Did you know

"Many clients wrongly believe that a pet's inappropriate behaviour is a training problem. The real issue is often a behavioural problem. Only by consulting with an animal behaviourist can we deliver a satisfactory solution"


Seaforth Veterinary Hospital through SABS has been offering an animal behaviour consultation service since 1992. A registered specialist in animal behaviour, together with registered animal behaviour consultants, run the behaviour service. Consultations have involved dog, cat and bird behaviour problems such as inappropriate elimination, aggression, fears and phobias, separation anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders and many more.

In order to help you better understand your pet's behaviour and then provide ways of modifying it, each consultation can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours depending on the problem. Each pet is individually assessed and a behaviour modification program is recommended that takes into consideration not only the pet and its problems but also the whole family and their lifestyle. The focus of behaviour modification is very different from obedience training. Positive reinforcement is emphasised and the process does not involve punishment.

A behaviour consultation is not a replacement for dog obedience training classes and obedience training is still an important part of teaching your dog good manners. However, behaviour problems are not the same as training problems. Many highly obedience trained dogs still require a behavioural consultation as their problem is not necessarily related to t raining, or lack thereof.

A recheck visit is recommended 4-6 weeks later to assess how the program is going as well as to check medication if it has been prescribed. Further re-examination visits may be necessary and will be recommended if needed. Dr Kersti Seksel runs the service in association with Dr Gaille Perry and Dr Jacqui Ley.


Please note the phone number for the behaviour service is 9949 8511 To make an appointment please ring 9949 1288 The fax number is 9949 6364.


The Staff

Dr Kersti Seksel

B.V.Sc.(Hons), M.R.C.V.S, M.A. (Hons), F.A.C.Y.Sc. (Animal Behaviour) Dipl ACVB

        Registered Specialist in Animal Behaviour

 Kersti graduated in Veterinary Science from Sydney University and became very interested in animal behaviour while working overseas. To further her knowledge she went back to university graduating from Macquarie University with a BA in Behavioural Sciences with a major in psychology. In 1992 she began developing the program of Puppy Preschools in veterinary hospitals around Australia. This interest led her to complete her MA (Hons) degree by thesis on the long and short term behavioural effects of puppy socialisation and training programs. She is a registered specialist in animal behaviour, one of only two Fellows of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Animal Behaviour and the only Australian to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviourists. She has studied at Cornell University, USA, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Guelph University, Canada and Queensland University, Australia and is a NSW Veterinary Surgeon’s board registered Animal Behaviour Consultant. In 1999 she spent 7 months on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, based in the Department of Clinical Studies, Animal Behaviour Clinic. She now teaches veterinary students at University of Sydney as well as in Beijing and Shanghai in China. She also teaches the Distance Education Postgraduate Foundation course in Anima] behaviour at Sydney University and the North American Postgraduate Foundation Animal Behaviour Course in Orlando.

Kersti has presented at conferences and meetings in Australia, NZ, UK, Japan, China, Taiwan, Europe, Canada and USA She has published numerous papers on animal behaviour in scientific journals, magazines and periodicals and is a regular contributor to print and electronic media. Currently she is a regular presenter on ABC radio on pet care and behaviour as well as columnist in magazines on pet behaviour problems. Her first book “Training Your Cat” has just been published.


Dr Gaille Perry

BVSc, MACVSc(Animal Behaviour), PhD, DipEd, BedSt, Cert IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, CMAVA

Gaille graduated from the University of Queensland in 1970.  She then worked in her own mixed practice for 10 years.  During this time, her hobbies were showing, breeding and training Border Collies, Old English Sheepdogs and Arabian horses and she was an accredited horse show judge.  In 1982, she returned to university, gaining a DipEd that year and a BEdSt in 1983.

She was appointed as an Instrutor at TAFE that year, and since then, has taught animal behaviour and training to veterinary nurses, training class instructors, local laws officers, kennel and pet shop staff, service dog personnel and zookeepers.  In her present position as Principal Teacher, she manages courses in Veterinary Nursing, Companion Animal Services and Captive Animals.

Her interest in behaviour led to Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Animal Behaviour in 1993 and a PhD in dog and cat behaviour in 1999.  Gaille began working in the behavioural practice at Seaforth in 1999.  She is Director of Studies for the Delta Society's Canine Good Citizen Instructor Course, which conducts accredited training for class instructors from all over Australia.  Gaille is the behaviour consultant to the RSPCA in Brisbane and a regular speaker at conferences and seminars in Australia and overseas.

A long time dog and cat owner, Gaille enjoys working with dog and cat owners to manage their pet's behaviour.


Dr Jacqui Ley

BVSc (Hons), MACVSc(Animal Behaviour), CMAVA

Jacqui graduated from Melbourne University Veterinary School in 1995 and entered small animal veterinary practice. A long time interest in animals, animal behaviour and training led her to undertake a Membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Behaviour in 2000. She then combined general small animal practice with veterinary behaviour practice running a home visit behaviour practice in Melbourne. Looking to understand more about behaviour, she left small animal practice for the world of research and investigated tests for measuring fear in dogs. After a brief hiatus to produce twin boys, Jacqui returned to research and has just completed a PhD at Monash University developing a model and questionnaire for describing canine personality. Other research interests include cat ownership, the decisions breeders make when choosing to breed their dogs and the role of canine personality in successful human-animal relationships. As well she has been involved in teaching the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare at Monash University. She has continued to see behaviour cases during this time.

Jacqui has a long time interest in competition dog training and has competed in Obedience, Tracking, Agility and Endurance. She has also been an instructor at 3 community based clubs in Victoria and been involved in doing education seminars for club instructors.

Jacqui will be undertaking her training towards becoming a registered specialist in Veterinary Behaviour, the first Australian resident in Veterinary behaviour. She is looking forward to meeting the clients of SABS.