Dog Trainer vs Behavior Consultant – What’s the Difference?

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Trainers and Behavior Consultants each serve vital functions in creating a better quality of life for you and for your dog. Choosing a dog trainer who is also a behavior consultant not only ensures that the symptoms of the behavior will be resolved, but so will the underlying cause of the behavior.

What is a Dog Trainer?

A dog trainer has a fluent understanding of how animals learn and is able to create a training plan to teach new behaviors and eliminate manageable but unwanted behaviors. A trainer equips a dog and handler with the training tools they need to perform in a variety of situations, from basic obedience to agility and complex behaviors such as those needed in service dogs and police k9s.

Dog Trainers build new and appropriate skills and help to reduce and eliminate nuisance behaviors.

Dog trainers work with manageable behaviors such as:

  • Sitting and laying down
  • Pulling on the leash
  • Coming when called
  • Jumping on people
  • Housetraining

Most of these problems can be solved with obedience training.

What is a Canine Behavior Consultant?

Behavior consultants work with abnormal behaviors or behaviors that impede quality of life for dog and family. For a Behavior Consultant, the goal is to assess each dog’s individual problem and create a treatment plan to modify the undesirable behavior. A Behavior Consultant often works in cooperation with your veterinarian to determine if your dog’s problems are strictly behavioral or if there is a medical component.

Behavior Consultants address problem behaviors that are elicited through fear, anxiety and/or aggression.

Common problems behavior consultants address:

  • Aggression toward people
  • Aggression toward other dogs
  • Dysfunctional/OCD behaviors
  • Separation anxiety
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Fears & Phobias

Determining the emotional or medical root of the behavior is key to finding the right course of treatment.

Get the Benefit of Both!


Donna’s passion for teaching family dog manners and rehabilitating fearful and aggressive dogs drives her to be certain clients reach their goals through easy to implement methods.

Having owned fearful and aggressive dogs, her personal experiences, combined with her specialized education, enable her to empathize compassionately and to construct an achievable and effective treatment plan for all problems from basic manners, to extreme fear, anxiety, and aggression.

Kristine Rich, CPDT-KA

Kristine’s experience and expertise in working with high-drive, fast-moving dogs who are required to think before they act makes her an integral part of our behavior modification team. Her proficiency in teaching how to build working and active attention is second to none, and she is a master at teaching owners to harness their dog’s excitement and energy, building confidence in themselves and in their dog.

Private Lessons for Problem Solving

There’s no that’s goal too big or too small!

Our Professional Trainers and Behavior Consultants can tackle even the toughest problem behaviors including Fearful  Behavior, Aggression toward People or other Dogs, Separation Anxiety, and Reactivity.

All of our lessons are tailored to meet your specific needs and reach the personal goals you have for you and your dog.

Unsure of what the best option is for fixing your dog’s problem behavior?

Call us at (508) 248-4677 and we’ll be happy to recommend how to get started on your path to the Perfect Family Dog!