Animal Behavior Consultants
House calls only
Today, Peter Borchelt is visiting with Charo, a "hypersensitive"
Chihuahua. He gently tugs his signature tool, the Snoot Loop, a small
facial halter that closes Charo's mouth and will (after prolonged
use) calm her recently acquired habit of shrieking when her owner
"Her little-bitty brain has somehow gotten the idea you're a bad
person," he says to the client.
"Obedience training would be a waste of time here. She's not misbehaving;
According to Borchelt, who back in '78 became the first behaviorist
in the city, his therapy can eliminate quirks like Charo's -- and
more serious problems -- without using the violent (and passť) whack
with a rolled-up newspaper.
And though a paper costs considerably less than a visit from Borchelt
($300 to $400), only the latter will bring you good karma and a
345 West 70th Street, No. 6D
Playing with Kelsey, a hyper poodle that wildly jumps on her
Upper West Side owners when they come home, animal behaviorist Linda
Goodloe remarks in her gravelly, businesslike voice, "What a well-meaning,
A dog that loves her owner too much would be a change of pace
for Goodloe, who, like most animal behaviorists, often spends her
afternoons teaching owners how to handle rough dogs.
Even so, Goodloe doesn't believe in punishment. She shows owners
how to use a halter as a calming -- not a restraining -- tool. Goodloe
visits each family one time, then sends them a game plan for how
to deal with their problematic pets. For cats, she says, a phone
consultation is often enough. "Cats don't do what they usually do
when someone else is there," she says. Her technique also saves
owners money -- she charges $45 for the first 30 minutes, then $1
for each additional minute.
Because animal behavior is such a new field, there are few doctors
with advanced degrees: Goodloe and Borchelt are the only practicing
behaviorists in the city who are certified by the Animal Behavior