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What is a Dog Trainer vs. an Animal Behaviorist?

How do I determine which one my dog needs?


There are several different titles used for those who work with dog training and behavior. Many of them deal with both dog training and behavior because the two go hand-in-hand. However, not all are equipped to handle major behavior issues. Dog Trainers are those who focus primarily on obedience, such as sit, down, stay, heel, and so on. They also create a training plan for the dog, teach owners about dog behavior, understand an owner's need and listen to dog owner concerns. An Applied Animal Behaviorist is a person with advanced college education (MS, MA, or PhD degree) and expertise in dog, cat, and other domestic animal behavior. A behaviorist works on shaping behaviors in animals and tends to work with pets displaying behavior problems. They can recognize how and why your pet’s behavior is abnormal, and can effectively teach you how to best understand and work with your pet.


- Stacy Goresko, Ph.D.




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