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Behavior Medicine

If your pet is showing signs of unacceptable behavior, including serious aggression issues, please don’t give up. LIVS is the only facility on Long Island with a Behavior Medicine Department, which means we have the specialized resources to help you manage your pet’s behavioral issues.

We provide lasting solutions to pets’ behavior problems based on today’s most advanced scientific knowledge of animal learning. The techniques we apply include humane behavior modification, counter-conditioning, desensitization, environmental modification and positive reinforcement.

As a pet owner, you play a vital role in helping to resolve your pet’s behavior issues, so we spend time educating you as well as training your dog or cat. We prescribe medication only if necessary, and always as adjunctive treatment to a behavior modification plan, not as a standalone treatment.

Behavior experts offer real solutions

The behavior issues we see

  • Aggression toward both humans and other pets, including dog biting
  • Anxieties, fears and phobias
  • Compulsive disorders
  • Destructive behavior when unattended
  • House soiling
  • Unruly behaviors

Our approach

Our behavior team will never intentionally provoke or upset your pet. The technique we use is non-confrontational, scientific, and based on positive training principles. Following an initial assessment, we’ll craft a personalized treatment plan tailored to your pet’s and your family’s needs. Medication may be prescribed as a short- or long-term element of the overall protocol.

Treatment plans will generally require at least 10 to 15 minutes of home exercises per day. The more consistent you are, the more progress you’ll be able to make with your pet.

While every case is different, consistency and diligence are keys to successful behavioral modification treatment.

Getting Started

After you submit a completed pet history form, we’ll start with an in-person, casual meeting with you and your pet during which we make our initial assessment. We prefer that anyone in your household who interacts with your pet be present at this meeting so we can learn as much as possible about the family dynamic early on. Also, our assessment meeting will be more productive if you send us the following at least 24 hours before the initial appointment:

  • A completed history form (links to the history form can be found below)
  • A copy of your pet’s medical records
  • Any written training plans or notes from previous trainers or behaviorists
  • It’s always helpful if you can send us a video of your pet exhibiting the problem behavior(s), if possible

Behavior Team

Sabrina Poggiagliolmi

DVM, MS, DACVB