Today we’d like to introduce you to Francine Miller.
After earning a BA from Syracuse University and spending 36 years in Advertising and Marketing, Francine decided to return to school to learn how to work in animal behavior. She began with a Diploma in Canine Behavior Counseling from the American College of Applied Science (ACAS) and enjoyed the curriculum so much that she went into the Master of Science program in Applied Animal Behavior Counseling. She completed all coursework and requirements except a thesis. Her studies included canine and feline behavior, ethology, animal behavior, animal learning, conditioning, animal psychology and veterinary psychopharmacology.
Francine also completed three semesters of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) toward a certification as an aBCBA (Associate Board Certified Behavior Analyst) with the Florida Institute of Technology. During this period, she also worked as a behavior therapist for autistic children.
Early in her education, Francine began an informal externship/preceptorship for Patrick Melese, DVM, DACVB at Veterinary Behavior Associates. Dr. Melese was the only veterinary behaviorist in San Diego County at that time. Francine worked at his clinic under his direct supervision for the first year of their relationship. Dr. Melese was a wonderful mentor and teacher and for the next four years, Francine saw her own private clients there. Subsequently, Francine began to see clients in their homes under the business name of Call Ms Behaving (www.callmsbehaving.com).
Has it been a smooth road?
It took quite a while to build my business, as it took time for clients to begin to refer. It also took time for veterinarians to begin to refer to me and that was actually more important. I now have quite a number of veterinarians around the county that refer to me. It also took a while to figure out how and where to advertise.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I have consulted on hundreds of cases for every type of aggression in dogs and cats, separation anxiety, barking, phobias, fear reactions, destructiveness, inappropriate elimination, escape, urine marking, scratching, house-soiling, litter box issues, compulsive disorders and more. I teach clients various humane approaches to dealing with these problems that include behavior modification techniques (based on learning theory and positive reinforcement only), suggested environmental changes, daily management, obedience training (and sometimes, a referral to their vet for behavior medication) – all part of a behavioral treatment plan.
I am the sole proprietor of my business and see clients by appointment only. What sets me apart are my education and certifications. My competitors are primarily dogging obedience instructors, without an advanced degree. I am most proud of my veterinary referrals – which come from doctors that respect me and their clients who I have successfully helped!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think that San Diego is a difficult place to break into. There are dozens of dog trainers here. I’m lucky that I treat cats, as there are few cat behaviorists in the country, much less the county. I may be the only one that is not a veterinary behaviorist.
It would be great if the public understood the difference between dog trainers and the methods they use (I am positive reinforcement only) as aversive methods are scientifically proven to be unsound. As well as the difference between a trainer and a behaviorist. Most people do not understand that there is a difference in education, experience and approach.
- My initial consultation is 90 min. and $199.
- My hourly rate after that is between $85 and $135 and I do offer packages with a discount.
- Website: www.callmsbehaving.com
- Phone: 858-248-1410
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dogandcatbehavior
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/call-ms-behaving-carlsbad
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogandcatbehavior/