How to become a dog behaviorist? What training?

How to become a dog behaviorist?  What training?

Understanding dog behavior, deciphering the messages the dog is sending and designing strategies to improve the harmony between the dog and its owner, this is what it offers dog behaviorist. A specialist in behavioral disorders, but also a consultant in advance to avoid problems, he is a kind of dog psychologist. He must be able to listen and communicate with both the owner and his furry friend in order to establish or restore a good human-animal relationship.
Discover how to become a dog behaviorist and what training is needed to practice.

What exactly does a dog behaviorist do?

Most of the time, when a dog owner calls a dog behaviorist, it is to solve a problem that their attempts have had no effect on.

    • Impurity;
    • Destruction;
    • Aggression;
    • Lack of obedience;
    • Eating disorders ;
    • Compatibility problem between two animals in the house (including 2 dogs or a dog and a cat).

However, the behaviorist does not only care about unwanted behavior, he can also help when the animal is experiencing difficult emotions: depression, anxiety, etc. In addition, discomfort is hidden behind every behavioral disorder. The dog is neither trying to “revenge” nor is he doing it on purpose. The professional therefore looks for what is uncomfortable for the animal and what changes the relationship with its owner. He can also act against the current and advise new owners of a rescued puppy or dog. They avoid mistakes so often.

A dog trainer therefore analyzes the behavior of the animal, but also its emotions and its interactions with various members of the household, the environment, problems. He then implements strategies. He then advises possible changes in the housein rules and daily routines he then suggests a method that often includes exercise regularly. He generally has to return several times to monitor developments and adapt his instructions as they go. They must always ensure the physical and psychological well-being of the dog. It acts as an intermediary but is based on a scientific understanding of animal behavior.

What qualities are required to be a good dog behaviorist?

It is essential to have an expert to understand the problem that the dog and the owner are going through very good listening. His analysis is based on observation, but also on what the owner tells him. He must therefore be very careful about it. They must demonstrate a great empathy and pass no judgment that would alter the bond of trust, for even if he were silent it would reflect it in his eyes. They have to too be calm and reassuring, especially since it is foreign to the dog. So the animal may appear defensive. The behaviorist must know how to release it. It goes without saying that this is necessary loves animals ! Because a good professional practices positive reinforcement and knows that punitive methods have no future. Plus, most of them are passionate and involved.

It is a demanding profession that leads to deep reflection and that does not end even after the session is over. A professional must develop personalized strategies, and this requires working outside of their clients’ homes. He must deal diplomatically with the master to convey messages to him without directing him, with delicacy and delicacy.

In addition to “soft skills” or behavioral skills, a practitioner must have technical and scientific knowledge relating to an animal. Animal psychology, ethology, physiology, anatomy of dogs have no secrets for him. He knows all about the bond of attachment. He has read and studied the works of many specialists, including Konrad Lorentz, Turid Rugaas… He must also know how to send the right signals back to the dog to be understood. His communication must be clear and effective. In addition, he must be able to remain patient, persistent and firm without ever resorting to violence. In this way, he will be able to make the dog understand and listen to him. Finally, to respect everyone’s needs and rhythm, he has to show up flexible and adaptable.

How to choose dog trainer training?

The only state diploma is Certificate of professional dog trainer. After obtaining the CAP diploma, it provides two-year training at the bac level and is being prepared in 6 cities:

    • Airion (60600);
    • Bar-le-Duc (55006);
    • Donneville (31450);
    • Lacapelle-Marival (46120);
    • Sabers (40630);
    • Saint-Gervais-d’Auvergne (63390).

There is also a “behaviourist” option. veterinary training.

If a state diploma is preferable because it is recognized, it is not mandatory. At the same time, there are many of them private trainingincluding remote (for the theoretical part).

In all cases, it is necessary to obtain a for the exercise Certificate of Knowledge for Pets (ACACED) issued by the DDPP (Departmental Directorate of Population Protection) after passing the exam. It certifies that its holder is able to work with animals.

Private or public, training allows you to get theoretical foundations and practical knowledge necessary for the performance of the profession. As most dog trainers work independently, modules on business start-up, legislation, marketing and customer relations can be provided. In general, practical work with dogs prove essential for the successful implementation of such learning.

Private training courses offer a wide variety of lengths and prices. Some can be funded by a CPF account, some cannot. Learn about each one carefully, as some are more reliable than others. Look for reviews and testimonials (off their site) to make sure you get the skills you need to practice. Recognition and accreditation, at least by professional bodies in the sector, are a guarantee of the seriousness of teaching. Also ask for details on each module to make sure the training is complete.

    • Ethology;
    • Animal Psychology;
    • Observational methods;
    • Behavioral intervention techniques;
    • Ethics;
    • Starting a business ;
    • Practical work, internships, workshops…

Also, ask to know the faculty before signing the training contract. If it is made up of professionals recognized in the field, it is a guarantee of quality.

Choosing a training course takes time and in-depth inquiry to ensure that it is complete, meets your needs and is compatible with your situation.

What are the possible developments?

After obtaining the diploma, the professional must regularly update himself through further education. It can also specialize in further training:

    • Training;
    • Breeding;
    • Ethology (bac + 5 to become an ethologist);
    • Guide dog training for the blind (2 years);
    • Dog handler (2 years).

When he specializes, a behaviorist dog trainer may choose a specific disorder. For example, separation anxiety, aggression or Hs-Ha syndrome. It can thus become a reference in a niche. He may also obtain additional certifications in specific therapies (systematic desensitization or counterconditioning) or in the use of tools such as clicker training.

With experience, some become speakers, write books or articles about dog behavior, organize workshops or in turn train professionals and future behaviorists. They can also become consultants to dog-related organizations and associations or participate in animal behavior research.

Most dog trainers work privately, at a dog training center or, more rarely, with veterinarians.

In general, when such a professional is an employee, he receives a a salary corresponding to the minimum wage. If a person is self-employed, they charge between 60 and 80 euros per session, depending on their location, reputation and various individual factors. His salary therefore depends on the number of clients, which in itself depends on communication, seniority, word of mouth, among other things.

The job of a dog behaviorist trainer is for people who enjoy contact with dogs and avoid office life. It requires an open mind, calmness and confidence. Training, public or private, allows you to choose this occupation initially, but also as part of retraining. The opportunities are diverse and more numerous than one can imagine.

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