Managing dog behavior with ABAdog in general practice

Written by Dr Dennis Wormald,
Last updated June, 2022

The ABAdog® behavior scan is a tool that enhances the ability of GP veterinarians addressing dog behavior concerns. It is an online dog behavior questionnaire completed by the owner that gives vets a summary of the dog behavior issues the owner is having. It also provides the owner with a personalized behavior modification plan: the absolute minimum for any dog considering long term behavior medications. This is designed to save vets time and give owners great customized 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 behavioral appointments with a vet.
  • Before starting ANY dog on long term behavior medications (if they have not been provided with a behavior 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 behavior questionnaire I would like you to do.
  2. “Once completed, it analyzes your responses and gives me a summary of the problems.
  3. “It also sends you a great behavior report with customized advice based on your answers.
  4. “It takes 30-60 minutes, and costs $50.00 USD (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 behavior 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 behavior 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 behavior 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)