Wailani Sung, MS, PhD, DVM, DACVB

Wailani Sung, MS, PhD, DVM, DACVB

Board-Certified Veterinary Behavior
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Educations & Trainings

Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB) -- October 2013

Completed Residency in veterinary behavioral medicine -- August 2006-April 2013
Training program approved by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB
Mentor: Lynne Seibert, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVB

DVM -- May 2005
University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ph.D., Psychology -- May 2001
University of Georgia
Major Professor: Dr. Sharon L. Crowell-Davis, DVM, PhD. Dipl. ACVB 
Recipient of University Wide Research Assistantships (1997-1999).
Dissertation Title: The elimination behavior pattern of domestic cats (Felis catus) with and without elimination behavior problems.

M.S., Psychology -- August 1998
University of Georgia 
Major Professor: Dr. Sharon L. Crowell-Davis, DVM, PhD. Dipl. ACVB 
Thesis Title: Effect of gender on initiation of proximity in free ranging domestic cats (Felis catus).

B.S., Animal Science -- May 1995
Cornell University
Research Advisor: Dr. Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, PhD. Dipl. ACVB
Title of Research Project: The welfare of Alaskan Huskies kept in a confined area. 
Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB) -- October 2013

Completed Residency in veterinary behavioral medicine -- August 2006-April 2013
Training program approved by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB
Mentor: Lynne Seibert, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVB

DVM -- May 2005
University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ph.D., Psychology -- May 2001
University of Georgia
Major Professor: Dr. Sharon L. Crowell-Davis, DVM, PhD. Dipl. ACVB 
Recipient of University Wide Research Assistantships (1997-1999).
Dissertation Title: The elimination behavior pattern of domestic cats (Felis catus) with and without elimination behavior problems.

M.S., Psychology -- August 1998
University of Georgia 
Major Professor: Dr. Sharon L. Crowell-Davis, DVM, PhD. Dipl. ACVB 
Thesis Title: Effect of gender on initiation of proximity in free ranging domestic cats (Felis catus).

B.S., Animal Science -- May 1995
Cornell University
Research Advisor: Dr. Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, PhD. Dipl. ACVB
Title of Research Project: The welfare of Alaskan Huskies kept in a confined area. 

Activity & Honors

Fear Free Certification:

  • Fear Free Certification, Level 1 (July 2017)
  • Fear Free Certification, Level 2 (July 2019)
  • Fear Free Certification, Level 3 (July 2019)
  • Fear Free Certification, Fear Free Shelter Certification (January 2020)

American College of Veterinary Behaviorist:

  • Board of Regents: Member at Large -- Current; 2015-2016 
  • Exam Committee: Member -- 2014-current
  • Exam Committee: Chair -- 2018 

Professional Memberships

  • DACVB
  • ISAE
  • AVMA
  • CVMA
  • SFVMA

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • Liu S, Sung W, Berger J. Retrospective study of outcomes of cats (felis catus) with house-soiling in a limited intake shelter. Submitted May 2020 – under review
  • Sung, W. Animal Behavior Case of the Month. 2015. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol 246:7, 745-746.
  • Sung, W, Crowell-Davis, S.L. 2006. Elimination behavior patterns of domestic cats (Felis catus) with and without elimination behavior problems. American Journal of Veterinary Research, Vol 67: 9, 1500-1504.
  • Crowell-Davis, S.L, Seibert, L.M., Sung, W., Parthasarathy, V., Curtis, T.M. 2003. Use of  clomipramine, alprazolam, and behavior modification for treatment of storm phobia in dogs, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol 222: 6, 744-748.
  • Yeon, S.C., Golden, G., Sung, W., Erb, H.N., Reynolds, A.J., Houpt, K.A. 2001. A comparison of tethering and pen confinement of dogs. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Sciences, Vol 4:4, 257-270.
  • Seibert, L.M., Sung, W., Crowell-Davis, S.L. 2001. Fearful behavior in a Goffin’s Cockatoo. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol 218: 4, 518-520.

Books in Popular Press:

  • American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Decoding Your Cat. June 2020
  • Becker, M, Radosta, L, Sung, W and Becker, M. From Fearful to Fear Free. HCI, April 2018.

