Certified dog behaviourists
Having a dog with a behaviour problem can be really difficult. It can affect your dog's quality of life, as well as you, your friends and family. Knowing where to go to get help is really important, so here's our guidance on finding a certified dog behaviourist.
How do I find a good dog behaviourist?
There are lots of people who advertise as dog trainers, dog behaviourists or dog behaviour experts. But how can you tell if they are the right people to help your dog? Our vets have provided some advice on how to pick a certified behaviourist, so you can make sure you get a highly qualified expert with the most up to date, ethical and well-researched methods.
First of all, if you think your dog has a behaviour problem we’d recommend you get them checked by your vet. They’ll be able to look for any medical reasons for their problem and give you initial advice.
Next, you’ll need to contact a certified dog behaviourist. Your vet might be able to recommend one. Contacting the correct behaviourist is really important - using out dated or negative techniques can cause your dog’s behaviour to get worse and leave you with more problems in the long term.
Fortunately, there are several different organisations who have lists of certified behaviourists who use positive training methods. Everyone on these lists have had their theoretical and practical skills thoroughly assessed and conforms to the regulatory standards set by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) - a charity that promotes excellence in animal behaviour and training.
Read on to find out more about the different organisations who hold registers of certified behaviourists.
Animal Behaviour and Training Council
The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) regulate and represent a number of pet professionals, including pet trainers and behaviour therapists. They set the standards of knowledge and practical skills which will be needed to be an animal trainer, training instructor or animal behaviour therapist. ABTC also maintains the national registers of qualified, registered animal trainers and animal behaviourists.
Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians
Fellowship of Animal Behaviour (FAB) clinicians aim to promote research based on behavioural support for animals and their carers or owners. They use the highest scientific standards in an understanding and compassionate way. This means they’re able to build strong links between pet owners or carers, behaviourists and veterinary professionals.
They also support behaviourists with training throughout their careers, making sure they are up to date with all the latest research and can continue to provide the best help to your pet.
The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourists (CCAB)
The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) is an academic society that encourages research into animal behaviour. Their accreditation committee runs a certification scheme so that pet owners, veterinary surgeons, and others who work with animals can find a qualified behaviourist called Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourists (CCABs).
The committee consists of professionals for a number of different areas including behaviourists, vet, researches and psychologists. This is to make sure all CCABs have the expert knowledge needed to receive the qualification.
CCABs need to have specific academic qualifications and to have completed supervised experience which means they’re able to provide the best help for your pet’s behavioural problems.
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) is an international network of experienced and qualified pet behaviour counsellors who work on referral from Veterinary surgeons. They treat behaviour problems in dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses and other pets.
APBC members are able to offer the time and expertise necessary to find the causes of unwanted behaviour in pets. They can then develop practical treatment plans that are suitable for you and your pet's individual circumstances.
Problem behaviour in dogs
Lots of dog owners would like to change their dog’s behaviour. So if you’re one of them, you can find advice on problem behaviours here
Without training, the world can be a pretty confusing place for your pet. Luckily, there's a way to make training fun for them!