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Help! Rover Is Going Crazy!
Super Pet Psychologist to the rescue! When pet owners have problems with the cat peeing everywhere but the litter box, or the dog barking at the new baby, Animal Behavior Consultants (different title, same job) are an increasingly popular solution.
What the Business Involves:
Consulting with owners of well-loved or valuable pets (show dogs, horses) about particular problems with pet behavior. Pet Psychologists usually schedule clients for one (or more) one-hour sessions and ultimately work out a pet behavior modification plan for the client to follow with their pet.
Knowledge or Skills Required:
An affinity for animals, lots of patience (both to deal with the animal and the frustrated owner), a great deal of experience working with animals (of the type you intend to work with) and professional training. Pet Psychology, or Animal Behavior Therapy, is a comparatively new field but more and more states regulate it, which means more and more educational institutions offer related training. You'll be studying both animal biology and psychology.
Resources for More Information
Founded to encourage and promote the study of animal behavior, the Animal Behavior Society is an excellent resource for information about this field, including information on applying for certification as an applied animal behaviorist and a listing of animal behavior graduate programs.
Specialize in certain breeds or types of animals, and don't lead your clients to expect miracles. Animals are unpredictable, and you can't guarantee if and how well the pet's owner will follow your instructions, either!