How are we different?
Just as human psychologists have graduate training in psychology, certified applied animal behaviorists (CAAB) have advanced graduate degrees in the science of animal behavior. Some CAABs are veterinarians who have completed a behavioral residency.
A CAAB is a certified professional with scientific training in animal behavior. A CAAB works with people and their pets to modify pet behavior that has become a concern for owners. CAABs diagnose the cause of a pet’s behavior problem, often in coordination with your veterinarian. A behavioral diagnosis is a critical analysis of your pet’s behavior using scientific principles.
We use critical thinking skills and education to determine the cause of your pet’s problem; sometimes we must develop novel approaches to solutions. Individuals without extensive education and experience may guess incorrectly as to the cause of the problem and provide ineffective advice. Improper advice can delay or prevent resolution of the problem.
Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists have:
- Obtained an undergraduate degree, usually requiring 4 years, at an accreditated college or university.
- Gained admission to an accredited graduate school or veterinary school through a highly competitive admission process.
- Completed post-graduate education receiving a Master’s (2-year full time) or Ph.D.(4-year full time) degree in a behavioral science, or DVM or VMD degree with a behavioral residency.
- Passed rigorous oral and written examinations given by their faculty committees.
- Published articles in scientific journals.
- Supervised hands-on experience with animals.
- Met the course work and experience requirements for certification as set forth by the Animal Behavior Society.
The Animal Behavior Society maintains a list of criteria for certification.