Do you choose a dog trainer or a dog behaviourist?
A dog trainer and a behaviourist have very different roles to play.
A trainer will help you to teach your dog new behaviours - anything from loose lead walking, recall, sit, down, stand, stay, focus and attention, retrieving, door manners. They can also help with crate training, toilet training, settling puppies in a night time routine, showing owners how to enrich their dogs lives with regards to games to play in the house and out on walks.
They can also teach tricks, parkour, scent, agility, flyball, heelwork to music, gundog skills, herding, real dog yoga and canicross.
A behaviourist is someone who works with you to address unwanted behaviours, any undesirable, abnormal, problematic or dangerous behaviours that your dog is exhibiting. A behaviourist has a deep understanding of a dog's ethology, psychology, emotions, and neuroscience. They have extensive knowledge about canine behaviour and they can recognise all the different factors that are contributing towards your dogs behaviour.
They are experts in behaviour modification and they can effectively teach you to understand and work with your dog to overcome their issues.
There are several different titles used for those who work with dog training and behaviour. Many of them deal with both dog training and behaviour. However, not all are equipped to handle major behaviour issues. It is important to understand that anyone can call himself a dog trainer or even a behaviourist.
There are no laws dictating what defines a dog trainer or a behaviourist.
As the customer, it is up to you to learn the difference and to research a professional before you hire them to work with you and your dog.
When looking for a dog trainer, research their certifications, education and experience and look at testimonials and references as well.
Trainers from the following organisations are advisable
Animal Behaviourists - Again, anyone can claim to be a behaviourist.
Again research their certifications, what experience do they have, look at testimonials and references.
Behaviourists from the following organisations are advisable
Rest assured help is out there for any problem behaviour your dog experiences.
With any anxious and reactive dog always recommend getting in touch with a qualified behaviourist. They can talk you through and demonstrate a behavior modification plan using counter conditioning and desensitisation. These methods help address the underlying emotional issues.
If you have an anxious and reactive dog then join our group Anxious Dogs UK, a place for people to share stories, experiences and learn about their anxious and reactive four legged friends.