I began professionally training dogs in 1996.
First, I am a dog behaviorist. Here’s a good example… Behavior modification work is more like being a sports psychologist…. maybe dealing with a sports player that has a fear of success, or gets scared playing in front of crowds, or has an anger problem on the court, or is having issues with balancing the sport with his marriage.
As a dog behaviorist, I am an expert in helping dogs that have abnormal repetitive behaviors, emotional disturbances (aggression, anxiety, fearfulness, panicking, depression, and often involves digging out medical reasons for behavioral problems), and a wide variety of stress related behaviors. I sometimes coordinate with a veterinarian to address medical the medical causes of abnormal behaviors. Some people call me a “dog whisperer”, but I don’t like using that term because it is used by many companies as a marketing gimmick. I am an experienced, respected, professional Dog Behaviorist.
Second, I am also a dog trainer, which is different than behavior modification work in that it is a lot like being a tennis coach who teaches students to swing rackets, explains the sports’ rules and strategies, and introduces fitness techniques, etc. So, training a dog is like building skills to do something… thus, I teach things such as obedience, therapy dogs, and scent/ tracking.