Behavior Services at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center


Behavior problems in pets are very common and can lead to frustration, a weakening of the human-animal bond, and even a loss in quality of life for both you and your pet. Studies have shown that behavior problems represent the most common cause for the relinquishment of pets to animal shelters.

The Behavior Service at CVRC is committed to:

  • Helping keep pets in their homes
  • Eliminating troubling or unsafe behaviors
  • Strengthening the bond you have with your pet
  • Maximizing quality of life for you and your pet

Our behavior specialist, Kristi, has trained both exotic and domestic animals for more than 20 years, and holds a Diploma in Canine Behavior from the Companion Animal Science Institute. She is also a graduate of Dr. Susan Friedman’s course, Living and Learning with Animals, and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. In addition to extensive behavior training, she is a licensed veterinary technician and is Fear Free®-certified. As a Fear Free Certified Professional, Kristi can recognize and help reduce anxiety triggers that cause pets to become fearful prior to, and during, veterinary visits. 

Kristi utilizes a scientifically proven, reward-based approach that focuses on the use of applied behavioral analysis. During behavior consultations, clients will be asked a series of questions so Kristi can learn about the pet’s history, living environment, problem behaviors, and client goals. Afterwards, a behavior plan will be created that includes behavioral management and training strategies.

Consultations, training, and follow-up sessions will take place at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center. At-home visits may be accommodated on an as-needed, basis. Virtual consultations are also available and, in some cases, preferred, especially when dealing with fearful animals or separation anxiety. Training packages are available and can be customized based on individual needs.

If you would like to learn more and find out how your pet would benefit from a consultation with the CVRC Behavior Service, please contact us at (843) 614-8387.

Common Reasons for Behavior Consultations

  • Separation anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Fears/phobias/compulsive behavior
  • New puppy 
  • Introduction of new pet into household
  • Preparing for a baby

Ensuring Safety During COVID-19

Due to the hands-on nature of behavior training, in-person consultations and training are preferred. During COVID-19, our behavior specialist exercises required safety protocols including:

  • All participants must wear masks
  • Utilizing 6’ distancing when indoors
  • Training outdoors and on porches, when possible during home visits
  • Offering virtual consultations

Veterinary Professionals

Behavior and training educational opportunities are available for veterinary team through the Behavior Department at CVRC.

Presentation topics include:

  • Reading Dog & Cat Body Language
  • Using the Least Invasive Handling and Restraint Techniques for Dogs & Cats
  • Understanding How Behavior Works
  • Training Basics and Incorporating Cooperative Care into Veterinary Visits