Guide on Becoming a Certified Pet Behaviorist in Animal Training Field

Animal Training

Guide on Becoming a Certified Pet Behaviorist in Animal Training Field

Are you passionate about animals and interested in pursuing a career in animal training? Becoming a certified pet behaviorist could be the perfect path for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the requirements, training, and certification process to become a successful pet behaviorist in the animal training field. From understanding animal behavior to developing effective training techniques, this guide will help you navigate your way to a rewarding career working with our furry friends.

Overview of Pet Behaviorist Certification

Pet behaviorist certification is a crucial step for individuals looking to establish credibility and expertise in the animal training field. By obtaining certification, pet behaviorists can demonstrate their knowledge and skills in understanding and modifying animal behavior.

Importance of Certification in Animal Training Field

Certification in the animal training field is essential for various reasons. Firstly, it provides pet behaviorists with a competitive edge in the industry, as certified professionals are often preferred by clients seeking reliable and effective solutions for their pets. Additionally, certification ensures that pet behaviorists adhere to industry standards and best practices, thereby maintaining a high level of professionalism and ethical conduct.

Different Certifying Organizations for Pet Behaviorists

There are several certifying organizations that offer certification programs for pet behaviorists. Some of the most reputable organizations include the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Each organization has its own set of requirements and examinations that candidates must pass to become certified.

Requirements to Become a Certified Pet Behaviorist

In order to become a certified pet behaviorist, individuals typically need to meet certain requirements set forth by the certifying organization. These requirements may include completing a specified number of hours of hands-on training with animals, passing a written examination on animal behavior theory and practical application, and maintaining continuing education credits to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field. Additionally, candidates may be required to demonstrate proficiency in working with a variety of animal species, such as dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Education and Training

Pet behaviorists are professionals who specialize in understanding the behavior of animals, particularly pets, and helping pet owners address behavioral issues. Becoming a certified pet behaviorist requires a combination of education, training, and hands-on experience.

Relevant degrees and courses for pet behaviorists

To become a certified pet behaviorist, individuals typically need to have a background in animal behavior, psychology, or a related field. Some relevant degrees for aspiring pet behaviorists include a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, Biology, Psychology, or a related field.

In addition to formal education, there are also specialized courses and certifications available for individuals looking to become pet behaviorists. These courses cover topics such as animal learning theory, behavior modification techniques, and communication skills for working with pet owners.

Hands-on experience and internships

Hands-on experience is crucial for aspiring pet behaviorists to gain practical skills and knowledge in working with animals. Many certified pet behaviorists start by volunteering at animal shelters, working as dog trainers, or assisting established pet behaviorists.

Internships with experienced pet behaviorists or animal training facilities can also provide valuable hands-on experience and mentorship for individuals looking to become certified in this field.

Continuing education for certified pet behaviorists

Continuing education is essential for certified pet behaviorists to stay current with the latest research and techniques in animal behavior and training. Many organizations offer continuing education opportunities, such as workshops, conferences, and online courses, for pet behaviorists to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Certified pet behaviorists may also choose to pursue advanced certifications or specialized training in specific areas of animal behavior, such as aggression or anxiety disorders in pets. By staying up-to-date with continuing education, certified pet behaviorists can provide the best possible care for their clients and their pets.

Skills and Qualities

Understanding of animal behavior

To become a certified pet behaviorist in the animal training field, one must possess a deep understanding of animal behavior. This includes knowledge of how different species of animals communicate, their natural instincts, and the reasons behind certain behaviors. By understanding animal behavior, a pet behaviorist can effectively address and modify problematic behaviors in pets.

Patience and empathy towards animals

Patience and empathy are crucial qualities for a pet behaviorist. Working with animals can be challenging, especially when dealing with behavioral issues. It’s important for a pet behaviorist to have the patience to work through these challenges and the empathy to understand the emotions and needs of the animals they are working with. By approaching each animal with patience and empathy, a pet behaviorist can build trust and create a positive training environment.

Communication skills with pet owners

In addition to working with animals, a certified pet behaviorist must also have strong communication skills when working with pet owners. It’s important for a pet behaviorist to effectively communicate training techniques, behavioral assessments, and progress updates to pet owners. By clearly and effectively communicating with pet owners, a pet behaviorist can ensure that both the pet and owner are on the same page when it comes to training and behavior modification.

Career Opportunities

Working as a private pet behaviorist

Becoming a certified pet behaviorist opens up doors to working as a private consultant for pet owners who are seeking help with their animal’s behavior. This role involves conducting assessments, creating behavior modification plans, and providing ongoing support to help pets and their owners overcome behavioral challenges.

Employment in animal shelters or training facilities

Certified pet behaviorists can also find employment opportunities in animal shelters or training facilities. In these settings, they may work with a variety of animals to address behavioral issues, provide training, and help prepare animals for adoption. This role allows pet behaviorists to make a difference in the lives of animals in need of guidance and support.

Consulting for pet-related businesses

Another career opportunity for certified pet behaviorists is consulting for pet-related businesses. This could involve working with pet food companies, pet stores, or other businesses in the pet industry to provide expertise on animal behavior, training techniques, and ways to improve the overall well-being of pets. This role allows pet behaviorists to use their knowledge and skills to help businesses better serve their customers and improve the lives of pets.


In conclusion, becoming a certified pet behaviorist in the animal training field is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for those who have a passion for working with animals. By following the steps outlined in this guide, including obtaining the necessary education and experience, gaining certification, and continuing to stay up-to-date on the latest research and techniques in the field, aspiring pet behaviorists can set themselves up for success. With dedication, hard work, and a love for animals, anyone can achieve their goal of becoming a trusted and respected pet behaviorist in the animal training industry.