Hiring A Dog Professional?


When hiring a dog professional, the first thing to consider is what results you are looking to achieve. It is important to take these factors into account in order to hire the right professional who can help you reach your goals. Ultimately, I hope you find a professional that you really click with.

  • For basic training, hire a dog trainer.
  • For complex behavioral issues, consult a behavior consultant or a veterinarian behaviorist.

Hiring a Dog Trainer?

Focus:

Dog trainers primarily focus on teaching and changing specific behaviors. They accomplish this by using various training techniques and methods.

Training Goals:

During training, the goals are to teach commands such as sit, stay, and heel. Additionally, trainers often focus on improving obedience and developing basic manners.

Expertise:

Trainers might specialize in different areas such as agility training, obedience training, or specialized skills (like service dog training).

Credentials:

Look for certifications from reputable organizations like the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the Karen Pryor Academy, or The Academy For Dog Trainers.

Hiring A Dog Behavior Consultant?

Focus:

Behavior consultants work on modifying problematic behaviors by understanding the root causes and creating behavior modification plans.

Behavioral Issues:

Behavioral Issues are a common concern among pet owners. These issues encompass problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, fearfulness, and complex behavioral problems.

Expertise:

Consultants have a deeper understanding of dog behavior, psychology, and use the least intrusive, minimally aversive methods to change behavior.

Credentials:

Look for certifications from recognized organizations like the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) or the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Hiring A Veterinarian Behaviorist?

Focus:

Veterinarian behaviorists are veterinarians with specialized training in animal behavior. They diagnose and treat behavioral problems using a combination of behavior modification and medication.

Looking at it from a medical perspective, they can determine if they might connect a behavioral issue to a medical problem.

Expertise:

Veterinarian Behaviorists can prescribe medication when needed and work closely with trainers and consultants to develop comprehensive treatment plans.

Credentials:

Organizations like the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) certify Veterinarian Behaviorist.

Ethical Framework

“It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

Jean-Luc-Godard.

Ethical principles are important in our personal lives and the animal industry. My thoughts and techniques on behavior modification have expanded, but my ethical values have stayed the same. I see dog behavior as a spectrum, not as black or white. Read more about ethical framework by clicking here.


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