The AVA behaviour SIG is hitting the road

Are you using the most up-to-date and best practice behaviour modification techniques? The AVA’s behaviour SIG, AVBIG, is running a behaviour roadshow for veterinarians featuring veterinary behaviour aficionados, Dr Gabrielle Carter and Dr Jacqui Ley. This professional development opportunity is not one to miss.

The AVBIG behaviour roadshows are coming to Adelaide, Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne in September and October.

  • Sydney  - 12 September
  • Adelaide -  26 September
  • Hobart -  10 October
  • Melbourne - 24 October

Venues to be confirmed.

Here’s what to expect

Over the last few decades veterinarians have been gaining knowledge about the treatment of behaviour problems in cats and dogs, and many vets now know how to approach common behaviour problems seen in the veterinary clinic. Appropriate use of medications has increased, however, many clinicians are still unsure about how to successfully design and implement behaviour modification. These seminars are designed to 'get dirty' with the nitty gritty of putting behaviour modification into practice.

The sessions are designed to review in detail different approaches to behaviour modification for dogs with inter dog aggression, dogs with anxiety and cats with a range of behavioural problems. The nuances, pros and cons, and success of different techniques will be presented and then each topic will be open for discussion with a panel of veterinary behaviourists.

Structure of the day: one hour lecture then a 30 minute discussion on each topic

10.30 – 11.30am: inter-dog aggression lecture: basic principles, introduction to/comparative analysis of various behaviour modification techniques. (presented by Dr Gabrielle Carter and Dr Jacqui Ley)

11.30 – 12.30am: discussion - explore pros and cons of various techniques

12.30-1.00pm: Lunch

1.00 -2.00pm managing the anxious dog: causes, diagnosis and various techniques to reduce anxiety (presented by Dr Jacqui Ley)

2.00-2.30pm: discussion: should the emphasis be on behaviour modification, management or relaxation exercises?

2.30-3.00pm afternoon tea

3.00 - 4.00pm understanding cat behaviour: general information on cat behaviour, covering body language, social structure and managing stress in cats (presented by Dr Gabrielle Carter)

4.00 - 4.30pm discussion: application of this knowledge of cat behaviour to treating behaviour problems in general


Spread the word, we’re also doing a session for pet owners

There will also be an opportunity for pet owners to attend an evening session. As dogs are steadily moving from the back yard into our homes and social lives, more and more dogs are finding themselves at cafes, and in dog parks where a high level of social skill is required. Some dogs are not coping well, either showing fear, anxiety or aggression. They need our help. This seminar will address why dogs may find some of these social situations stressful and how to help them develop the appropriate skills to relax and enjoy these activities.

Many times dogs and cats are giving lots of messages about what stresses them and often they are asking for help. Dogs and cats are really good communicators but the problem comes when they try to get their message across, because often we are not skilled at reading their body language. Early recognition of what pets are experiencing and trying to communicate, means we can take action to help them out. This can prevent an anxious dog resorting to aggression to get out of a scary situation or a cat swiping when it feels it has no other way to communicate it is feeling uncomfortable.

“Talking with dogs and cats” will provide owners with a better understanding of what their pet is trying to tell them about how they feel emotionally, and also to respond more appropriately with their own body language.

Structure of pet owners’ night seminar:

6.30 - 7.30pm: Dog etiquette in the park, on the street and at the café. How to get a well socialised dog (presented by Dr Jacqui Ley)

7.30-8.30pm: Talking with dogs and cats. How to read your pet’s body language (presented by Dr Gabrielle Carter).


AVBIG webinars

AVBIG are also hosting a number of WEBINARS through the year:

AVBIG and ASAVA; 11 February: Behaviour modification. Dr Katrina Ward

AVBIG: 13 May: behaviour advice in the puppy or kitten consult. Dr Sally Nixon

AVBIG: 12 August: pros and cons of using medication for behaviour cases. Dr Kathy MacMillan

AVBIG: 11 November: aggression and toilet problems in cats. Dr Kim Kendall

Please watch out for further information how to access our webinars.

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