Gungahlin Vet Hospital

Animal Behaviour Consulting

Delta Society LogoABC provides many services such as:

  • Puppy socialisation Classes
  • Beyond Puppy Classes
  • Adult dog training classes (Delta Society "Delta Teens" leading to possible "Canine Good Citizens" Award)
  • One on one training
  • Diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems in cats and dogs

Animal Behaviour Consulting (ABC) is operated by

  • Vicki Young, Delta Society Certificate IV  instructor who is accredited to teach and assess Canine Good Citizen dogs 
  • Dr Michael Hayward BVSc CMAVA (member of the International Society of Applied Ethology and the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group) a veteranarian with over 30 years experience

Group at puppy classWe keep up to date with recent research being conducted in the rapidly advancing animal behaviour field. The business has been operating since 2000 and handles a variety of behaviour problems and training issues in both cats and dogs.

Vicki conducts all our dog training classes at Gungahlin Veterinary Hospital. We run Puppy Classes (for 8-12 week old pups) four nights per week, for 7 weeks (week one is a "dog free" lecture), and "Beyond Puppy Classes" (for puppy class graduates who want to go further), and "Pet Dog Training" (for dogs who missed out on puppy classes), on Sunday mornings. All dogs must be current with their vaccinations, and healthy. A flat collar (no slip or choke collars) and lead are required. A 70 page A4 book with material about behaviour and health care, specially written and selected by us, is provided.

The primary aim of our classes is socialisation - the active exposure of dogs to other people, dogs, animals, places, sounds and events so that they become familiar and comfortable with eveything they will meet in later life. Dogs are most easily socialised between 8 and 14 weeks of age. Dogs who do not have wide exposure to many other people, dogs, other animals, crowds, traffic, loud noises etc etc during this so called "sensitive period" are more likely to be anxious and to display this as fear or aggression. A well socialised dog is one you can take out in public, predicting how it will behave, knowing it is safe around children and other animals, and that it too will be happy in these circumstances.

Training classes teach you how to train your own pet. We use positive motivational training - rewards based training - and by the end of the classes your dog should be able to sit, stand, drop, and walk sensibly on a lead. You will know how to train your dog to go to and wait on its bed, not to rush to the door when the bell rings, to come when called. We teach the "emergency drop" to stop your dog near traffic and other risks.

An experienced veterinary nurse participates in all Puppy Classes to assist with training and to teach more about health care - basics of grooming, tick prevention, worms and fleas, the importance of good food, etc. And you can ask both Vicki and the nurse lots of questions.

As of 2010, Gungahlin Veterinary Hospital has trained nearly 3,000 puppies. Owners report they understand their dogs much better, have better interactions, have fewer frustrations with their pets, and that they thoroughly enjoy the classes! You must start at Week One, and you must book in advance - ring 6255 5858, or enquire at Reception.


Pets fulfil such an important role in so many lives – they are friends to the lonely, they encourage exercise, help us recover from major illnesses and reduce our visits to the doctor, and give unconditional love. They bring joy to all and teach compassion to the young. Walkers with dogs are about 5 times more likely to talk to someone else when walking than those who walk alone – a social facilitator in our increasingly isolated society.

But society expects more and more of pet owners. Laws become increasingly restrictive about keeping our pets confined, not letting them become a nuisance with excessive barking, and there is always the worry of dog bites. And we still abandon tens of thousands of dogs and cats around Australia each year. The most common reason for dog abandonment and therefore death, especially in dogs less than 12 months of age, is behaviour problems.

But behaviour problems are not inevitable. 
So how do we retain the undoubted pleasures and benefits of dog ownership, and yet fulfil societies expectations?

For further information please contact Animal Behaviour Consulting on (02) 6255 5858 or the central line at Gungahlin Veterinary Hospital (02) 6242 7276