Dog behaviourist or dog trainer? Confused about what you need?
Many people often ask me what the difference is between the two. The way I see it, a behaviourist is someone who looks to understand the reasoning behind a dog's responses and actions through observation and interaction. Using this knowledge the behaviour can be altered by us changing how we are and giving the dog a new option.
I work with both people and dogs to help the dog understand it has a choice and to choose the right one!
Behaviourist work is usually centred around reducing/removing unwanted actions from the dog, by understanding the root cause of the problem. By indentifying this cause it is possible to change his/her need to make the wrong choices! I completely promote the philosophy that prevention is better than cure!!
A trainer is someone who doesn't necessarily look to the past of the dog, or try to understand the dog's history. A trainer is usually there to teach the dog new behaviour's and actions, not to remove old ones!
Many professionals are one or the other. I believe the best approach is to be a combination of the two. If I can observe and interact with your dog and understand why it is behaving in such a way, I can help alter these responses. In addition I can assist owners in understanding how to then train new, desirable actions successfully because we have a good understanding of the dog.
I believe the two go hand in hand and pride myself on my unique combining of the two professions.
For me the key is in communication. Many of our dogs' "issues" have been learnt through poor communication with their human friends. This is no-ones fault, but merely a lack of understanding on our part. A huge part of my work with you and your dogs will be around teaching you how to effectivelly communicate with each other.