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Dog Behaviorist vs Dog Trainer. What’s the Difference?

When trying to find the right expert for your dog, you will come across many confusing titles. The two most confusing titles that you will come across are a dog behaviorist and a dog trainer. Knowing the difference between these two terms will help you choose the right expert for your dog. In this post, we will discuss in detail the difference between a dog behaviorist and a dog trainer to help you make an informed decision when choosing an expert for your dog.  

What is a dog behaviorist?

A dog behaviorist is an expert who studies how your dog behaves and helps to unravel your dog behavioral issues such as excessive barking, fear, separation anxiety, biting, aggression, destructive chewing, and much more. A Dog behaviorist carefully studies your dog and collect crucial information about your dog’s behavior. The expert then designs a plan based on the data collected, which is used to modify or totally change your pooch behavior.

A dog behaviorist interacts with dogs (sometimes even for weeks) to study and understand possible reasons for its behavior. They also determine where the dog’s behavior originated from. They look at deeper psychological or emotional issues that your dog faces and come up with solutions to correct the problem.

 Main responsibilities of a dog behaviorists

  • To understand dogs temperament and dispositions
  • Modify or completely change dog behaviors
  • To determine the origin of the behavior
  • Teach clients how to install good behavior on their dogs
  • Answer clients questions regarding their dog behavioral issues

What is a dog trainer?

A dog trainer is a professional who helps to teach your dog a wide variety of skills and commands such as how to walk on a leash, sit, stay, and much more. A dog trainer is highly skilled and can teach your dog both simple skills like sit and stay and more complex skills and ticks like leg weaving, moonwalking, and much more. If you want your dog to obey your commands or learn new tricks and skills, you need to hire a skilled dog trainer. Besides teaching your dog new skills, a dog trainer also works with the dog owner to correct the dog’s bad behavior.

Main responsibilities of a dog trainer

  • Teach the dog new skills and tricks.
  • Modify or change the dog’s bad behavior.
  • Teach the dog to obey both basic and complex commands.
  • Implement appropriate plans or training programs to address various problems areas, including separation anxiety, aggression, biting, hyperactivity, and much more.
  • Develop the right training program for dogs and track their progress.

Dog behaviorist vs. dog trainer, what is the difference?

A Dog behaviorist and a dog trainer have a few similarities. They both work for a certain period and work to alter or modify the dog’s behavior. However, the two have distinct differences, as discussed below.

A dog behaviorist requires special education, training, and certification to become an expert. On the other, hand a dog trainer does not need to have any special education, training, or certification. Most dog trainers learn their skills from other dog trainers. All you need to become a dog trainer is a passion for dog and experience gained over time.

A dog behaviorist diagnoses the behavior problem affecting but don’t implement their recommendations. On the other hand, a dog trainer doesn’t diagnose the problems but implement the solution given by a dog behaviorist.

A dog behaviorist can study multiple dogs with a specific area to get more accurate data. In contrast, a dog trainer usually focuses on one dog at a time to improve its behavior or teach new skills or tricks.

A dog behaviorist is tasked to explain to the client why the dog is behaving badly or weirdly. On the other hand, a dog trainer is not required to explain the origin of the behavior. Their role is to implement the guidelines given to correct or instill new behavior in the dog.

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