc. These expectations could be skewing our perception. 
  • But no doubt that cases are becoming more complex which is both challenging and exciting for us professionals. 

What does the initial process look like when working with a client? 

  • Taking a thorough history.
  • Collaborating with the client to determine the best plan for everyone.
  • Discussion of process and clear expectation setting!!!!
  • Start the work! 
  • Re-evaluate the process. 

When do you include existing professionals, such as veterinarians and trainers, into the process and what does that often look like? 

  • Right from the beginning in order to support the training and behavior modification process and build a collaborative process for everyone involved. 
  • It truly takes a village!

Where to find Dr. Chris Pachel:

Dr. Pachel: Animal Behavior Clinic

Dr. Pachel Facebook

Where to find Marissa Martino:

Paws & Reward Website

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