A ‘Behaviourist’ is about much more than letters gained through college. Some things can’t be learnt at university alone.
Wikipedia vaguely says: ‘A dog behaviourist is a person who works in modifying or changing behaviour in dogs. They can be experienced dog handlers, who have developed their experience over many years of hands-on experience, or have formal training up to degree level’.
Why do I call myself a Behaviourist?
I call myself a Behaviourist simply because it’s the word the general public and potential clients search for. They have their own concept of what a Behaviourist is and what they need.
This is what a dog ‘Behaviourist’ really is in my opinion:
- A dog lover
- A person lover
- A shrink
- A trainer
- A friend
- A listener
- A motivator
- A problem-solver
- A supporter
- A non-judger
- A sponge for knowledge
- An enthusiast for learning
- A holder of meaningful practical qualifications
- Someone experienced who has lived life themselves
- A professional who is answerable and accountable
Can anyone call themselves a Behaviourist, then?
Yes, anyone can call themselves a Behaviourist. There are no qualifications legally required. The unwitting public can be blinded by a ‘Behaviourist’s’ claims to belong to associations with letters after their names that are totally meaningless.
In their desperation to get help with their dog, how many people do their research?
This is what makes public awareness of the Charter so important and membership of the leading force-free associations that continually check and vet their members for ongoing learning, ethics and standards.