Question by Lioness: Do you understand what a Certified APPLIED Animal Behaviorist really is?
It seems to me there are an awful lot of people who are confused about what the field of Animal Behavior is all about. This concerns me the most because unless people truly understand it, they are very likely to be fooled by false credentials. (just as people who don’t know better are fooled by unethical breeders selling ‘teacups’)

First of all, it is no more ethical for a person to claim to be an ‘Animal Behaviorist’ and “practice” on your dog than it is for a person to “play” Vet and perform a procedure on him.

A Certified Applied Animals Behaviorist is NOT the same thing as an “Animal Behaviorist”. An Animal Behaviorist is a person who would study subjects, test hypothesis, and report on their findings often in peer reviewed journals. They would not generally work with people such as pet owners to help them train their pets, etc. This is where the field of APPLIED Animal Behaviorist comes in. These are the people who use the data collected in in the field of research and APPLY it to a specific application such as dog training and dog behavior modification.

This difference makes it really quite easy to tell the difference between the the real and the phony. Anyone who actually calls themselves an “Animal Behaviorist” probably has absolutely no credentials at all. But a person who is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) with a PhD in a field such as Biology or Zoology or Animal Science, etc has spent a tremendous amount of time in their field of study and very likely knows their stuff. Currently, there are a fairly limited number of colleges out there that are focusing degrees on this field (mostly due to a huge budget needed for this kind of study), but they are growing quickly.

It would serve the dog loving community well to start paying more attention to the Animal Behavior field because it’s primary goal is to answer the questions of HOW and WHY as far as behavior is concerned. This kind of study has the potential to begin unlocking the specific biology of behavior problems, understand what parts of the brain allow one dog to be a substantially better herder than another, and lord knows what else. It may even have the power to help us to better preserve breeds of dogs. This primary goal of answering the questions HOW and WHY is the fundamental difference between Animal Behavior study and training. Training is limited to what works and what doesn’t. Animals behavior spreads from microbiology to psychology to physiology, etc to find out how it works, and why it works.

Were you aware of this? Do you think in the future you might be more equipped to pick out when a person is attempting to work under credentials they do not possess?

Have you ever worked with an ACTUAL Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist?
Kaper, what you are referring to is exactly why I ultimately posted this question. Most of us here know we’re getting the wool pulled over our eyes when somebody wants to sell us a “Chiweenie” but I have discovered that the field of Animal Behavior is a very misunderstood field as a result of those who choose to deceive rather than educate.
2Have2Be – you’re misunderstanding the point of the Animal Behavior field. It’s primary objective is to study the how and why. So, for example, they would study what part of the brain is effected when a dog smells a particular pheromone and what physiological changes result. Not necessarily how to train your dog. That’s not the true goal.
I don’t think you necessarily have to have a PhD, but you must at least have supervised graduate courses from an accredited college. I cannot come up with the name of any CAAB that I know of who does not have a PhD. My assumption is that by the time you get to that point you might as well just get the degree… but don’t mark my words on that.
Add: Curtis, I looked it up. I did find a handful of CAAB’s with *only* a Masters.
(only seems like an unfair word there… lol)
Sorry this is getting so long. I just really got a bug up my butt about this and now I feel much better that at least some have been enlightened.

Here is a list of CAAB’s. As you can see, NOT very many!
http://www.certifiedanimalbehaviorist.com/page6.html

Best answer:

Answer by ☼Eyes of a Warrior- APBT☼
Yes ..I am aware of this. I haven’t actually ” worked” with any of them but I have met many.

Give your answer to this question below!