How to become a Dog Behaviorist

Hello.

Romania is not the place where anyone can just become anything they want without proper training. Of course, if there’s a will there will be a way. This article was ordered by a client a very long time ago, but for some reason, things took a weird turn and  the project didn’t have a happy ending. Since the content is still original, I decided to post it here, for all of you who love animals. Sadly, this article refers to dogs only and those who want to become a cat behaviorist should take a different route. I may post a guide for that as well. Sometime in the future.

As a side note, this short guide might help people living in UK.

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Have you often been told how good you are with animals? If the answer is ‘yes’, you may want to choose a different career path. There is always time for a change! If you have a special affinity for dogs, the best career you could choose is one as a dog behaviorist. The title seems complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.

kali-june27
This used to be my dog, Kali. This is a pic of her back in June ’14.

WHAT THE JOB IS ABOUT

Not all dogs behave nicely and you have most likely encountered that dog that never stays put, never listens or even attacks, at times.

Your job will be to make sure these things never happen ever again, for a happy dog means a happy owner that will forever be grateful to you.

Prepare to get close and personal with both the dog and its owner over a certain period of time, in which you get the pet rid of its phobias, bad behavior, or any other issues the owner complains about.

NOT ALL DOGS ACT THE SAME

The breed of the dog and its own personality play an important part in your work, so do not treat every pet the same way! You need to learn about the different dog breeds’ behaviors but you need to observe the dog too, to see their personality.

Dogs are generally docile pets, they are a man’s best friend after all, but what about the times when the best friend misbehaves? The bad behavior shows in many ways and each will be treated accordingly. For example, one dog can be overly aggressive and chase people around, while another will be scared of something or refuse to go out.

What you need is to talk to the owner in a clear matter about the pet’s issues, figure out the causes and then follow up with a step by step program that will ensure this behavior changes. You will also be in charge of checking up on the pet regularly and see the progress with your own eyes – this is the most rewarding part of the job!

GET PROPER EDUCATION

Like with most jobs, you will need to get the proper training first. However there is more than one way to gain entry into this field of work.

cropped-kali-june27.jpg You must attend college, as the proper training is offered to those who graduated it. You need 2 A levels and you must have studied biology at the very least. CFBA and UCAS are just 2 places where you can get more info on available courses. You may also wish to get your hands on any DVD that shows how to do the job properly, and watch online videos. Then – practice, practice, practice and don’t forget to continue studying after you get in the business!

We suggest you also sign up for a class or seminar. If you’re serious about it, a degree in Animal Science will be helpful. Check the resources and seminaries in your areas and decide what’s the best option for you!

Training is crucial. Even though you might love being around pets, you aren’t born with the knowledge need to become a pet behaviorist.

Another way is to get a job in the field first. This could be anything – even working at a pet shop or veterinary office will do. The point is to get you used to the way animals act – the more, the better. You will quickly notice how different they are one from another.

WORKING HOURS AND EARNINGS

As a pet counselor, you will be making your own schedule and paying your own taxes. Like any other self-employment job, it has its advantages and disadvantages. You will not get paid weekly and you might struggle at first, but this is why this work is suitable for people who truly love animals.

The best paid dog counselors are people who make some cash on the side – of course, in the same field! This should not bring you down though. There are many successful counselors out there, but the wage you will get varies from $30,000 and up to about $75,000 a year. In UK, the charges can start at £85 and can go over £250, per consultation. Of course, if a case is more difficult, you can charge more, but you’ll need the proper credentials as well – see the previous section.

WHAT ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR?

One of the best parts of the job is that your work will be anything but boring! Be prepared to train the pet as well when needed, watch it play, and interact with it as much as possible.

Once the dog begins to trust you, the most difficult part is gone. You will have fun whilst working – this is the main reason most people decide to get a career in the field.

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