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Finding an animal behaviorist

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know how to find a good animal behaviorist?

Do any certifications exist for behaviorists in the USA or in Texas, or is it a buyer-beware thing?
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
If it's any help to know, it's actually for my dog - she's becoming dog-aggressive to other large dogs, after having been attacked twice by other (large) dogs while out on a leash. Not good, b/c I had plans for her to be a therapy dog. She still loves little dogs (and cats), though.
post #3 of 9
Tess, I'm certainly not an expert by any means, but from what I understand there isn't really a true oversight organization for Behaviorists. I'm sure there are vountary certifications you can get, but beware of those as well. (Totally different profession, but a former co-worker of mine went into Home Inspection, and he found that quite a few of the voluntary certification programs were nothing more than "Send us $20 - You're certified!" No check on education, qualifications, etc.) Basically, do your homework before taking any certification as meaning anything. Animal Behaviorist is still a fairly new field in the overall scheme of things.

My first step to finding a decent one would be to ask my vet if they have ever dealt with or could recommend someone in the field.
post #4 of 9
Tess, I know of one in Texas, send me an email and I will send you the information-

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, MA! I've sent you an email.

Heidi, that's what I was afraid of - anyone can call himself an 'expert' - buyer beware. The vet's staff didn't know of anyone offhand (I was kind of surprised by that), so my next step was to try the animal shelters.

Thanks for your responses.
post #6 of 9

Here's the directory of the few certified applied animal behaviorists. These are all Ph.D.s and DMVs, so they are unlikely to be jus someone setting out a shingle.

This page gives links about the certification criteria, which are actually pretty stringent.
post #7 of 9
Renae, thanks for posting that link!

I forgot to say, even in the Home Inspection case that I talked about, there were some accredidation places that did have very stringent education and testing requirements, so not all of them were fly-by-nights. Those were the ones that Ted looked into, the ones that would potentially become the standard to which all of that profession would eventually be held. In a fairly "new" field like this, it's really up to the consumer to know what certification means something and what doesn't.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links.
post #9 of 9
Another way to find an animal behaviorist is to try a veterinarian school. Behavior is part of the curiculum (sp?) and they often let people come in for a lesser fee because they're students with teacher supervision.
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