Finding behavior help for your dog behavior problems can be a challenge. I’ve provided lots of articles explaining puppy and dog behavior, with how-to advice for dealing with challenges. Dog trainers also can help you teach your puppy basic commands or even advanced behaviors, and a few have experience solving behavior challenges. But hands-on help with an animal behavior professional able to directly see what’s happening and offer individual advice works best, especially in severe cases of puppy problems such as aggression and fear issues.
In our grandparents’ day, puppy potty training wasn’t an issue because the whole outdoors served as a toilet. The wide open spaces reduced territorial arguments between pets. Folks never noticed (or cared) about behavior issues. And when an animal’s behavior became a problem, they were replaced.
Today puppies moved from the barn to a fenced yard or house. They share our meals, our love, and sometimes our pillow. But with busy lives, many puppies end up alone for hours each day while we’re at work. Boredom, frustration, and sometimes ill breeding or poor socialization leave us with neurotic, destructive or sometimes aggressive pets. What’s a caring puppy lover to do?
Finding Behavior Help
Animal behavior specialists study the relationship of animals to their physical environment as well as to other animals (and to people). The study tries to understand the causes, functions, development and evolution of behavior, and uses that knowledge to help owners and pets build positive relationships.
The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) developed a certification program in 1991 and their members are termed certified applied animal behaviorists, and must have a Ph.D. in a related field. There are about 56 ABS-certified animal behaviorists in the world.
The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) was established in 1993. Veterinary behaviorists have veterinary degrees and so can diagnose and prescribe drug therapy as well as behavior and training interventions to solve problems. Currently there are 49 veterinary behaviorists in the world.
The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) was formed in 2003 to create a certification program that validates non-veterinary or PhD credentialed individuals. However, a number of veterinarian and PhD behaviorists also are certified with IAABC. Certified dog behavior consultants often work with veterinarians. They often also are dog trainers.