For an appointment call: 415-554-3074

BEHAVIOR SPECIALTY SERVICE

Veterinary behavior is one of many specialties within veterinary medicine. It requires board certification, and practitioners provide the most comprehensive behavior assessment available for your pet. 

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Wailani Sung is one of 74 Board certified veterinary behaviorists in the United States. She comes to us from Seattle, where she has practiced veterinary behavior medicine since 2010.  Read more about Dr. Sung.

Dr. Sophie Liu originally hails from the Bay Area and developed a passion for behavior and training when she struggled to manage her own dog’s aggression many years ago.  Read more about Dr. Liu.

Dr. Jeannine Berger is one of only six double board-certified veterinarians in the world specializing in behavior and welfare and in addition to practicing veterinary behavior medicine at the specialty clinic, she serves as the VP of Rescue and Welfare at the SF SPCA. Read more about Dr. Berger.  At this time Dr. Berger does not accept new patients at the hospital. 

Full Diagnostic Behavior Consultation

If your pet is showing signs of fear and anxiety, aggression, hyper-excitability, sudden changes in behavior, self-injury, obsessive compulsive-type behaviors, age-related changes or if you have worked with a trainer and your pet can’t seem to learn or has plateaued in spite of positive reinforcement training, or you find yourself having to punish the behavior rather than building a positive relationship with your pet, you should see Dr. Sung or Dr. Liu for a full diagnostic evaluation.

A full behavioral specialty consult with our Doctors includes:

  • An in-depth behavior assessment, evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis discussion that will offer guidance and steps toward healing
  • An initial treatment and management plan, including time commitment involved
  • A determination as to whether psychotropic medication therapy is needed


Keep in mind that only a veterinarian can diagnose your animal and recommend a comprehensive treatment plan. Once you have received a diagnosis and a treatment recommendation, it is vital to receive ongoing coaching from our qualified Behavior Team to ensure your pet’s individually tailored treatment plan is working and we achieve the goals we did set. If medications are part of the treatment plan, ongoing assessments by Dr. Sung or Dr. Liu and regular blood work will be required.

If you have any questions or wish to book, please call our behavior information line at 415-554-3074 or If you would like further information, please fill out this form and we will contact you!

Additional Services:

Behavior Technician appointments

  • Dealing with your pet’s aversion to visiting the vet or groomer
  • Desensitization to harnesses or head halters
  • Leash-handling guidance
  • Advice on how to handle fears of specific objects or surfaces
  • Help with manners, including how to ensure proper greetings or stop annoying  behaviors like stealing toys
  • Help to deal with issues like impulse control or crate/kennel issues
  • Help with selecting the right type of pet for your lifestyle and home environment
  • Match-making for second pets

Private One on One Training

Needing some one-on-one help? Want a little extra time to practice with a professional? We offer individual private dog training sessions here at the SF SPCA Behavior Specialty Clinic!

Some ways that private training may help you:

  • If you're struggling with issues such as jumpiness, mouthiness, door dashing, pulling on leash, barking, stealing items etc.
  • If you'd like to learn how to work on recall
  • If you want to learn how to teach your dog to do something
  • If you want to learn how to help your dog build positive associations to things like bikes, skateboards, joggers, etc.
  • ...and much more!

If you have any questions or wish to book, please call our behavior information line at 415-554-3074 or If you would like further information, please fill out this form and we will contact you!

For further information, please refer to these FAQs