Published Magazine Articles:

  • Sung, W. Is Your Pet Food-Aggressive? Healthy Pet, Summer 2017, 26-27.
  • Sung, W. It’s a Dirty Problem: Stop your Dog from Digging in the Trash. Healthy Pet, Spring 2017, 24-25.
  • Sung, W. Polly want a parrot? 2009. AZ Daily Sun, September, 7.

Dr. Wailani Sung

Dr. Wailani Sung has a passion for helping owners prevent or effectively manage behavior problems in companion animals, enabling them to maintain a high quality of life. Dr. Sung obtained her Master’s degree and Doctorate in Psychology, with a special interest in animal behavior from The University of Georgia. Upon completion of these graduate programs, she obtained a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, then board certification in veterinary behavioral medicine. Dr. Sung currently provides behavioral consultations at the Behavior Specialty Clinic located at the San Francisco SPCA.  She does not consider any patient or problem hopeless, and her treatment protocols are based on scientific information about animal behavior, psychopharmacology, and learning theory. Dr. Sung also contributes to the management and treatment of the behavioral needs of the shelter pets at the San Francisco SPCA.

Dr. Sung frequently lectures on managing common behavioral issues and consults with veterinary practices to design programs and train staff in best practices for making vet visits less stressful and developing treatment protocols for patients with behavioral issues. Dr. Sung also provide consultations to shelter and rescue organizations.

Dr. Sung is a co-author of the book, “From Fearful to Fear Free," in which she collaborated with America’s veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, veterinary colleague Dr. Lisa Radosta, and renowned trainer, Mikkel Becker.  Dr. Sung also co-authored a chapter in “Decoding your Cat” coming out July 2020. Dr. Sung has been a contributor to the magazines, Healthy Pet and Happy Paws, and the websites, PetCoach and PetMD. Dr. Sung has written chapters for the following veterinary textbooks: Behavior of Exotic Pets, Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Canine and Feline Behavior, 2nd Edition and Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline: 7th edition. Dr. Sung is also an advisory member of Fear Free Pets. She is a Fear Free certified speaker. Dr. Sung was interviewed on the documentary, Cat Tales by NOVA.

Recent Articles

Why Do Dogs Hump?
Why Do Dogs Hump?
Humping is a common term for what veterinarians call mounting behavior. This is when a dog puts their front legs around another dog, and then thrusts their pelvis repeatedly (the humping motion). The mounting behavior can be directed towards the hind end of another dog, or sometimes the other dog’s head or side, or even toward a person. Both male and female dogs, whether they are spayed or...
Is Cat Depression Real?
Is Cat Depression Real?
People with depression experience persistent feelings of sadness and a lack of interest in life. When it comes to cats, it’s impossible to know if they experience the mental state of sadness, but we can observe their behaviors to determine whether they experience a lack of interest in life and may be suffering from depression. Here’s some helpful info and signs to watch for to help you...
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
It is not uncommon to see your dog grab a mouthful of grass during their daily walk or a romp through the park. Ever wonder why dogs do that? Many people believe that when dogs eat grass, they are trying to make themselves vomit. They think it’s an instinctive behavior that a dog engages in to rid themselves of something they should not have eaten. And some think that it’s an indication that...
Why Do Dogs Kick After Pooping?
Why Do Dogs Kick After Pooping?
Have you ever seen your dog kick their hind legs after they have done their business? It looks pretty funny when a dog does this, like they are wiping their hind paws. Not all dogs exhibit this behavior, and it can range in intensity. Some dogs may just kick each paw once and walk away, whereas other dogs kick and alternate legs multiple times. Some dog parents are embarrassed by the vigor of the...
Why Is My Dog Shaking?
Why Is My Dog Shaking?
If you’ve seen your dog experience tremors throughout their body, you might be wondering, why is my dog shaking? When we talk about shaking in dogs, we don’t mean the whole-body shake that you see when a dog shakes their body to dry off after they’ve had a bath or been in water. We’re also not talking about dogs that shake their head and scratch their ears when they have an itch or an ear...
How to Stop Puppy Biting
How to Stop Puppy Biting
Is your new puppy biting everything they can get their mouths on? Why do puppies bite so much when they are young? Is it normal, or should you be trying to stop your puppy from biting you? Here’s a breakdown of puppy biting behavior and what you can do to keep your puppy from biting you. Why Do Puppies Bite?It’s normal for puppies to use their teeth during play and exploration. Like human...