Finding qualified professionals to create a treatment team
Qualified professionals can be valuable partners of your veterinary behavior team. That said, "training" is an unregulated field, and unskilled, poorly schooled trainers may cause harm. It is worth the effort to establish an ongoing collaborative relationships with an excellent, educated, certified, insured trainer.
While diagnosis and medical intervention remains the purview of the veterinarian, an excellent trainer can seamlessly help clients implement interventions and work with the veterinary team to provide feedback, key information, and the highest quality of care.
Trainers should have a certification in dog training from a reliable organization that has, as its foundation, the sole use of positive methods. Certification for trainers should require annual continuing education (CE),liability insurance, and testable knowledgeable in behavior and learning theory.
For groups that meet this standard see:
- Animal Behavior Society (ABS) - Applied Animal Behavior Certification Program
- Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
- Karen Pryor Academy (KPA)
- Peaceable Paws Academies
- Pet Professional Guild (PPG)
You should be able to observe classes and the techniques and style used for your patients. Classes should have a reasonable ratio of instructors to clients/dogs. The groups listed do not represent a comprehensive list and are not endorsed by AAHA. It is the responsibility of the veterinarian to evaluate the individual(s) they choose to include in their behavioral management team. For helpful information see How to Choose a Trainer.
Many cases require the help of behavior specialists, and all veterinarians and trainers should become familiar with board-certified veterinary behaviorists (www.dacvb.org) in their area.