4.01.2015

Considerations for the City Dog: What's a "Behaviorist?"

A blurb from my upcoming book "Considerations for the City Dog" due out THIS JUNE! 

I'm so excited you guys - you have no idea! 


This is from Chapter 8: Trainers, Consultants and Behaviorists



What does the term “behaviorist” mean?
Is the guy down the street a behaviorist? If he’s putting prong collars on dogs and hasn't taken a single class in animal behavior, chances are high that he isn't a behaviorist. In our region, we have several “professionals” who use choke chains, prong collars, alpha-roll dogs and ask for submission while calling themselves behaviorists. This is (in my opinion) unethical and incorrect terminology.

While there is no governing body as to who can use the term behaviorist, the general consensus among professionals is that this term is reserved for those with a doctorate in a related field (such as zoology or biology). These applied animal behaviorists have a Ph.D. and are highly qualified to address behavior related issues. Because of their specialty, their expertise, and the fact that these professionals are few, the cost tends to be higher than for a behavior consultant or dog trainer. That being said, if the problem is significant, then this is perhaps the best bet for getting help. Consult with reputable sources, and just like everything else, do your homework before hiring a professional.

In addition to applied animal behaviorists, there are reputable behavior specialists who work with challenging behaviors who don’t have a doctorate degree, and are still highly qualified to assist with particularly challenging issues. These professionals, if they have the proper certifications and credentials, call themselves behavior consultants.  


-M3