What is a Canine Behaviourist And How does a Canine Behaviourists Work?
Although it is not a perquisite, many behaviourists will stay in touch with the clients by e-mail or phone to monitor the progress being made. Depending on the nature of the problem behaviour, a follow up session may be required. A career as a professional canine behaviour consultant is one that involves a passion for dogs, commitment, dedication and good inter-personal skills.
Although this can be a very rewarding career, it can be extremely challenging. As a dog cannot tell you how it feels or what it is thinking, a canine behaviourist needs to have excellent observation skills. As humans are different and individuals, so are dogs, and not all dogs will respond in the same manner, so it is essential for the canine behaviourist to have a full ‘tool box’, in order to make the modifications that are required as well as have in-depth knowledge into the different breeds of dogs and their specific genetic quirks.
What qualifications do you need to become a canine behaviourist? The full information required from the Animal Behaviour Consultants of SA™ is available on their website, but some of the basic criteria required are:-
* Proof of counseling skills competency (e.g. Lifeline, Psychology degree etc)
*Pertinent animal-related qualifications, activities or involvements and animal-related achievements.
*Evidence of attendance of courses/seminars/workshops held under the auspices of the ABC of SA™ or other relevant bodies. *Evidence of practical experience. A minimum of three years relevant, practical experience in a professional or semi-provisional capacity e.g. animal welfare, animal rehabilitation, veterinary practices, grooming parlours, kennels, training schools etc.
* A practical working knowledge of various methods used in behaviour modification is essential e.g. obedience instruction, positive reinforcements, clicker training, TTouch etc.
*To submit a minimum of two references from two independent veterinarians who have knowledge of your skills and have actually referred cases to you.
Apart from being character references, they must show confidence that you have the competence, knowledge and experience to practice. They should also be able to attest a positive outcome of such cases.
* Four actual case studies. Three of these should concern the respective species category in which you wish to become accredited and one should concern a multi-species (animal) interaction e.g. dog chasing cats. Each study must be formatted as a report (such as could be forwarded to the client’s veterinarian) and should include a report to the owner on the actual methods used to modify the behaviour or solve the problem. This to include a prognosis, follow-up consultations and the eventual outcome of the case. Comprehensive detail on the etiology of the problem behaviour required. For more information and full details of criteria required, visit the website at www.animal-behaviour.org.za
To find an accredited behaviourist in your area please visit http://www.animal-behaviour.org.za/consultants.html
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