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Why I don't use labels and complex language with clients, communicating dog and cat behaviour.

Animal behaviour science has developed a great deal in the last 20 years, we have a better understanding of their emotional needs. With more research coming into this field we have increased jargon and although helpful for academics there is a reason why I do not use it in consultations. I am seeing lots of ways to describe dog behaviour and with the complexities that the pandemic bought us, increase in puppy farming, mass importation of street dogs from abroad and lack of social opportunity has resulted in some challenging behaviour problems.


I had a case the other day of someone who had see a few trainers and a behaviourist before being referred on. The aspect that confused them most was the language, talk of emotional buckets, cups and spoons was the the dog and optimist or pessimists, the client didn't know, she just wanted to get help and understand her pet and they were not making sense to this client.


I really try to break the language down so you have a real understanding of what is happening emotionally for the pet and then how to gradually change that emotional state. Here is why I do this.

  1. Client Understanding: Scientific jargon can be complex and difficult for clients to understand, especially those without a background in animal behaviour or psychology. Using common terms makes it easier for clients to grasp the concepts and recommendations I'm providing.

  2. Effective Communication: Clear and simple language fosters effective communication. I want to ensure that my clients fully understand the advice and instructions, so you can implement them correctly with your pets.

  3. Client Comfort: Some clients may feel intimidated or overwhelmed by scientific terminology. By using everyday language, I can create a more comfortable and approachable atmosphere, which can improve your overall experience.

  4. Avoid Misinterpretation: Complex scientific terms can be misinterpreted, leading to misunderstandings and potential problems in implementing my recommendations. Using plain language reduces the likelihood of miscommunication.

  5. Client Empowerment: My goal is to empower clients to address their pet's behaviour issues. Simple language helps clients feel more confident in their ability to follow my guidance and make positive changes in your pet's behaviour.

  6. Focus on Practical Solutions: Clients typically seek my expertise for practical solutions to their pet's behavioural problems. Using scientific language might detract from the focus on actionable advice and problem-solving.

  7. Professionalism: While scientific language has its place in research and academia, in a clinical setting, professionalism is often associated with clear and empathetic communication. Avoiding overly technical terms can project a more client-centered approach.

  8. Building Trust: Simplifying my language can help build trust with clients. You are more likely to trust and follow my guidance if you feel comfortable and understand what I'm saying.

Being able to simplify scientific concepts and terms without compromising the integrity of my consultation progress is a skill. Most clients tend to say, it feels like a very common sense approach and gives them a good understanding of why their pets is behaving in the way they are and how to move forward with a plan. I see clients from all walks of life, I find people interesting and this is the most important part of the job, its about people skills as well as pets.


Dog behaviour, dog behaviourists, dog trainer, cat behaviour cat behaviourist, cat trainer, Brighton, Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex, Shoreham by Sea, Worthing, lancing, SOuthwick, Henfield, Partridge Green, Kemptown, Peacehaven, Saltdean, Lewes, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Durrington, Salvington, Dog aggression, Dog separation anxiety, anxious dog, cat aggression, cat spraying cat urine, dog barking, dog biting.
Couple with a white standard poodle and cat on a sofa

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