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Behavioural Management
Behavioural husbandry: the way to a client's heart
  1. Kendal Shepherd

    Kendal Shepherd is the first UK veterinary surgeon to be accredited by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour as a certified clinical animal behaviourist. She has spent many years in small animal practice as well as running her own puppy classes and working in dog rescue. She also acts as an expert witness on dog behaviour. Her passion is to use her wealth of experience to prevent dogs having to bite people, both big and small, hence her involvement in the recently launched Blue Dog Project; her own book for children, ’The Canine Commandments‘; and her promotion of the concept of behavioural husbandry within veterinary practice.


THE field of behaviour is frequently presented as complicated and labour intensive, involving copious letter-writing and inordinate amounts of time spent in the presence of one particular client. But, says Kendal Shepherd, the same ground rules apply to creating and maintaining appropriate behaviour as a lifestyle for both human and dog as to treating behaviour problems once they have already arisen. Advice regarding these rules should be given in a generic fashion in the same way as advice regarding vaccination, worming, grooming and diet. Managing a client's relationship with their pet in the most fruitful and welfare-oriented way will hugely enhance a client's relationship with the veterinary practice. She suggests that by demonstrating a practical knowledge of learning theory and its impact on emotional and behavioural welfare, practitioners should aim to instruct not merely ‘do as I say’ but ‘do as I do’.

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