Teach an Old Dog New Tricks; Careers in Pet Behaviour: If You Love Animals and Have Great Communication Skills, a Career as a Pet Behaviour Counsellor May Appeal. Michelle Rushton Found out More
Byline: Michelle Rushton
What does a career in pet behaviour counselling involve?
A pet behaviour counsellor advises pet owners on dealing with general control issues and problematic behaviour with their pets. These can range from excessive barking and aggression towards people or animals to destructive behaviour, toileting issues, chasing livestock, cars or cyclists or phobias.
Counsellors take referrals from vets and hold consultations in their own centre, in veterinary surgeries or in owners' homes.
They talk to the owner and observe the animal to get details of the problem, analysing the nature of the problem and the likely causes. They then advise the owner on ways of modifying their pet's behaviour, keeping in touch with them to check on the pet's progress.
What personal skills do you need?
You need to have good animal handling skills and a knowledge of science, particularly biology. You also need to be patient, with the ability to empathise with clients, gain their trust and motivate them.
You also need to be aware of animal welfare legislation and have good spoken and written communication skills. A driving licence would be useful for visiting clients, as well as the ability to keep records and accounts and run your own business.
What training do you need?
To become a pet behaviour counsellor you would need to combine knowledge of the theory of animal behaviour with practical skills and experience of handling animals. …