Since before she could walk, Hannah has had an exceptional interest and particular way with animals. Growing up around birds, rabbits, guinea-pigs, hamsters, gerbils, dogs, cats and horses, Hannah was often known to spend the majority of her time with animals. Hannah’s enthusiasm for understanding life from the animal’s perspective and her seemingly innate ability to communicate with them has driven the path forming a career where she enjoys working closely with animals.
Hannah graduated with a 2.1 Bachelor of Science Honours degree (BSc (Hons)) in Animal Science from the University of Leeds, UK, in 2006. She then went on to study for her veterinary degree, Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and qualified as a vet in 2011. During her time at the University of Edinburgh, Hannah also obtained a Masters of Veterinary Science in Canine Behaviour Research (MVetSci). She then worked as a mixed vet in Lincolnshire and during this time, completed a Master of Science in Clinical Animal Behaviour (MSc) at the University of Lincoln, UK, she graduated with distinction in 2013.
Since then, Hannah has worked in small animal practices in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, she has also travelled and volunteered around the world in clinics and shelters, and spent some time working in a large RSPCA hospital and shelter in Sydney, Australia. Hannah has worked as a veterinary surgeon since 2011 and has been seeing behaviour referrals simultaneously since 2013. Hannah has enjoyed providing continued education for vets and vet staff around the world about animal behaviour and how to improve handling and understanding during veterinary visits, rehabilitation of rescued animals or teaching young animals and preventing behaviour issues. Hannah’s aim has always been to improve animals’ quality of life and welfare by continually learning herself and teaching veterinary and shelter staff.
Hannah is an RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) Advanced Practitioner in Companion Animal Behaviour, an ASAB (the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour) accredited Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB), an ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist and registered Veterinary Behaviourist, a Full Member of the APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors), a Committee and Certificated Member of the FAB Clinicians (Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians) and a Committee Member of the BVBA (British Veterinary Behaviour Association).
Loni is an experienced Clinical Animal Behaviourist specialising in horses, cats and dogs, having worked in the field for 20 years. She gained her professional accreditation with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council via successful application to the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors for Full membership in all three species. She is also an ASAB Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) for dogs and horses and an ABTC Animal Training Instructor for Dogs. Loni is a Certificated member and Director of the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians and is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Loni holds an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare with Distinction from Newcastle University and a BSc(Hons) in Equine science. She is currently a PhD scholar at Newcastle University studying the field of positive affective state in equines and is also a lecturer in animal behaviour and welfare at a number of UK universities. Loni supports Donovan Vet Behaviour Practice with cat, dog and horse behaviour cases.
Loni is actively engaged in research and is also an editorial board member and reviewer for a number of high impact animal behaviour and welfare journals. Her current research projects include equine positive affect, enrichment in equines, quality of life in equines, physiological measures of stress in equines, canine reactivity, frustration in horses, the impact of Covid-19 on companion animals, farrowing systems in pigs, piglet welfare and welfare assessment in cattle.
Emily has worked in the field of animal training and behaviour for the last 15 years. Since 2008 she has been employed in several roles within the assistance dog industry, firstly qualifying as a guide dog mobility instructor in the UK then working as a guide dog trainer in New Zealand, where she also became head trainer of New Zealand Epilepsy Assist Dogs Trust. Emily also volunteers as a trainer for Dog AID. Prior to this Emily worked as a Sea Lion trainer in Devon and spent time interning and volunteering at marine mammal training facilities in the US and UK.
In 2016 Emily gained the position of positive reinforcement training specialist at Guide Dogs UK and co-created and tested Guide Dogs’ first standardised dog training programme based on positive reinforcement. She now works as a training and behaviour consultant covering Scotland and Northern Ireland for Guide Dogs, as well as supporting Donovan Vet Behaviour Practice with dog behaviour cases. She has a BSc (Hons) degree in Zoology and a Clinical Animal Behaviour MSc (with Distinction) at Edinburgh University. Emily is a candidate member of FAB clinicians and is pre-certified with ASAB where she is working towards her CCAB accreditation to become recognised as a certified clinical animal behaviourist. From a young age Emily has had a passion for all things training and behaviour and is particularly interested in applied behaviour analysis, cooperative care and choice-based training. She spends her spare time training her chickens, parrot, geese, dog and goats!
Alex has worked in the Engineering Sector since graduating with a Masters in Chemical Engineering at University of Leeds. Originally wanting to be a vet, Alex now supports his wife, Hannah in the day to day operation of the Practice. He has participated in a number of volunteering programs across the Globe, and with this knowledge and experience, Alex is constantly striving to offer a welcoming and efficient service.
Sarah grew up on a farm in Caithness, in the north of Scotland. She studied Publishing at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and has spent her career as a technical author in Peterborough, Auckland and Edinburgh. Sarah previously shared her home with her elderly rescue cat, Sam and now that she’s returned to Caithness, she hopes to rehome a dog soon.
Sarah helps behind the scenes in the office, dealing with your enquiries, scheduling consultations and keeps DVBP operating smoothly.
During the consultation, we identify the likely inferred underlying emotions causing the behaviour displayed by the animal. If the emotional-motivation behind a behavioural output is established and therefore changed, the behavioural output can subsequently be changed. For example, if a dog is barking at something due to fear, if the emotional-motivation underlying the behaviour (fear) can be changed, then the dog may stop feeling the need to bark, so the barking may stop. Sometimes, depending on complicating factors, work can also be done on the behavioural output (for example, the barking), but a significant amount of the time, the behavioural issue may change without the need for direct influence on that behaviour (barking), because we have managed to change the dog’s underlying emotions.
We use positive, reward-based training methods. We strive to remain up to date and maintain use of techniques focussed on science-based knowledge and research.