Your clients are scared. They are scared of you, of failure, of running out of money, and in some cases having to release their relationship with a beloved family member. This can make them angry, defensive, or uncooperative. As a result, behavior consults are emotionally charged and can be taxing for both the client and the practitioner.
Our job is to give clients hope while building trust. So how do we do that without burning out or making false promises? We actively “onboard” our clients, build relationships, create a support network, communicate empathetically, and practice the skills that make this possible.
We will look at the definition of onboarding, what it takes to achieve it, and how to maintain relationship momentum. Building relationships is an active process. We do this not just with our clients, but with other behavior and veterinary professionals. Keeping communication lines open, respecting each other’s knowledge base, being empathetic to the particular challenges we each face, and remembering to focus on our part of case management while keeping up to date on case progress with other practitioners is a constant challenge. However, this is the heart of cooperative case management.
We will illustrate these concepts through case-based learning. Nora is a one and half year old Corgi mix, adopted through an international rescue. Post adoption, Nora struggled to adjust to life in a home, displaying aggressive behavior towards her owners and to other dogs on leash. Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. E’Lise Christensen and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant Bobbie Bhambree will guide you through different aspects of case workup and management. The pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions chosen are discussed, as are the successes and failures of the behavior training plan.
Understanding these mechanisms and methods enables us to create evidence-based clinical behavior plans and unify care across disciplines to best support the patient. Join us for an exploration of how veterinary behaviorists and trainers working together can inspire client engagement, motivate practitioners’ creativity, and maintain commitment.