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NancyH, Job Search Expert
Category: Job
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Experience:  I have a background in needing to find work due to the economy and so learned lots!
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how do I become a canine behaviorist or dog psychologist

Customer Question

I want to become a dog psychologist. I want to know where in California (prefferably L.A. area) I can go to college/ university for this.
I tried to find out colleges on the internet, but I just reached a dead end... it seems that there are more sites from people claiming to be dog behaviorists than sites to tell you how to become one. It might be hard to get good information about this for the varity of names of the profession I am interested in ( dog psychologist, canine behaviorist, Behavior Counselor for companion animals ) in the end it is all the same and there are numerous people out there who have a doctorate or something similar in dog psychology, so it shouldn't be impossible to find out about it...
I would be very, very happy if one of you could help me with this! I know this is what I want to do for a living! I just don't know how to get there! Maybe you should look at it from this point of view: If you help me now- in a few years I might be able to help you and your dog live a happier life :-) Thanks in advance!!!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Job
Expert:  Guests replied 11 years ago.
Please try this website:
It is great because the first phase of the study is distance. They locate a trainer in your area to work with. I have met people who have do this and have now successful activities!! Hope this helps

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions. Anna
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Anna Covatta's Post: I came across this site before... it focuses on dog traing = obidience training. But a dog psychologist is not just an obidience trainer. Thanks anyways :-)
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
To become the type of professional you are considering requires a degree in veterinary medicine with a specialty in canine behavior.
UC Davis is the California school I hear the most about
Many well known behaviorists have participated in their program.
Alternatively you can consider apprenticing with people who do this kind of work from the pet trainer perspective.
In California one such center I know of trains trainers as well as people and pets. That center is Super Puppy and you can see their website here
Many well known behaviorists actually are people who moved up from being pet trainers by using novel techniques to resolve pet behavior problems and got reknowned for their skills.
An excellent train the trainer program is run in the UK by XXXXX XXXXXon. This page shows some of the seminars he is offering
I've seen him here in the US and he is on my list of 'greats'!
You may find information on what you want to do here also which is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers web site. Ian Dunbar (another well known behaviorist) is one of the many people active in that organization. He's also on my list of great educators in the field.
I try to attend all the behavior seminars I can - as do many trainer/behaviorists.
My personal ranking is a behaviorist is a step above a trainer as a trainer simply works at teaching people to train their pets while a behaviorist spend their time working on specific problems with owners rather than a group kind of class situation. A Veterinary Behaviorist is able to also prescribe medications to help in the behavioral changes.
Hope this helps you and good luck!
NancyH, Job Search Expert
Category: Job
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience: I have a background in needing to find work due to the economy and so learned lots!
NancyH and other Job Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to NHolmes's Post: Thanks a lot! Your reply was really helpful!
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
you are welcome - just remember that working with problem pets often means you are also working with problem people! :)

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