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What exactly is a 'Certified Dog Behaviourist' ? ? ?

August 11, 2019

Ireland's best known, and first ever Dog Behaviourist Consultant, Nanci Creedon explains what a Certified Dog Behaviourist is, and indeed how to become one.

 

Are you as confused about the 'dog behaviourist' title as everyone else?  Do you have any idea what a true certified dog behaviour consultant is?  Therefore it is totally understandable if you are as confused about the 'dog behaviourist' title as everyone else?

 

On October 23rd 2013 (my birthday!) I became Ireland's first certified dog behaviour consultant (CDBC). 
I had been working with dogs for years at this stage, and building up my qualifications with a variety of different institutions, attending workshops, and learning through DVD's from the industries top experts (I continue my studies, I am just about to complete a masters in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Newcastle University, and I have just enrolled in a masters in Veterinary Forensic Science).

 

   "At present, absolutely anyone 

can claim to be a 'behaviourist',

as it is unregulated."
 

Anyway, back to the behaviourist thing.  At present, absolutely anyone can claim to be a behaviourist, as it is unregulated. This seems to be good enough for some people, as there are 'behaviourists' across Ireland with little more than an online cert in behaviour from a mickey mouse institution, or even worse, no piece of paper at all. 

My claim to fame is that I am a CERTIFIED dog behaviour consultant. We also have the wonderful Maureen Byrne in Louth, who is also a certified dog behaviour consultant, and Jill Hyslop (IAABC) and Lyndsey Power (IAABC) both in Waterford. 

"What’s the big deal with the word 'certified'?" I hear you cry?
The below, taken from the APDT.COM website, answers the question very well:

 

I have been assessed and approved by four highly respected organisations...

 

Behaviour
International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (thorough application process can be found here).  I am a certified Dog Behaviour Consultant.

Association of Animal Behaviour Professionals (thorough application process can be found here). I am a certified dog behaviour technician.


Training
Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland (thorough application process can be found here). Professional membership.

Council of Certified Pet Dog Trainers (thorough application process can be found here). I have been assessed for knowledge AND skills. 

 

"As it stands we don't have any organisation that assesses and approves behaviour consultants here in Ireland, and many of the UK organisations do not recognise Irish practitioners."


As it stands we don't have any organisation that assesses and approves behaviour consultants here in Ireland, and many of the UK organisations do not recognise Irish practitioners.  The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC)  has been established in the UK to form an umbrella organisation for all of the respected certifying bodies that meet their criteria, so that the UK veterinary Council has an independent organisation to which they can recommend instead of choosing one body over another. Basically, that means that the ABTC is the league, and the organisations are the football clubs, the members of the organisations are the footballers.   Anyone can play football, hell anyone can claim to be a footballer. But to be a certified behaviourist you have to have proven yourself to be competent by a member organisation, similarly to be a professional footballer you need to have passed the trials / fitness tests etc. to be deemed good enough. 


The IAABC are in talks with the ABTC for recognition, so currently I recommend Irish trainers that wish to become certified apply to the IAABC. 

 

 

 

 

 

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