What Makes A Behaviourist?
What is an Animal Behaviourist?
Animal Behaviourists help pet owners to resolve canine and feline behaviour problems with proven scientific based methods.
But what makes someone a Behaviourist?
Unfortunately anyone can claim to be an animal behaviourist, dog psychologist or a canine “whisperer”. Many with little or no knowledge of learning theory, applied animal behaviour, ethology or behaviour modification. Many individuals claiming to be Behaviour “experts” have completed a short course in animal behaviour (usually over the internet by distance learning) over a few weeks or months and are accredited by an individual or an organisation rather than academic accreditation.
A qualified Behaviourist will be trained to at least degree level and will either have CCAB (Clinically Certified Animal Behavourist) after their name and belong to a professional body, for example Member APBC (Associatation of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) which is an international network of experienced, professional behaviour therapists for behavioural problems. Or they may be registered as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour Training Council (ABTC).
No qualified Behaviourist will use punitive methods or rely on outdated “dominance” theories in their practice. Many Behaviourists are dog trainers but most trainers are not Behaviourists.
Thankfully times are changing especially with the formation of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) which sets out to monitor standards of professional competence within the practice of animal behaviour therapy and training. At the moment a practitioner who meets all of the necessary criteria will be registered with the ABTC and accredited to one of four levels, based on the individual’s academic and professional experience.