I am Dionna, founder of Animal Behaviour Australia and I am an Animal Behaviourist. A what? I hear you say. Now your brain is probably going into overdrive trying to figure out what I actually do, so I will save you the trouble. I am an animal psychologist and yes, it's a real profession.
I will explain how we fit into the human world. A vet is a doctor for pets. They help your pet if they are sick or injured and vaccinate them against disease. They are dentists, surgeons, medics, dietitians, pathologists...I could go on and on and having worked in the veterinary industry for decades and worked with the best vets out there I have the utmost respect for vets, however the one thing they are not trained in is animal behaviour or psychology. We can let them off though right? As they are already looking after almost everything else.
Dog trainers are teachers. They teach you how to teach your pet to perform specific behaviour. Again, in human context, they teach your dog it’s ABC's. They can even teach your dog to get degrees in specific tricks if you want! However, who helps you when your pet is healthy and knows it's ABC's but is performing behaviour that is unwanted / embarrassing / or antisocial, well that would be me, an Animal Behaviourist.
As an Animal Behaviourist I look at what is driving your pet to perform this behaviour. This requires me to think l