Have you noticed a change in the behaviour of your four-legged friends – for example, are they more aggressive, diffident or less playful than usual? This is a clear alarm signal and means something is wrong. If you do are not sure what to do, you could contact a canine psychologist. Let’s look into this somewhat unknown profession.
Also identified as a behaviourist, a dog psychologist is specialised in solving behavioural problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, phobias… in short, they are able to understand Fido’s language and, above all, to cure the troublesome temperaments of our four-legged friends.
Yet you can also turn to a canine psychologist simply to ask for advice on the choice of puppy, having them suggest the type of dog that best suits your lifestyle, thus helping to establish a healthy and balanced relationship with your furry friend.
How do they intervene?
The behaviourist may work alongside a veterinarian but under no circumstances can they prescribe diets or pharmaceuticals. The dog psychologist, rather, spends some time with us and our furry friend before formulating a diagnosis, creating a programme that the family has to follow, starting from the food through to playtime. Thus, we are given precise indications on how to handle our four-legged friend, with the ultimate goal of re-training it and helping overcome its fears.
What are the most common mistakes that lead us to having to resort to a canine behavioural specialist? Believing that a dog can be treated like a human! Often without even realising it, we consider the dog as a child, even transmitting our frustrations which, given that dogs are very empathic animals, greatly affects our pet. Hence, when turning to canine psychologist, you need to be aware that you will be required to play the role of master and to consider that if our doggy darling behaves strangely, it may well be our own fault.
There is no real ad hoc course for becoming a dog psychologist, but there are various university courses to take, such as biology, zoology, anthropology or psychology, before then completing an ethology course. The latter, in fact, is the science that studies the behaviour of animals. To take the first steps towards the world of pets and, specifically, dogs, you can then complete an internship or work as a volunteer in veterinary clinics or kennels.
It is important to distinguish the behaviourist (or psychologist) from the expert in behaviouralism, the latter being a veterinarian with a master degree in veterinary medicine and a specific specialisation course.
This work is perfect for those who love animals and who have a propensity for studying the human psyche. Indeed, a canine psychologist is nothing more than a conjunction between us and the dog!