Don't forget to bring your dog's vet and adoption records (if you have them) with you. When you arrive I ask that you not try to restrain the dog (unless there is a danger of biting, of course) or correct the dog's behavior. If he wants to sniff and explore his environment, let him. If he wants to hide behind you, that is fine. I need to see their behavior and reactions. I will watch how the dog comes into the studio, their body language. level of curiosity, watching their body language I let the dog choose to approach me. This helps build their confidence and trust.
We start with paperwork then we move on to questions about the dog's history, family dynamics and schedules. I watch the dog closely to read his body language and reactions. Where does he sleep? Is he crated? What does his outside area look like? What kind of toys does he have? What is her regular feed? Is she spayed? Is he neutered? Last vet visit and what was it for? Does he travel? Has she had a litter? Have you moved/married/divorced/had a baby recently? New pets? Lost a pet? Deployment? Sudden schedule change? And more... I will offer the dog treats. The higher the anxiety the less likely the dog is to take treats. If he takes the treats or when he settles enough to take them tells me a lot. Information gathered is for our use in setting up the best treatment plan for your dog. I do not share it unless directed to, such as if you change trainers or want me to provide it to your vet.
The more information I have the better we can figure out what direction we need to take and to set up that treatment plan. Then I go over with you what my plan of action is, how we will address and manage the behaviors while creating a way to get new, desired behaviors. We'll discuss counter conditioning when needed. We'll go over the cost of each session, how many sessions, how often we will meet and set up our first appointment. Payment is per session and can be cash, check or credit card. The consultation itself takes about an hour and a half and unless there are special circumstances that we discuss first, each session should last between 45 minutes and an hour.
Every dog is different and we adjust our approach to the individual dogs. This is important and it may result in shifting our plan to make sure the dog is progressing.
You may be advised to make a vet appointment. If there is a physical cause for the behavior we cannot make progress without it being addressed.