For Pet Owners
How can a CAAB help you?
Professional help for your pet’s behavior needs
How can Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists help you?
We know your pet’s problem is not your fault. Pets develop problem behaviors for many complex reasons. No matter how mystifying, confusing, or out of the ordinary you think your pet’s behavior is, we can help. Even if you think you’ve tried everything, we can help based on our thorough analysis of your pet’s behavior.
We understand each pet, each situation, and each family’s interaction is unique. A CAAB has the knowledge, experience, and skillset to customize a plan for you.
We work closely with your veterinarian because we recognize that medical problems can cause or contribute to behavior problems.
In coordination with your veterinarian, CAABs explore the factors that may be contributing to your pet’s behavior problem. A behavioral assessment is performed – a critical analysis of your pet’s behavior using scientific principles. It includes an identification of the likely environmental (e.g., home-related), and social conditions that may facilitate or trigger the problem.
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, and potentially make the problem behavior worse.
Here’s what we’ll do for you
Analyze, evaluate, assess, and explain challenging or puzzling behaviors.
Educate you and demonstrate “hands-on” techniques for solving the problem.
Follow-up to evaluate and guide your progress.
Change techniques, if necessary, as you and your pet progress.
Help you with decision making and evaluating options in those rare cases where the pet is too dangerous, unmanageable, or not a good fit for your family, including the difficult choices of rehoming or euthanasia.
Why do we collaborate with your veterinarian?
We work closely with your veterinarian because we recognize that medical problems can cause or contribute to behavior problems, and vice versa.
Your veterinarian is the first person you should contact when your pet exhibits problem behavior or your pet’s behavior changes. Many underlying medical problems, including pain, can alter your pet’s behavior in ways that are difficult for pet owners to identify. Please call your veterinarian if you note any change, however mild, in your pet’s behavior.
What happens once my veterinarian says there are no medical concerns with my pet?
After your veterinarian determines that there are no underlying medical reasons for the behavioral symptoms, CAABs will continue to work closely with your veterinarian to provide the best behavioral care for your pets. Because most CAABs work through veterinary referral, we know the importance of keeping your veterinarian informed of our findings. Because of our training, we know how to provide a useful case summary to veterinarians.
What should I expect?
CAABs who see clients will most likely send you a behavior history form to complete, which will include information about your veterinarian, household, and specifics about the problem behavior including what it is, when did it start, where does it happen, and how often it happens.
They will then have a consultation (either in person or virtually) to start a dialogue and create a plan for you and your pet. Either the plan or a summary will be sent to your veterinarian, as it’s important to keep your pet’s physical and mental healthcare team on the same page.
What's the difference between a CAAB and a dog trainer?
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.
The dog training industry is unregulated, so it’s important if you’re looking for a trainer to look at their experience, education, and the methods they use to help you with your pet.