How to Become an Animal Behaviorist

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An animal behaviorist is a person who examines the behavior of animals in their natural habitat. He also strives to create and find answers to problems that upset pet owners, such as aggression, destructive behavior, biting, and other challenges.

The majority of consultants work with veterinarians who suggest their clients to a behaviorist who comes to their home to see the pet. The behaviorist examines the animal, diagnoses the issue, and then creates a therapy plan for the animal. Positive reinforcement, behavior modification, and training are all approaches used in many of these plans.

Those interested in becoming animal behaviorists must finish significant college coursework, complete full courses, and get several degrees and certifications.

College courses

Students who want to pursue a career as animal behaviorists should pay particular attention to the courses they take. Most undergraduate students need at least 21-semester credits in behavioral science, six-semester credits in ethology, animal behavior, and/or comparative psychology, and six-semester credits in animal learning, conditioning, and/or animal psychology.

In exchange for education, some universities will take work experience. For example, a student should submit their years of experience to the institution if they demonstrate the capacity to act independently and professionally in applied animal behavior duties such as independent studies, data analysis, hypothesis creation, testing, and professional writing. Working with a qualified applied animal behaviorist as a researcher, research assistant, or intern can give you this type of experience.

Post-graduate studies

To become an animal behaviorist, students must earn a master’s degree in biology or behavioral science with a focus on animal behavior. After that, the student must pursue a Ph.D. in the same subjects with the same emphasis. After earning the required degrees, the student will need to receive hands-on experience as a researcher, research assistant, or intern with a Certified Applied Animal Behaviourist working with a specific species.

Certification

All students must have liability insurance, and proof of coverage will be required when seeking certification. The certification will be costly and valid for only five years.

Certified Applied Animal Behaviourist

Owners of businesses that have received suitable certification and training will fare better than those who have not. Veterinarians who want to augment their income or start a new profession often work from home as animal behaviourists.

The behaviorist will need to sell his or her advisory services both online and through traditional media such as print and television. When a pet owner contacts a behaviorist, the behaviorist will come to the pet owner’s house and observe the animal. The behaviorist reviews the notes and forms a plan to remedy incorrect behavior after gathering adequate data.