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Veterinary Behavior Specialties of Minnesota

If you’re not ready to look into those eyes and say, “I give up”…

please reach out to us.

Enhancing Bonds Between Owner and Animal Companion

At Veterinary Behavior Specialties of Minnesota, we are dedicated to finding solutions to behavior problems in companion animals, while improving the bond between owners and their animal companions. We will work with you to seek workable outcomes based on science, a respect for the complex nature of living creatures, and a genuine desire to help improve the quality of the lives shared by pets and their owners.

Behavioral Problems We Address in Dogs & Cats

• Aggression toward humans or other animals

• Separation anxiety

• Destructive tendencies

• Excessive barking

• House soiling

• Additional anxiety issues, such as:

• Phobias/fears

• Compulsive disorders

Our Process

We evaluate each patient based on our knowledge of species-typical behaviors, each animal's health, stage of development, plus past and current environments and interactions.

Our treatment recommendations are creative and vary with each owner’s definition of “success.” And, importantly, we emphasize humane treatment based on understanding the science of learning—not on punishment.

We are here to help.

Not every behavioral problem is fixable. But we absolutely believe that a little bit of focused effort can go a long way in improving your life and your pet’s life. You can contact us online or you can reach us via phone at 612.554.1182 or 320.292.6608.

Email us for more information.


  • Dr.
    Margaret M. Duxbury

    Dr. Duxbury completed her behavior residency and became board certified with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) in 2005. She served as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she ran a successful behavior practice that was recognized as one of the ‘Best Places to Fix’ by Minneapolis /St. Paul Magazine. She left the University in 2015 in order to focus exclusively on helping clients and their pets.

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  • Dr.
    Deborah Bryant
    DVM, ACVB Resident

    Dr. Bryant is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB).

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  • Nancy Vitalis

    Nancy Vitalis has been in the veterinary business since 1985. She started her career at a very progressive and busy private practice in Detroit Michigan as a licensed technician and office manager. After four years there, she moved back to her home state of Wisconsin where she worked in a mixed animal practice in the northwest part of the state. Nancy has been with VBSMN almost since its inception. She was brought on board to assist in the day-to-day operations of Veterinary Behavior Specialties of Minnesota because of her years of experience in veterinary medicine and her excellent office management skills. Nancy and her husband are also owners of a behaviorally challenged dog and she understands the stress and emotions that go along with owning a “special needs” pet.

  • Sarah Linderman

    Sarah Lindeman is our certified veterinary technician. She grew up in Montana, where she began working in the veterinary field in high school. She moved to Minnesota in 2005 to further her education, earning her Bachelor's degree from the College of St. Benedict in 2009 and her Associate's degree from Minnesota School of Business in 2011. She worked as a CVT in general practice settings until joining our team in May 2016.

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  • Pam Shafer
    CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed)

    Pam has had a love for animals her entire life – and it shows every day at work! She has a broad background including having worked for many years as a veterinary assistant, and having managed a doggie daycare and pet hotel. Pam’s training classes are fun for both dog and owners, and she brings the same enthusiasm to private sessions. Positive reinforcement training and canine behavior is her passion. She loves watching dogs and their owners learn new skills and bond through training. When Pam is not working, she enjoys making memories with her family and friends, going for walks, and reading.

  • Shannon Gibbs Client Services

    Shannon Gibbs graduated from River Falls, WI spring 2017 with a major in Animal Science - Companion Animals. Shannon's main duties include scheduling and client services. She has always had a love for animals and has a special interest in behavior and training. She is aspiring to become a dog trainer and has recently partnered with a golden retriever puppy named Ellie to help her reach that goal


Office Hours


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM