- Work with animals and their owners to help improve their behaviour and wellbeing
- You'll need a passion for animals and pets, and an ability to remain calm and confident
- You'll normally be self-employed as full-time positions in organisations are rare
- Take referrals from vets
- Hold consultations in your own centre, in veterinary surgeries or in owners' homes
- Talk to owners and observing animals
- Look at the nature of the problem and likely causes
- Write a behaviour-modification programme
- Checking progress
- Adapt the modification programme if necessary
- You might also offer an animal training service
As a pet behaviour counsellor, you'll work with animal behaviour problems like inappropriate noise (like excessive barking), aggression towards people or animals, destructive behaviour, toileting issues, chasing livestock, cars or cyclists, phobias and fearful behaviours, and general control.
For this role, you'll need to be thorough and pay attention to detail, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to work on your own as well as with others, customer service skills, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses, and thinking and reasoning skills.
You may need a degree in a related subject like animal behaviour, animal behaviour and welfare, animal management, or zoology with animal behaviour.
You can get into this job through an animal trainer higher apprenticeship.
You could start out by working with animals and taking training on the job, such as in dog kennels or in an animal rescue centre.
You'll also need paid or unpaid experience of working with animals, like dog training or handling, or working in a kennels or vets. Voluntary work can be found with PDSA, RSPCA, Blue Cross, or Dogs Trust.
Alternatively, you can join a professional body and take training offered by them.
With the right qualifications and experience you can apply to the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour for Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) status. This will allow you entry onto the Register of Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourists. You could set up your own practice or consultancy, or move into teaching or lecturing.