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Poll; What makes a 'good' behaviourist - tick as many options as you like

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by alphadog, Aug 10, 2009.


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What makes a 'good' behaviourist

  1. Extensive historical knowledge

    6 vote(s)
    37.5%
  2. Degree, Phd or equivalent

    5 vote(s)
    31.3%
  3. Successful past case studies

    11 vote(s)
    68.8%
  4. Member of Institution or Association

    9 vote(s)
    56.3%
  5. Provides written assessment

    11 vote(s)
    68.8%
  6. Provides written action plan

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  7. Offers practical demo sessions

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  8. Ongoing phone and email support

    14 vote(s)
    87.5%
  9. Pro crate training

    6 vote(s)
    37.5%
  10. Pro clicker training or positive reinforcement

    15 vote(s)
    93.8%
  11. Uses remote spray collars (Not e-collars)

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  12. Uses rattle bottles/water bottles/Pet Corrector etc

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  13. Accepts insurances cases

    7 vote(s)
    43.8%
  14. Vet recommended

    7 vote(s)
    43.8%
  15. Owns own dog (s)

    14 vote(s)
    87.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    We often advise people on the forum to seek the advice of a good behaviourist, but we also know that there isn't one single governing body for behaviourists so it can be a minefield as anyone can claim to be a behaviourist or behaviour consultant.

    So what constitutes a 'good' behaviourist? Tick as many options as you like, it might help give other people an idea what to ask when contacting a behaviourist for the first time
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    If I were to need a behaviourist, I would be looking more for things like, sucess in the past, positive re inforcement etc.
    I would want someone who would include me as much as poss in the action plan, training methods etc.
    I would also look for a written plan, so I didn't feel like they were just going with it. But the plan should also be flexible.

    I don't think i would be too bothered about phd. Not sure though!

    x
     
  3. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Anyone else? Don't be shy, share your thoughts!! :D
     
  4. Badger's Mum

    Badger's Mum PetForums VIP

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    Have to say i've never advised them to anyone, not my cup of tea:)
     
  5. EmzieAngel

    EmzieAngel PetForums VIP

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    I'm not really sure about behaviorists.

    We nearly had to contact one when we had trouble with Bailey, but now we've been able to sort it out ourselves.

    When I had a collie cross, who had many behavioral issues, we got in touch with a behaviourist after seeing that she had many good reviews. And she was awful, she was really snobbish and made things worse and made it look like a dog shouldn't be part of the family. After my experience with her, I'm put off by behaviorists, though I'm sure not all are like her and some may be really good, but who knows.
     
  6. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Oh what a shame, there's nothing worse than feeling bad about your situation when you have approached that person for help. No wonder you are unsure about them now.

    There are some good ones out there who are passionate about their work and do everything in their power to set you on the right track, promise!
     
  7. EmzieAngel

    EmzieAngel PetForums VIP

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    Yeah, well I'm sure there are, if I do need to find a behaviorist in the future I will do a thorough search to try find a good one.

    Luckily Bailey only has a silly little fear, but we've made lots of progress, so it's all good.
     
  8. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I ticked them all :)
     
  9. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    I've never had to call on the services of a behaviourist, but I think if I did one of the things I would want to see is someone who would take the time to observe the dog and assess it properly in a variety of situations, not just make up their minds what the problem was on the spot and wade in with their 'cure' (like that chap on the telly). I would also like them to not necessarily take my description of the problem at face value; there could be issues I was not aware of. I would like definitely want a written assessment and plan that not just included me, but taught me how to sort out the problem with their help, and be a better dog owner. I would want positive methods, but would not be averse to using a spray collar, rattle bottle, squirt bottle or whatever - if it was warrented and positive methods had been tried without the desired result (after all I have used a spray collar myself to cure my dog of her football obsession with great success), but only if the dog's character could withstand it. Some dogs could be traumatised by aversive methods and deciding what methods to use would be part of the assessment and plan. Ongoing and follow-up support would be important.
    I would like to see targets along the way as part of the plan, to see how well it was working and give motivation to continue.
    The person should be an experienced dog owner, but I'm not bothered about academic qualifications. Lots of people that are great with dogs and can really see what's going on between the dog and owner don't have them. Being part of an association or body would be good, but I wouldn't reject someone just because they weren't. I think I would be happier with someone who came by personal recommendation or who would give me names of people who had used them to contact.
    They would have to be as good with people as with dogs. It's often the owner that has to change the way they relate to the dog.
    So I'd be looking for a behaviourist with sensitivity, observation, tact, insight and the ability to communicate at all levels.
     
    #9 Burrowzig, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  10. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    I ticked them all except the remote collars and rattle bottles - although they do (rarely) have their place I suppose.

    I was reading an article on training in the vet's yesterday and it was all - "To train the 'leave' command tell your dog to leave and shake a rattle bottle really loudly near the thing you want it to leave" and "To teach 'drop', tell the dog to drop and then shake the rattle bottle near him". FFS.... :cursing:
     
  11. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

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    if i shook a rattle bottle mine would want to eat it lol. the only time he hears that sound is when i give him a plastic bottle with treats in so he can figure out how to get them out.

    re behaviourist, i dont think i'd ever go to one.
    to my mind they are another of these ' new age' occupations like style gurus and spin doctors.
     
  12. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    They do have their place. But the individual dog needs to be assessed first, and they certainly shouldnt be used on nervous dogs, or for every single bit of training.

    Ive used one (with professional help) and it was highly successful. Oscar wasnt a dog that responded to positive reinforcement. He didnt like treats, and couldnt give a toss about praise. He was driven by being naughty and pushing boudaries. For well over 6 months i stuck to positive training onlye, and ignored all his bad behaviour, but it made no difference. He was starting to get rather big, and was very powerful.

    So we tried the tin (bottle didnt work). Ive only ever had to use it a few times, and now just have to say "tin" when he's getting OTT and i want him to stop. A bit like saying "enough" or "no".

    I dread to think what he would have been like without it. He was a very difficult dog.
     
  13. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    I can definately understand why anyone would think that! but they can offer you an insight into your dog's problem behaviours that you can't necessarily see yourself and that training per se will not touch.


    I agree. I've used a remote spray collar for distance work where every other method failed.

    I also want to know that the behaviourist I choose is flexible in their approach and doesn't have a set method which he/she insists will work on every dog
     
  14. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Thats just it. A good behaviourist should know how to apply ALL techniques, but they dont actually have to use them with clients.

    Positive reinforcement is great, but what happens when you have a dog that doesnt like treats or praise? I dont see anythign wrong with correcting a dogs behaviour, but it should only be done when all else fails, and not as the first port of call.

    Soem dogs are strong willed and independant, they dont wish to have a leader or do as they are told. Doing their own thing is far more rewarding, and sometimes showing them that there are undesireable consequences to their actions is the only way to stopping them.

    Oscar used to leap at people and grab their sleevs. If you ignored him it was so much more fun, and he would become even more determined. I was terrified that he would do this to someone outside the house and hurt them, so we used the tin. Within 24 hours he stopped doing it, and living with him was much nicer.
     
  15. barneythore

    barneythore PetForums Senior

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    the trainer at barneys dog class is a behaviourist and she is very good and helpful you can ring her at anytime and she watches the dog to see how it responds to different things
     
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