N. Toronto Veterinary Behaviour Specialty Clinic

99 Henderson Ave.
Thornhill, ON L3T 2K9

(905)881-2922

www.northtorontovets.com

Behaviour Services

Dr. Gary Landsberg is a 1976 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and a former president and member of the executive board. He is also a diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine and sits on their executive board. He is a frequent speaker at veterinary conferences around the world, is a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network and serves on the advisory board for a number of veterinary journals and animal health companies. he has mentored a number of behaviour residency programs, as well as externship and internship students in the field of veterinary behaviour. Dr. Landsberg has hosted his own call-in radio and TV shows and continues to appear regularly in the media. Dr. Landsberg is the recipient of awards for his work in the field, from the American Animal Hospital Association in 2000 and the Western Veterinary Conference in 2014.

Dr. Landsberg has authored numerous articles, books and chapters in the field of canine and feline behavior including Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, 3rd edition, Saunders, 2013, and a book and CD of client handouts (Behavior Advice for Clients) from Lifelearn (which are available to our clients in the behaviour only section of our website.

Dr. Denenberg has taken a position in the United Kingdom as of July 19, 2015 for a position as veterinary behaviorist at Bristol University.  He can continue to be reached for followup case support by email to our clinic. 

For information on ordering Dr. Landsberg's book, Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, 3rd edition in Canada please click here - in the United States please click here

For information on ordering Behavior Advice for Clients in Canada click here - in the United States click here

For further details see Our Veterinarians in the About Us section of our website.

Behaviour consultations

Our clinic provides behaviour consultations with Dr. Landsberg who is presently the only board certified veterinary behaviourist practicing in Ontario. We require that our history questionnaires which can be found below be completed by both you and your veterinarian and returned at least 48 hours prior to your consultation. These questionnaires provide us with much of the background information we may require to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our questionnaires can be printed from the pdf link below and returned by mail or FAX (905-881-6726) or can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format, completed on your computer and returned by email to northtorontovets@rogers.com . Please note that we require a deposit by VISA or MasterCard to hold an appointment time. If you cancel at least one business day prior to your scheduled appointment you will not be charged.

Although space is somewhat limited, we suggest that you attend the consultation with your pet and up to 3 additional people that might be involved in the management and behaviour modification program (e.g. other family members, trainer). We strongly suggest that you bring videotape, recordings or pictures of the problem and your environment if available. Please do not feed your pet on the day of the consultation, and bring along your pet's favoured treats.

What is the fee for a behaviour consultation?

Fees are based on half hour increments. Cases that are over two hours will be charged a capped (flat) fee. The first part of the consult includes the diagnosis and assessment and normally takes half an hour. the second part of the consult includes a management program for your pet's problem. This can take up to one hour in cats and up to 2 hours in dogs.

Laboratory tests, products, and medications where necessary are additional. Most cases require a follow up visit approximately 1 to 2 months following the initial visit and telephone or email support for minor adjustment or modification to the initial program with you or your veterinarian for up to 2 months.

As per the regulations of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, our prices are not available through our web site. Call 905-881-2752 or email us at northtorontovets@rogers.com if you would like a quotation.

What services do you offer and how long is the consultation?

  • Canine behaviour problems:  Most canine behavior problems including fear and anxiety, noise phobias, repetitive and compulsive disorders and aggression will generally last two hours or longer but some problems such as separation anxiety or housesoiling may require 60 to 90 minutes.  Most cases will also require a follow-up visit 4 to 8 weeks following the initial consultation which will be covered by a reduced multiple visit fee.
  • Feline behaviour problems:  For most common behavior problems of cats including housesoiling, urine marking, fearful behavior (avoidance), eating disorders (such as excessive sucking or chewing) and repetitive or compulsive behaviours, the consultation will generally require approximately 60 to 90 minutes with some aggression cases requiring 90 minutes or longer. Most cases will also require a follow-up visit 4 to 8 weeks following the initial consultation which will be covered by a reduced multiple visit fee.
  • New Introductions: Bringing home Baby, Introducing Pets to other Pets, Moving;  If you are bringing a new pet into your home with existing pets, bringing home a new baby or integrating households, a consultation of approximately 30 to 60 minutes will help you with the transition and help you to prevent or prepare for potential problems.
  • Assessment visits only: If you wish to have your pet assessed as to the cause of the problem and the chances that it can be effectively managed or improved then the visit will be limited to 30 to 60 minutes.  Should you wish to proceed to discuss the treatment plan the visit will take approximately 1 to 2 hours as described above.
  • New pet consultations: If you are obtaining a puppy or kitten or are a first time pet owner, we offer a "new pet" consultation of approximately 30 to 60 minutes to provide you with behavioural guidance on problem prevention, setting up to succeed, reward based training and how to deal with emerging problems such as housesoiling, destruction, stealing, and play biting.
  • Canine Selection consultations: If are considering obtaining a new dog, we offer a 30 minute selection consultation to help you choose a pet that is appropriate for your needs (breed, age, sex, source) as well as advice on preventing and dealing with common behavior problems.  We ask that you narrow your choice to up to 5 breeds before the visit.
  • Unruly behaviours and emerging problems: If you have a recently adopted pet that is difficult to control, hard to train or has some recently developed problems such as housesoiling, chewing, digging, scratching, stool eating, barking or garbage raiding, these consultations will generally require about 60 minutes.
  •  Senior pet behavior problems:  A variety of behavior problems may begin to emerge as your pet reaches its senior or geriatric years, ranging from decreased awareness and disorientation to repetitive activities, anxiety and night waking.  Assessment, diagnostic and treatment advice for these cases generally takes 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Clinical trials: We often serve as a site for clinical trials for a variety of drugs or products that might be useful aids in treating behavior problems.  During your visit you may be offered the opportunity to participate in a drug or product study, which would be supplied at no additional charge.  At present we are studying the effects of a natural compound for canine anxiety and a supplement for signs of brain aging in senior cats and dogs.  Check this space to see what trials are presently ongoing.
  • Consultations lasting two hours or longer will be charged a capped (maximum) fee. Cases requiring a second follow-up visit will be charged a reduced multiple visit fee.

