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  #11  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:09 PM
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You're safe with Dodman - he's a published author on behavior and I've read his books. You won't be able to find many people better qualified imo.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:10 PM
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Maxy, I'd question what this guys credentials are.

As far as I'm concerned, the term "behaviorist" is NOT something anyone is able to or suppose to use, it's reserved for people with a master's degree in ethology. Hence the issues people have with Cesar Milan calling himself a behaviorist with no degree in Animal Behavior. Just because someone's a behaviorist, however, doesn't make them a veterinary behaviorist or a doctor.

The guy we're seeing is well accredited and I value the recommendations I got. I'm still nervous, though.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
To be a true board certified behaviorist, vets have to do a 3 year internship with another behaviorist. It is the only formally regulated behaviorist program out there. Anyone can call themselves a "behaviorist" without formal training. I wouldn't trust 90% of them out there unless they were a board certified DVM behaviorist.
This.

To me, the biggest difference between a behaviorist (a board-certified DVM) and a trainer is that a behaviorist is going to have the medical background. Sure, many trainers may be CVTs or have veterinary experience, but not nearly as much as a behaviorist. For many dogs, severe behavior issues (ones that aren't getting better) may indicate a medical component which may require medication. And for that, a veterinary behaviorist is your best bet, especially if you want to try the medication route.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2012, 07:26 PM
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He is a well known behaviorist and published author. I found his books really interesting (especially his theory on very low grade epileptic issues causing aggression... that seem to be tied to genetics, he was looking at bull terriers and spaniels specifically there... really interesting stuff), but again a lot of outdated ideas/concepts really jumped out at me in his books such as the dominance theory stuff (which may have changed since the books of his I read were published... reading the dog start daily post on his views right after this) and frankly I could go either way on the low protien diet theory. I do know going high protien, grain free and getting on thyroid meds completely solved my friend's dog's unpredictable agression... when his tummy is upset from grain inclusive foods he gets cranky. And after reading Jean Dodd's thyroid book... very interesting I'll just say.

Its your call as to what you are comfortable with Maxy. He does have a good reputation and has all required education/certifications.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2012, 07:35 PM
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Lol, I had read that before! Eh, that read to me as a garbled mix of valid information, him still clinging to the dominance crap, and picking on only the "things done out of fear" theory by other behaviorists being wrong.... eh, comes off kinda snarky to me. But thats JMO. I feel he's got some very valid, intelligent ideas but they do not come through the snarky gobbeldy gook well at all. Again JMO as someone whose read his books. I am sooo not a professional. But on the other hand, just because someone is certified and copiously published doesn't necesarily mean they are the bees knees either. I would hazard every single well published and well certified behaviorist out there has their own different strengths and weaknesses within their profession.

If you are comfortable with him than I wish you best of luck and truly hope you can get some good solutions for your little dude.
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:22 PM
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From what I've read I am not uncomfortable in the sense that his methods would harm Tucker in any way, he seems positive, non-confrontational, and all around positive. Plus Tucker's aggression is not owner directed so his whole dominance thing isn't important for us. I would like to find some of what he's written on stranger aggression though, to get an idea of the sorts of behavior modification he suggests. The only "uncomfortable" feeling I have is the food issue. I'd want to know WHY it works before implementing it...does it simply sap your dog's energy so he can't muster up the energy to react anymore? That seems very wrong to me. if there is some underlying science I don't know about then that's different. but then is it worth the possible physical effects of lower quality food? (it might be, I really don't know, I guess it depends how low protein we are talking here...I consider Fromm to be low protein. and it would depend on how drastic of a difference we would see). I also don't like loosing competency in the eyes of my parents (I'm the one who pushed for high quality food, they'd have fed Pedigree). But that's just me being self centered.


My main concern is that he's not going to tell us anything terribly helpful, that a regular behaviorist of some sort (not veterinary) would be able to help more in that regard. The only reason I'm going vet behaviorist is for meds, and I don't know if spending $300-$400 for someone to just prescribe meds (and will give me behavior info I already know) is worth it when a vet could prescribe them for less and I could take the saved money and spend it on a behaviorist who I feel will be more helpful. Again, I'm the one pushing my parents to get him help, to use positive methods, etc. if I tell them they HAVE to spend this money if they want Tucker to improve, and then he doesn't improve, I'm going to have very angry, resentful parents who continue to believe that if I'd just let them hit him he'd behave. That's why i always sound so wishy washy on everything. Money is very tight for my parents (and I have none) and so I don't want to push for them to spend huge amounts for nothing when they don't have faith in it themselves.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
To be a true board certified behaviorist, vets have to do a 3 year internship with another behaviorist. It is the only formally regulated behaviorist program out there. Anyone can call themselves a "behaviorist" without formal training. I wouldn't trust 90% of them out there unless they were a board certified DVM behaviorist.
So much this!!

I would be VERY hesitant to see anyone who calls themselves a "behaviorist" because IMO if you aren't board certified, then you are pretty much a trainer.

My trainer in PA was the equivalent of a board certified behaviorist in Germany. When she moved to the states it didn't transfer, even she calls herself a trainer here in the states, not a behaviorist.

ETA: I don't want this to sound like being a trainer is somehow less awesome than being a behaviorist, but there are things like prescribing meds that trainers can't do, and they just don't have that same background in medications and such that a vet behaviorist is going to have.
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