I am not sure if any of you have seen this video of a famous dog trainer and his failed attempt to evaluate and help a food aggressive dog. I have included the link below, but you do not have to watch it to get the point that I want to make in this post. Namely, that there are many, many people out there that work with dogs, and some are infinitely better at what they do than others. It is extremely important that you work with someone that is competent and comes recommended by someone you trust, as they can end up doing more harm than good. The video below is a perfect example of that.
I am not a veterinary behavioral specialist. I often recommend trainers, and more often recommend veterinary specialists, particularly for aggression issues. Aggression issues cannot be evaluated and addressed soon enough, so I refer to the very best people I know of in those instances. Also, there are many trainers are out there that are really, really good at what they do. I recommend them, in certain situations, as well. There are various levels of certification that one can obtain, and that, mixed with experience and common sense, is often indicated to get you on the right path to solve any number of behavioral issues.
Below is a link to a blog by Jim Crosby, whose advice is consistently good. In the link below, he elaborates on what is wrong with the approach taken in the example seen in the above You Tube video. He breaks it down well, the contrast in his observations are striking.
What I appreciate is his brief summary of various qualifications you might look for when searching for help. I am repeating it below, because I think it is a good resource and guide when you are trying to decide who to go to for guidance.
Jim goes on to say:
“…There is no such thing as a Certified “Rehabilitator”, as the famous trainer in the video refers to himself as. There are trainers, from the person who sticks out a shingle saying “Dog Trainer” with no education or certification to those who possess supported credentials such as through the APDT/CCPDT (which Mr. Crosby has) and the IACP to several other oversight organizations such as the Karen Prior Trainers, The Victoria Stilwell Positive Trainers, the Animal Behavior College, and others. These folds are trainers of varying skills.
Then there are Behavior Consultants with credentials such as CBCC-KA (he and others), certification from the IAABC, and other behavior based certifying organizations. Then there are Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists and Veterinary Behaviorists, the top the pile. Any or all of these folds, from the guy with a self-declared title of “Dog Trainer” to the Veterinary Behaviorist can function as a rehabilitator of dogs. That is what trainers and behaviorists do. (He) has trained a ton of dogs and has rehabilitated a large number of problem dogs. That doesn’t mean (he) crowns himself “Dog Rehabilitator”. That means (he) is a trainer, a behavior consultant, and evaluator (through the AKC and others). Rehabilitator is a meaningless title- to be competent rehabilitation must be based on training, behavior analysis, behavior modification and perhaps medical intervention by a Veterinary Behaviorist.”
It is not my intent to throw a bunch of acronyms at you. My point is to help you choose wisely. And, just because someone is on TV, it doesn’t mean he or she is the best at what they do.