Behavioural Consultations

Concerned about an aspect of your pet’s behaviour? Consult our veterinary behaviourist.


Dr. Cynthia Smillie (BVM&S PG Dip CABC MRCVS), who has been the SPCA’s Behavioural Consultant since 2013, is now available for behavioural consultations every Wednesday (9 am to 5 pm) and Friday (9 am to noon) at the SPCA Wan Chai Centre. She will also hold consult hours every Friday afternoon from 2 pm to 5 pm at the SPCA Kowloon Centre.

Why might I need to consult a veterinary behaviourist?

We all want to have well-mannered, socialised and obedient pets. However, behaviour problems can arise for a great number of reasons such as genetic influences, poor socialization, and traumatic learning experiences later in life.

When problems do arise this can create a great deal of stress for both the family and the animal concerned. Behaviour can lead to a breakdown in the bond between the pet and its family who may ultimately surrender a pet if no help is available.

Many behaviour problems are motivated by fear and anxiety and so cannot be resolved by training alone (although training is always a very important part of the solution). Consulting a behaviourist can help us understand what motivates or drives the behaviour - we avoid simply labeling a behaviour as the dog being “dominant” or asking owners to be the “pack leader”.

Behaviour modification uses a holistic approach by examining not just the behaviour problem but assessing the factors that contribute to it, including the animal’s environment and the link between human behaviour and how this can influence undesirable animal behaviour and then offering appropriate treatment options and follow-up support. 

If your pet shows any of the behaviours listed below or you have other concerns about your pet’s behaviour, you may wish to consult Dr Smillie to see how you and your pet can be helped:

  • aggression towards people or other dogs,

  • separation anxiety,

  • house soiling,

  • fear, anxiety or phobias including repetitive compulsive behaviour,

  • conflict between animals sharing the same household

  • unruly behaviour

  • other commonly seen problems


Call 28020501 to book in advance for this newly launched behavioural consultation service.

Fee: HK$800 per one consultation hour.