Housebreaking your dog, or teaching him to sit, come on command and play fetch are considered dog training and largely constitute “well care” for dogs at least. Treating a dog for severe separation anxiety, a crippling fear of storms, self-mutilation or aggressive behavior are considered behavior consulting. While training and behavior consulting can work together, they are, in fact, quite different like the difference between a grade-school teacher and a child psychologist or pediatric psychiatrist. A behavior consultant delves into the emotional aspect and development of the problem, evaluates the medical history, and takes into account the environmental and health issues that might play a part. Dr. Patrick Melese has a comprehensive knowledge base in normal and dysfunctional behavior and can help to identify specific disorders your pet may be suffering from.
Dr. Melese is a licensed veterinary specialist and board certified Veterinary Behaviorist who has special expertise in diagnosing and treating pets with serious behavior disorders and abnormal behavior patterns. These ‘issues’ are not just things like puppy destructive chewing, too much barking, or jumping the fence to roam the neighborhood but are more likely to include underlying causes like phobias, anxieties, and serious aggression, among many others.
Along with a vast comprehension of animal behavior and training, Dr. Melese teaches pet owners to use appropriate behavior modification techniques to change the animal’s behavioral response, while paying close attention to treat the underlying emotional component of the issue. Often, desensitization and counterconditioning come into play to help “reprogram” the pet’s current problematic response when treating a pet for a disorder.
During the first appointment, Dr. Melese meets with the family and pet at his veterinary office in Kearny Mesa, San Diego or by house-call. A thorough history of the behavior problem(s) is taken (e.g., at what age did it start, how did it progress, when does it occur, what are the apparent triggers, etc.), and the pet is physically assessed. Once a behavioral diagnosis is reached, the final phase of the consultation involves developing a treatment plan and explaining it to the “pet parent.” You and your family should be ready to commit to a comprehensive training plan with changes not only for your pet but often also for how your family interacts with your pet. Dr. Melese operates using a detailed and customized plan for each particular case. His methods have been proven to work over decades, and his gentle, understanding nature will ease you and your pet when going through the journey to improved behavior.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment, please fill out a Request An Appointment Form.