Differences between ethologist and trainer, which one do I need?

What would we be without our furry friends? They are a member of the family, but sometimes their behavior can present some problems. Do you know the differences between an ethologist and a trainer? Maybe these professionals can help you, but first let’s tell you what they do.

What is an ethologist?

Have you ever heard of them? They are the most unknown professionals and are dedicated to treat behavioral problems in dogs. But we are not only talking about the times when your dog does not listen to you, but also about deeper problems such as fears or phobias.

The specialty of ethology can be accessed from biology, psychology or veterinary careers. As they have a different basic training, we could distinguish between an ethologist, who would come from biology and psychology, and a clinical ethologist, who would be specialized in veterinary medicine.

In this way, ethologists who have entered the specialty from a psychology degree have more experience in the types of canine behavior. On the other hand, clinical ethologists have a more focused knowledge of the dog’s physical-mental relationship and can prescribe drugs for your pet.

What are the differences between an ethologist and a trainer?

As we have already said, the ethologist focuses on the treatment of your dog’s behavior, can diagnose possible behavioral problems and is also an expert in the body language of dogs. It’s like a psychologist for our furry ones.

So, what are the differences between an ethologist and a trainer? Well, so to speak, the trainer is dedicated to train your dog for a specific activity. They concentrate mainly on teaching them discipline and obedience generally for one activity.

For example, a trainer can prepare your dog for a sporting competition, to be part of the police force, to assist people in need, for self-defense or to serve as a therapy dog.

In addition, although a trainer may have knowledge of ethology, he/she will not be an ethologist if he/she does not have the university training we have mentioned above.

So… When do I need an ethologist?

Now that you know the differences between an ethologist and a trainer, you are probably wondering when you need to go to an ethologist. If your dog suddenly starts barking continuously, if he has become aggressive, if he does not respect anyone in the family or if after adopting him he is very afraid of humans… We have problems.

If your dog’s behavior has always been the same, surely it will be enough to go to a trainer. But if this is not your case, it is advisable to turn to an ethologist to deal with the issue in greater depth.

And once in the consultation? The ethologist will do a short interview about your dog’s behavior and about the way you act in front of these behaviors. Sometimes, even if we do not believe it, our way of acting can generate problems for our pet.

Remember. Impulsive barking, separation stress, firecracker phobia or fear of going indoors are some of the problems that an ethologist can help your dog with.

Can I take my cat to an ethologist?

In case you were wondering, yes. Ethologists can also help you with those sudden behavioral changes in your cats. After all, they specialize in animal behavior.

Remember, see an ethologist when your pet’s behavior suddenly changes. Just like us, they may have a problem, but they don’t have a voice to tell us about it.

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