How to Choose a Dog Trainer
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Find a Dog Professional
When in doubt, please ask if they follow American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Humane Dog Training Position Statement, which recommends that only reward-based training methods are used for all dog training, including the treatment of behavior problems.
Veterinary Practice, Groomer, and Trainers specialized in managing and handling dogs alongside a veterinary team.
Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorist (DACVB)
DACVB can assess and treat your dog for behavioral issues, diagnose medical conditions, provide behavior modification plans, and prescribe pharmaceutical treatments. The purpose of medication is to improve your pet's physical and mental health, so that they are able to remain under threshold during normal life events in order to be emotionally able to learn new behavior(s).
This certification requires a PhD in biological or behavioral science with an emphasis on animal behavior and 5 years' experience in applied animal behavior. They cannot prescribe pharmaceutical treatments; however, they may work with your dog's veterinarian. They are actual "behaviorist".
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC)
Warning, anyone can call themselves a "behaviorist" because the dog training industry is unregulated. A CDBC is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). They are trained to assess dog behavior issues, identify the root cause, and create a training or treatment plan to modify unwanted behavior(s). They work with your veterinarian to see if your dog's health is impacting their behavior. They cannot prescribe medication.
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA®)
These advanced trainers provide behavior consultations and e certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
This certification is offered through the Pet Professional Accreditation Board.