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Training & Behavior.

Oakhurst Animal Hospital wants owners to enjoy a very special bond with their pet, and a well-behaved animal can be taken almost anywhere so they can participate in many family activities. We also know that inappropriate behavior is the number one reason pets are abandoned or euthanized. Fortunately, most behavioral problems can be effectively managed with appropriate advice and training.

Puppy Training

With years of experience and advanced formal education, our veterinarians and full-time certified behavior consultant can provide new pet owners with training tips to help puppies grow into calm, obedient adults. Through the use of rewards-based training techniques, puppy owners can condition their pets in house-training and to respond to a variety of commands that will keep pets safe and sound.

Kitten Training

Because of a cat’s unique need to have a stimulating environment, training can take on a different feel. However, kittens can be trained to use a litter box and with the right tools and a proper environment, owners can avoid a number of adult cat behavior issues. Our certified behavior consultant offers feline behavior modification and training for a number of issues ranging from inter-cat aggression to basic training.

Anxiety and Aggression

Some pet behaviors stem from separation anxiety. Pets who are at home or left alone for longer periods of time tend to experience this. Sometimes, this anxiety is due to the pet’s need to protect his or her owner or they simply want to know the whereabouts of the rest of the “pack.” The doctors at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital have experience with separation anxiety. Together, our doctors and certified behavior consultant work as a team and can work with you to find the best solutions for your pet.

Noise fears (phobias) are another common issue our doctors can treat. Some pets are afraid of thunder, fireworks, or other loud noises, causing them to show their fear through destructive tendencies. There are steps that pet owners can take to alleviate these phobias and to treat and train their pets to overcome harmful behaviors.

There are many different types of pet aggression, and all cases should be assessed by a veterinarian to ensure the behavior is not due to pain or illness. A pet suffering from pain will respond aggressively to protect itself, and this type of behavior will often subside or disappear once the source has been addressed.

Positive, rewards-based training methods

We concur with the philosophy that positive, rewards-based methods are the only way to educate animals. As a result, pets are eager to learn because it’s a fun, safe experience.

We never use prong collars, choke collars, shock collars, or dominance-based techniques because published scientific data proves that such methods compromise an animal’s mental, physical welfare.

Certified Fear FreeTM professional care

Our veterinarians, certified behavior consultant, and technicians are Fear FreeTM Certified professionals. This helps ensure that all pets in our care will be free of fear, anxiety and stress.

Individualized plans

Pets and their people are individuals possessing unique personalities and styles of learning. All plans are customized to maximize learning potential in ways the participants find rewarding and satisfying. We offer consultations in our hospital or in the client’s home.

Transparency

It's important that owners be present during their pet's training sessions so they get to see how their pet is being taught and by whom. Participation helps ensure that owners are learning the skills they need to become effective pet parents for the rest of their pet’s life.

Support for pet parents

Grappling with issues such as aggression, fears, or other issues can generate tremendous amounts of stress. We offer all pet owners a judgement-free zone in which they can freely air their concerns as well as provide them with expert advice and support they need throughout the entire training process.


At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we adhere to the principles of Fear Free, which aims to take the “pet out of petrified”. As part of our commitment to this approach, our veterinarians and staff are specially trained in practices and procedures that aim to reduce stress and anxiety for your pet. Our goal is to promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of each patient and owner that walks through our doors.

Dog and woman by the water

When it comes to training a new pet, it can be challenging enough just to learn the basics. Add to that the distractions and stress of being in a new environment with other animals and people, and suddenly you’re faced with a downright difficult situation. That’s where the Fear Free philosophy comes in. When you remove the unnecessary obstacles like fear and apprehension, you and your pet can concentrate on the task at hand, making your bond that much stronger.

If you’d like additional information about Fear Free, we invite you to visit their website or simply give us a call to learn more.


About our behavior consultant

Behavior Consultant Karen Fazio

Karen Fazio CDBC is a certified behavior consultant and is nationally recognized for her expertise in the areas of fear, aggression, and obedience. She has more than 15 years experience resolving issues affecting the lives of pets and their human companions.

Karen is Certified Fear FreeTM professional. Those with this distinction have specialized education in the amelioration of patient fears, anxiety and stress ... from exam room to living room.

Karen is the Director of Behavior at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital and owner of The Dog Super NannyTM. She is an instructor at Rutgers University Pet Care School on the subjects of cat and dog behavior. Karen enjoys writing and public speaking. She has appeared numerous times on public radio and has authored a syndicated pet column for NJ Advance Media.

Karen Fazio with Dog

Please contact Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital for more information about training and socializing your pet.