Keystone Veterinary Behavior Services

P.O. Box 455
Villanova, PA 19085


Pets and their owners often suffer for months or years through behavior problems ranging from aggression to destructiveness, excessive barking to urinating or defecating in the house, fears and phobias to compulsive behaviors. Most of the behavior problems that our pets experience are rooted in anxiety. All behavior, both good and bad, is the result of a combination of the animal's genetic background- its personality, and its environment - what it has been exposed to and learned since birth.

In the past, it was very difficult to find trained and knowledgeable professionals to help these animals and their owners. Owners often turned to well meaning lay people, friends, family, or trainers. But because of the anxiety that underlies behavior problems such as fear-based aggression, thunderstorm phobias, urine marking or separation anxiety, training or punishment or even trying to comfort an animal rarely makes for positive changes in the pet's behavior. The field of Veterinary Behavior was developed to address this gap in care for pets. Like psychiatry, Veterinary Behavior uses a variety of different approaches to determine the emotions and motivations that underlie the problem behaviors and change those emotions. This leads to improved behavior and an improved relationship between owner and pet.

Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorists like Laurie Bergman, VMD, DACVB, have received advanced training in ethology, learning theory, behavioral endocrinology, sociobiology and psychopharmacology to meet the rigorous requirements necessary to achieve specialist status. They are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat medical and behavioral problems, including prescribing medications to treat those problems. There are no standards for assessing even minimal competency of trainers nor are there guidelines or restrictions on the use of the term "behaviorist" by lay people. However, only a Diplomate of the ACVB can be called a Veterinary Behaviorist. Behavior problems in pets can lead to frustration and hopelessness. They are a major reason why pets lose their homes and their lives.

Keystone Veterinary Behavior Services is committed to helping you renew the bond with your pet and maximize your quality of life with your pet.