IAABC Press Release

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Press Release

Date: December 13, 2013

Southbridge MA, Donna D. Savoie, owner of Pack of Paws Dog Training LLC has just qualified as an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Donna D. Savoie, aCDBC, CPDT-KA, CBATI, ABCDT is an experienced and certified dog trainer as well as a certified behavior consultant.

What is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant?

Different than a dog trainer, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant addresses dysfunctional or abnormal behaviors. These behaviors might include fears, phobias, anxiety, aggression and other issues that can become severe without proper treatment.

A qualified behavior consultant will successfully address dysfunctional or abnormal behaviors. These are different from normal behaviors that become problematic for owners such as digging, pulling on leash, and barking, though a certified dog behavior consultant can successfully address such problems as well.

Behavior consultants may also be called upon in cases where an animal is performing behaviors that are usually considered normal for that species, but with such frequency or intensity that they interfere with the animal’s normal functioning and/or are creating serious safety issues for people or animals in the family.

Behavior consultants have a comprehensive knowledge of both normal and dysfunctional behaviors that occur in the species s/he works with and maintains a network of colleagues, to consult with on a particularly complex case, or know when to refer cases to veterinarians or veterinary behaviorists who have the added ability to prescribe medication when needed.

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants is a prestigious organization that has a rigorous application process. Currently there are less than 400 certified members in the world, though hundreds more have applied. Certified members are required to demonstrate competency in six core areas including assessment and intervention strategies, consulting skills, knowledge of animal behavior, and species-specific knowledge as well as keeping detailed records and case studies.

What ARE those acronyms anyway?

Behind many dog trainer and certified behaviorist names is a list of acronyms proudly showing their education, commitment to a field of specialty, and certifications.


aCDBC: Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant is a certification from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.   www.iaabc.org

CPDT-KA: Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is an independent organization which establishes and maintains humane standards of competence for animal training and behavior professionals through criteria based on experience, standardized testing, skills and continuing education.

CBATI: A method for rehabilitating and preventing reactivity in dogs, BAT works by helping dogs learn socially acceptable ways to deal with the things that scare or upset them instead of barking, lunging, or snarling. The certification process requires a four-hour BAT video, case study, a written exam with essay questions, and 200 hours of experience successfully training dogs using force-free training techniques.

ABCDT: Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer, graduate with honors