Managing dog behaviour with ABAdog in general practice

Written by Dr Dennis Wormald,
Last updated June, 2022

The ABAdog® behaviour scan is a tool that enhances the ability of GP veterinarians addressing dog behaviour concerns. It is an online dog behaviour questionnaire completed by the owner that gives vets a summary of the dog behaviour issues the owner is having. It also provides the owner with a personalised behaviour modification plan: the absolute minimum for any dog considering long term behaviour medications. This is designed to save vets time and give owners great customised advice. The following article will explain (A) when to use ABAdog, (B) how to describe it to clients, and (C) what to do once they complete it.


A. When to use ABAdog

     For any non-working dog, over 6 months old (not applicable for puppies at this stage).

     Required or strongly recommended

  • Before all behavioural appointments with a vet.
  • Before starting ANY dog on long term behaviour medications (if they have not been provided with a behaviour modification plan e.g. specialist referral).


  • Before referral, if appointment is over 2 weeks away or advice is needed urgently.
  • When the vet and/or client aren't sure if referral to trainer or specialist is needed.


B. How to describe ABAdog to clients

  1. “There is an online dog behaviour questionnaire I would like you to do.
  2. “Once completed, it analyses your responses and gives me a summary of the problems.
  3. “It also sends you a great behaviour report with customised advice based on your answers.
  4. “It takes 30-60 minutes, and costs $44.00 AUD (RRP). It's excellent quality for the price.
  5. “We will send you the link to your email - let us know if you don't receive it.
  6. Optional - give them the ABAdog handout for owners which describes the benefits and encourages them to use the service (available at


C. What you can do after they complete the questionnaire

After the owner has completed the behaviour scan online:

  1. Read over the 1-page summary report before talking to them.
  2. Advise them of the main issues the summary report has found (particularly the ones of most concern to them). Listen to their concerns. This will be the fastest and most comprehensive behaviour history you have ever taken.
  3. Perform a thorough physical examination on the dog, and possibly bloods, urinalysis etc. (if not already done)
  4. Insist they continue to read their ABAdog behaviour report and implement as many changes as they can.
  5. Discuss referral, medication, monitoring etc. (this will be reinforced by the information they have in their report)