ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Find a Dog Behaviorist

Updated on July 7, 2010

Running away from home is a behavioral problem many owners face

How to solve behavioral problems, a.Farricelli
How to solve behavioral problems, a.Farricelli

When man's best friend develops behavioral problems and owners are at their wit's end, who should be called? Often many people may answer in chorus ''a dog trainer'' . But often many people do not know that dog trainers do not really specialize in behavioral problems even though they may offer some helpful tips and insights. The real professional that should intervene in these scenarios are really animal behaviorists, and when dealing specifically with dogs, then they are called dog behaviorists.

These are the experts dealing with behavioral problems and that may help you find hope when your dog is acting aggressively towards other dogs, barking non stop all day or ruining your home due to a bad case of separation anxiety. Unlike dog trainers who specialize on teaching dogs and specializing on how dog cognitively learn, dog behaviorists specialize on solving problems due to behavior and are savvy about dog psychology.

Book by famous dog behaviorist Leslie McDevitt

How to Find an Animal Behaviorist

Now that you know the right professional to call in order to solve your pet's behavioral problems, comes time to make some important considerations. Consider that finding a good animal behaviorist may be tricky. You may have to do a lot of research in order to find a reputable one by asking around or finding special organizations. Never trust the first person you find on the yellow pages or over the internet: we are talking about your dog's behavioral problems and if this is not dealt in the correct manner, problems may be even made worse if not approached in the right way. Following are some tips on how to find a good animal behaviorist.

Know these Acronyms

Something to keep in mind when searching for a good dog behaviorist is to familiarize yourself with various acronyms often used to depict specialization in certain professions.

CPDT stands simply for Certified Professional Dog Trainer

CDBC stands for Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

MDE stands for Master Degree in Education

BDP stands for Bachelors Degree in Psychology

Ask Veterinarian Offices

Often veterinarian offices deal with behavioral problems in pets on a routine basis. Pet owners indeed, often take their pets to their trusted veterinarian for a physical examination in order to rule out possible physical causes of behavioral problems. Some veterinarians may prescribe medications for behavioral problems, but in ma ny cases, if not most, this is not enough. Behavior modification techniques must often necessarily accompany prescription medication in order to grant success to the treatment plan. For this reason, often veterinarians offer referrals to experienced animal behaviorists.

Check with a Shelter

Often shelters or rescues rely on dog behaviorists in order to perform behavioral tests or fix behavioral problems before putting up a dog for adoption. Your local dog shelter may therefore be a good resource to find dog behaviorists with many years of experience behind. Ask for certifications and success stories before making a decision.

• Ask Around

If you know of a friend who has had success in treating a pet after hiring an animal behaviorist, then ask for this professional's contact information. Use caution though, not all behaviorists deal with the same issues. Some may specialize for instance in aggression issues while others may specialize in easier behavioral problems.

Visit the IAABC website

The international Association of Animal Behavior offers a database of experienced professionals. In order to find a reputable animal behavior consultant you can simply perform a search under the ''find a consultant'' tab. Here you can perform a search by simply putting the State, city, zip code and type of pet you own. The association ensures that its members meet standards for education and training by adhering to the highest ethical standards

Whichever animal behaviorist you choose, make sure that they use kind reward based methods and positive reinforcement. Clicker training and the use of treats, toys and affection are examples of reward based methods. Also keep in mind that behavior modification is not based solely on the dog but on the owner as well. Indeed, you likely will have to change the way you interact with your dog and change some of your behaviors accordingly. It is a work ing progress that is very well worth it and that ultimately in the long run will help you and your dog bond more together.

Book by famous animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • grejotte profile image


      8 years ago from Montreal

      Awesome. :)

      I am going to study animal behavior this fall. I can,t wait!! I want to be a dog behaviorist. I totally love what Cesar Millan does. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)