Like humans, dogs of all ages and breeds can become easily bored, frustrated, anxious, aggressive or fearful for a number of reasons. This often results in behaviours which we find annoying, dangerous, or expensive, like excessive barking and angry neighbors, obsessive scratching causing sleepless nights, destructive chewing of expensive household items, fighting with other dogs leading to costly vet visits, disobedience causing inconvenience to their owners, or escaping resulting in severe distress and heartache. While we humans may find these behaviours extremely irksome, we should remember that it is no fun for our dogs either, and it is our ethical responsibility to ensure that their right to freedom from discomfort, pain or fear is upheld.
The extreme lifestyle changes South Africans and their dogs are currently undergoing may have exacerbated existing behaviour problems, or created new ones.
The great news is that a qualified animal behaviourist may be able to help you determine the causes, will provide you with advice and exercises to tackle the problems, and with hard work and determination, you and your canine companion can overcome these challenges to co-exist peacefully and happily.
In support of local small businesses, education and responsible pet ownership, Pet Expo and our loyal Facebook followers have compiled this short list of Animal Behaviourists who are currently open for online and/or in-person consultations.
1. Kathy Clayton
HDE (Higher Diploma in Education) (JCE)
Companion Animal Behaviour course (University of Pretoria)
Senior Accredited Companion Animal Behaviourist (ABC of SA) Accreditation number: AABC/1998/008/CF
Accredited Clicker / Trick Dog Instructor (Do More with your Dog, USA)
CAP 1 (Clicker Assessment Program 1) and CAP 2 (Learning About Dogs, UK)
Behaviour Consultations via Skype.
2. Samantha Walpole
Samantha Walpole graduated from the Ethology Academy receiving Best Practice in both the Basic and Advanced Canine course. Samantha went on to become a qualified instructor having studied the Canine Culture Puppy and Adult instructor’s course with Shannon McKay at McKaynine Training Centre.
Samantha is Secretary and Membership facilitator for the Animal Behaviour Consultants of SA. She is a proud member of The Pet Professional Guild and is registered as a full member with the South African Board for Companion Animal Professionals (reg # AB/024). Her main focus is to empower and equip clients with scientifically up to date knowledge and skills to understand and help develop collaborative communication between an owner and their dog.
Virtual Behaviour Consults for any and all dog-related challenges.
3. Mignon du Preez
In 2006 Mignon decided on a career change and enrolled for the Basic Behaviour Course for Dogs at the Ethology Academy under the late Prof Johannes Odendaal. In 2007 he completed the Advanced Behaviour Course for Dogs, with a distinction. Currently he is studying for the Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management through PetSense (a Compass Education and Training Partner) and has completed 5 modules so far. Based in Pretoria, he has been practicing full time as a dog behaviour consultant since 2008. In 2009 he started to instruct dog training courses in basic obedience and good manners for young and adult dogs as well as puppy socialisation and training courses. He is passionate about force free methods.
Certified member (no 10439036) of the Association for Force-Free Professionals
Super Pup Gold Level Trainer: SP# G1707/50
Committee member of Animal Behaviour Consultants of South Africa
Certified Student Member (No 2929) of the International Society of Animal professionals
Phone: 082 933 9992
4. Ady Hawkins
Ady Hawkins has been working with dogs since 2010. She is on the committee of the Animal Behaviour Consultants of South Africa, is SABCAP accredited, Super Pup accredited, and she runs two branches for McKaynine Training Centre: Delta and Randburg.
Behaviour Consults for everything from puppies to aggressive dog behaviour, including in-home fighting.
Phone: 083 400 2987
5. Petra du Toit
Her extensive experience started in 1994 with competition obedience and traditional training methods. She completed her Advanced Dog Behaviour diploma in 2003 (Cum Laude), with the Pretoria Technicon. Petra is qualified Super Pup trainer, and her passion to teach people to train their dogs is seen in every class she offers. Petra has successfully achieved her international certification as CPDT-KA (Certified professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) and is the first (and currently only) dog trainer in South Africa with this prestigious title. Petra also serves on the board of SABCAP - the South African Board for Companion Animal Professionals.
6. Peter Eleftheriou
In 2015 he completed the Canine Communications Behaviour introduction course through Lotte. He then went on to complete an advanced diploma in Canine Behaviour Management through Petsense College which is run by Celia McCulla. He belongs to the Animal Behaviour Consultants of South Africa (The ABC) and the South African Board of Companion Animal Professionals (SABCAP) and is furthering his studies with COAPE SA and Thinking Pets.
Phone: 076 183 6150