Companion Animal Behaviour Referrals

       Pet behaviour problems can emerge for many different reasons and many owners remain extremely tolerant of these difficulties over a prolonged period of time. This can lead to tension in the relationship between pet and owner, and may, eventually, lead to owners taking the very difficult decision to re-home or even euthanase their pet.

Whilst dealing with the strain that pet behaviour problems can create within families and attempting to limit and manage the amount of damage caused, it can be difficult to sit back and ask ourselves why our pet is behaving in this way. Yet without removing the cause of the pet's inappropriate behaviour, it will be impossible to find a permanent resolution to the matter.

Companion Animal Behaviour Referrals exists to assist owners in understanding the cause of their companion animal’s behaviour problem, to create behaviour modification programmes that will help owners to bring about behavioural change in their pet and to support both owner and pet whilst behavioural change occurs.

What is a Clinical Animal Behaviourist?

A Clinical Animal Behaviourist differs form a dog trainer in that they not only have practical experience in training and teaching dogs, but they also have a minimum of graduate level academic experience of the ethology, psychology, neurophysiology, pharmacology, legal and welfare issues associated with a wide range of companion animal species and that are essential for assisting owners in treating their pet's behaviour problems.

As the animal behaviour profession is as yet unregulated, and to ensure that a behaviourist has an adequate level of practical and theoretical experience, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the British Veterinary Association and the major companion animal charities (e.g. R.S.P.C.A., Dog’s Trust and Cat Protection) advise veterinary surgeons and members of the public to ensure that they only seek advice from behaviourists accredited by ASAB, who hold APBC membership or who are registered by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council.

CLAIRE HARGRAVE – Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Claire Hargrave has over 20 years of experience as a clinical animal behaviourist. Claire is the only Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist accredited to work with dogs and cats by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour who is working in Wales ( She is also a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (, the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants ( she is registered as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council ( 

Claire has been awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling by Southampton University, has a diploma in animal behaviour from the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology and holds an MSc in Animal Behaviour from Southampton University's School of Psychology.

Claire owns Companion Animal Behaviour Referrals, a referral practice that enables veterinary practitioners to refer behaviour cases of all companion animal species to a recognised specialist. Claire is a regular speaker and lecturer in veterinary behaviour topics for veterinary CPD, under-graduate and postgraduate courses and an author, contributing to a range of veterinary journals.

Claire advises the Welsh Government on companion animal behaviour and emotional welfare issues. Claire was also a member of the expert panel for the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding. (Please see

Claire is able to offer experience and applied knowledge attained while working within the veterinary practice for over 30 years.

JANE SIGSWORTH – Canine Rehabilitation Trainer and Behaviourist

Jane holds a Master of Science with Distinstion in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare from Newcastle University and is also an Honours Graduate of the Academy for Dog trainers where she earned her certificate in Training and Counselling (CTC). She continues her education via quality seminars on the science of animal learning and dog behaviour and best practises in dog training and husbandry.

With over 12 years’ professional dog training and behaviour counselling experience, Jane has worked in both paid and voluntary roles for a number of dog rescue and welfare organisations. She spent 5 years in the Middle East providing education in animal welfare, fostering & rehoming puppies and working with adult dogs with a broad range of behaviour issues.

Jane is committed to force-free, humane training methods based in modern behavioural science. Her reward-based, practical approach is aimed at improving the quality of life for both the owner and their dogs. She has a particular interest in fear and aggression cases, particularly those involving dog-dog issues.

Pat – our receptionist and office manager

When you email or phone us, it will be our office manager who will assist you. She will explain the consultation and

booking procedure.

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