What Is an Animal Behaviorist? Here's What Dog Owners Should Know

Heart
Dot

Understanding Behavior

Animal behaviorists have in-depth knowledge of canine behavior, including the factors that influence it, such as genetics, environment, and past experiences.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Training and Education

Animal behaviorists typically have advanced degrees in fields such as animal behavior, psychology, or veterinary medicine. They undergo extensive training to understand animal behavior and apply effective techniques.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Behavior Modification

Behaviorists help address various behavior problems in dogs, such as aggression, anxiety, fearfulness, and compulsive behaviors. They develop customized behavior modification plans to address specific issues.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Assessment and Diagnosis

Animal behaviorists conduct thorough assessments to understand the root cause of a dog's behavior problems. This may involve observing the dog's behavior, gathering information from the owner, and sometimes conducting diagnostic tests.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Positive Reinforcement

Many behaviorists use positive reinforcement techniques to modify behavior. This involves rewarding desired behaviors to encourage their repetition, rather than using punishment or aversive methods.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

 Collaboration with Veterinarians

Behaviorists often collaborate with veterinarians to address behavior issues that may have underlying medical causes. They may recommend medical evaluations and work together to develop comprehensive treatment plans.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Training for Owners

In addition to working directly with dogs, behaviorists provide guidance and training to dog owners. They teach owners how to effectively communicate with their dogs, implement behavior modification techniques, and maintain consistency in training.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Environmental Management

Behaviorists help dog owners create environments that support desired behaviors and minimize triggers for problem behaviors. This may involve making changes to the home environment or daily routines.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Lifelong Support

Behavior modification is often a gradual process that requires ongoing support and adjustment. Animal behaviorists provide continued guidance and support to ensure long-term success.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Certification and Credentials

When seeking the help of an animal behaviorist, it's essential to look for credentials such as certification from reputable organizations like the Animal Behavior Society or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin

Finding an Animal Behaviorist

A tail held high and stiff can indicate dominance or alertness, while a low, tucked tail often signals fear or submission. A neutral tail position usually means the dog is relaxed.

Blue Rings
Yellow Location Pin