The Difference Between a Dog Trainer and a Behaviorist
Not all trainers can also call themselves behaviorists. The difference between the two is: trainers have knowledge and experience in different training methods, while behaviorists have deep insight into the thought patterns of animals (or humans) and are adept at discovering the root causes of behaviors.
For example: Trainers often teach tricks, sports, train service animals, and solve common nuisance behaviors, while behaviorists are called in to deal with aggression cases, severe anxiety issues, reverse negative associations, and most importantly: get to the root causes of behaviors and figure out ways to solve them.
Over my years of experience, I can say with confidence that I am both a trainer and behaviorist.
This is why my questionnaire for new clients can seem long and somewhat irrelevant. I look at all aspects of the animal's life and environment to determine where a set of behaviors arise from; I look at what the motive for a behavior might be, and then seek to resolve it.
I know that the best training methods that last for a lifetime are those that focus on a kind, loving relationship with an animal, rather than a robotic, heartless set of harsh methods.
Hi! My name is Heather Smith, ABCDT, and I'm thrilled that you've landed on this page. I seek to share my knowledge of training and behavior with as many people as possible because to me, training is so fun and rewarding!
Allow me to give you a small introduction to who I am, my level of expertise, my training methodologies, and my passion for training.
I have studied dog training on my own for over a decade, and graduated from Animal Behavior College's Dog Obedience Instructor Course in 2015, where I also became certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. I've also completed the following programs provided by Animal Behavior College:
I am continually expanding my knowledge of animal behavior - which I find so fascinating!
Training is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to behavior; I seek to address the health of pets as well, because I know just how directly health affects behavior.
I've spent years researching and studying nutrition, herbalism, massage, reflexology, and more.
While I mostly focus on training methods when making content, be sure to keep an eye out for new content that focuses more on these subjects.
This blog post content is adapted from an excerpt from my Well-Rounded Puppy Masterclass. If you like what you see here, I know you'll love what's inside the rest of the course! Learn more by visiting the store and clicking on the Well-Rounded Puppy Masterclass offer card.
I am so passionate about training and wish that everyone would feel the joy that I feel when I'm training animals of all kinds! Because you've read all of this post so far, I want to reward you by giving you a free, downloadable resource: My Pet's List of Cues & Known Words. This short eBook gives you a medium to write down all of your pet's tricks and you can print out a copy for each of your pets - cat, dog or otherwise!
Pet Lover's Passion is on a mission to change the lives of pets for the better by educating pet owners everywhere! That is why YOU should join the movement - join the family of Pet Lovers and tell your friends to join, too!
You'll occasionally get free downloadable PDFs containing my BEST training tips, as well as be notified the moment that limited-time discounts on new products begin!
I'll see you inside! ~ Heather