Are you having problems with the behavior of your canine? A trained animal behaviorist may be able to assist, but how do you know which expert to turn to? Canine behaviorists come in all varieties and all have one thing in common: they understand how to modify canine behaviors using scientific and training approaches.
Trainers can help teach basic obedience behaviors such as recall, walking without pulling and greeting people and other dogs politely. But for more serious behavioral issues such as aggression, separation anxiety or excessive barking you must seek professional assistance from a behaviorist – making sure whoever you select as your canine behaviorist has credentials from canine certification organizations to treat canine behavioral issues properly.
Certified dog trainers specialize in obedience training and can address most common pet behavioral issues, but for more complex behavior like fear aggression or reactivity there are specific specialists trained to address these behaviors.
Begin your search for a Certified Canine Behavior Consultant (CCC-KA). This credential indicates that you’re working with someone with at least 300 hours of practical experience working on canine behavioral issues like fear, phobias and aggression; additionally they must have received a recommendation letter from another CCPDT-certified trainer or veterinarian behaviorist as well as pass an in-depth exam covering behavioral modification.
Find CCC-KAs by browsing the CCPDT online directory or asking your veterinarian for recommendations of qualified individuals – usually within New York City itself.
Veterinary animal behaviorists (DACVBs) are another highly qualified type of dog behavior therapist. As the elite of dog behavioral therapists, these DACVBs have gone to vet school, earned a veterinary medical degree, and completed three-year residency programs before beginning practice. Much like human psychiatrists, DACVBs prescribe medications combined with cognitive behavioral therapy in order to address canine mental health issues like fear, separation anxiety and compulsive behaviors.
No matter the kind of dog behavior specialist you decide to consult, be sure to explore their philosophy and training methods thoroughly. When dealing with aggression or reactivity issues, an ideal behaviorist will use science-based approaches without dominance theory or shock collars – they should also be able to explain why their methods work effectively. If you come across someone using outdated or harmful techniques, report them immediately to their certifying body.