Friday, January 6, 2012

BUYER BEWARE: There is no such thing as a certified animal behavioralist

Ginger and Opal

BUYER BEWARE: There is no such thing as a certified animal behavioralist!

Author, Cindy Ludwig

There is no such thing as a "Certified Animal Behavioralist." If someone claims to be a
behaviorist (not "behavioralist" - big telltale sign right there in the spelling), ask specifically what degree they have and what specific certification they have as well as the granting organization!

There are board-certified veterinary behaviorists (veterinarians with specialized training and
certification in behavior) and their credential is the DACVB (Diplomate of the American College
of Veterinary Behaviorists), applied animal behaviorists (CAAB) with the Animal Behavior Society (individuals with advanced degrees and professional certification) and now CCPDT
(Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers) certified animal behaviorists (CBCC-KA -
certified behavior consultant canine - knowledge assessed) and Veterinary
Technician specialists (VTS) who specialize in and are certified in behavior by the AVBT
(Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians).

There are a few other organizations granting certification in canine behavior such as the
Association of Companion Animal Behavior Consultants (CBC - Certified Canine Behavior Consultant)
to individuals who have an advanced degree, at least 24 credit hours in behavior and additional
required coursework in psychology, counseling and statistics.

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) certifies individuals
as a CABC (Certified Animal Behavior Consultant) with a minimum of a high school diploma
and at least 3 years and 1000 hours in animal behavior consulting plus 400 hours of education and training

The Association for the Study of Animal Behavior (ASAB) in the UK certifies animal behaviorists with advanced education and extensive clinical experience as Clinical Animal Behaviorists.

A real animal behaviorist will, I hope, know what they are - a behaviorist, not a "behavioralist." The
fact that someone purports to be a" behavioralist" suggests to me this person does not even know the correct terminology! Remember, anyone can call him or herself a "behaviorist." Check out the individual's credentials - and remember, not all certifying bodies have the same standards! Beware - there are people out there calling themselves "behaviorists"
who are giving out bad advice!

Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP
(Master of Arts in Education, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner)
Owner, Canine Connection LLC

Cindy Ludwig is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and owner of Canine Connection
LLC in Dubuque, Iowa ( She is a member of the Association of Pet
Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.


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