What is a behaviour consultation and how might it help my pet’s problem?

There are 4 components to a behaviour consultation:

1.  Diagnosis: In order to explain why your pet might be exhibiting his or her problem(s), we must first determine the cause as well as any factors that might be reinforcing or aggravating the situation. Our diagnosis will be based on the information you provide in your questionnaire, the information you provide at the visit, and observation of your pet’s behaviour at our clinic. We also advise that whenever possible, that you collect a videotape or recording of the problem so that we can best assess the pet's actions as well as your interactions. If there is the possibility of an underlying medical problem, additional diagnostic tests may be recommended.

2.  Prognosis: The next step is to determine the prognosis, which is a determination of what might be achieved and how this can be accomplished to best suit your needs. Although we hope that we can come up with a treatment program that will resolve your pet’s problem, it is not always practical once we determine the diagnosis, the cause of the problem, as well as your needs and expectations.

3.  Treatment plan: Next, we will help you to implement a treatment program that is suited to your pet and your household. Often by achieving a better understanding of canine and feline behaviour, and how pets learn, you will be able to better understand how to manage the problem. A treatment program generally involves behaviour modification techniques based primarily on positive reinforcement and shaping (i.e. what to do and what not to do) and environmental management (i.e. adjustments to your environment to better manage the situation). We might also suggest the use of products such as a head halter, body harness or clicker to help modify your pet’s behaviour, or in some cases drugs, pheromones, or other natural products. Demonstration of products or techniques, videotapes, or handouts may also be utilized in our consultation. At the end of the visit we will provide you and your veterinarian with a printed summary of our suggestions and appropriate handouts or other support material.

4.  Followup: The final aspect of the consultation is the followup on the case, so that we help to guide you through the program and monitor the pet’s response. For most canine and feline cases, a follow-up visit will be scheduled within 1 to 2 months. Follow up visits are 50 minutes long. Telephone support for minor adjustments or modification to the initial program will also be available for the first 2 months following your visit, and these fees are included in the consultation price. If a trainer is required to assist in the implementation of the program we can help guide you in the selection of an appropriate trainer and , with your permission, will communicate our findings and suggestions.

It is impractical for me to travel to your clinic. Can I schedule a telephone consultation? 

Telephone consultations are not available, as you must attend our office in person with your pet in order to establish a legal veterinary client relationship and to be able to fully assess your pet and the problem.

Therefore, our options are to see you and your pet in person, or to schedule a consultation with your veterinarian, who can then discuss with you our suggestions and findings. For telephone consultations we ask that you complete our questionnaire, and that it be submitted to us by your veterinarian, along with the medical history.

What is a veterinary behaviourist?

There can be major differences in the background, training and expertise of those providing behavioural advice. The veterinary behaviourist must first be a graduate of an accredited veterinary college. This insures a comprehensive background in anatomy, neurology, physiology, medicine, and pharmacology, as well as the type of medical problems that might have an effect on the behaviour of the pet. The veterinary behaviourist must also receive training in normal species typical behaviour, comparative animal behaviour, the principles of learning and behaviour modification, abnormal behaviour, psychopharmacology and the effects of disease on behaviour, and must work for at least two years seeing cases under the mentorship of a board certified behaviourist. Publications, presentations to other veterinarians, case histories and a four-part examination are all then required to achieve board certification (see www.dacvb.org  for details). In short, the veterinary behaviourist has a unique combination of education and training, clinical expertise and medical knowledge to be able to diagnose and design a treatment program for your pet’s behaviour problem.

Behaviour questionnaires - to be returned at least 2 days prior to your visit

Please download a copy of our canine or feline forms from the links below and return them by mail or FAX to our clinic so that they arrive at least two business days prior to your appointment. These forms have been designed to be filled out on your computer and emailed to northtorontovets@rogers.com OR they can be printed, filled out and scanned or FAXed to 905-881-6726.  Please contact us at 905-881-2752 or by email at northtorontovets@rogers.com if you would like to schedule an appointment.  

  • Click here for canine forms - please note that this is a computerized word form that should be downloaded and completed on your computer and returned by email OR can be printed, filled out and FAXed to our clinic.
  • Click here for feline forms - please note that this is a computerized word form that should be downloaded and completed on your computer and returned by email OR can be printed, filled out and FAXEd to our clinic,
  • Click here for the Veterinary History form - This form is for the referring veterinarian to complete prior to the consultation which can be filled out as a computerized word form and returned by email OR printed, filled out and FAXed back to our clinic at 905-881-6726.