what is the difference between a trainer and a behaviorist? i started my puppy (6 months old)with a trainer. I mainly called him because she has a little bit of an aggression problem. I dont know if it is a puppy thing she will outgrow or a real problem. When do you call in the behaviorist? Any suggestions for one in MA area.
Anyone can CALL themselves a behaviourist or a behaviour specialist or a dog trainer - there's no standard or certification in the dog training field). However - a veterinary behaviourist is a licensed DVM who specialises in animal behavior. There are also Certified Applied Animal Behaviourists, who have a PhD or Masters in Animal Behavior, among other qualifications.
A behaviorist is a person who has studied animal behavior in a College or University and has a degree to go along with that study. Behaviorists are usually called in for stubborn or more serious cases - where a dog has bitten or truly aggressive behavior is happening. (I am referring to the CAAB here)
A trainer often has completed a certificate program in training animals - or has been an enthusiast in obedience for many years and has gotten into training as well. Or they could just be someone who really likes dogs and is calling themselves a trainer.
In a nutshell.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
IMO, I think the best certified behaviorists come from this group which includes PhDs and DVMs:
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 07-04-2009 at 11:10 AM.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":