Find a Certified Fearful Dogs Professional (CFDP) Behavior Consultant or Trainer
In addition to providing programs to the general public and professions, The Fearful Dogs Project trains qualified behavior consultants and trainers in effective, anti-aversive services designed specifically for fearful dogs and their caregivers. Contact these professionals for fee-based, specialized in-person or online assistance. Every Certified Fearful Dogs Professional signs an anti-aversives code of conduct & ethics agreement. Though a person can change, we feel these agreements are an important self-confirmation of each certificant's commitment to truly humane work and against pain, force, fear, and intimidation.
(Note: With the exception of the instructor, these professionals are private service providers, not employees or volunteers of The Fearful Dogs Project.)
7 Important Considerations when Choosing a Fearful Dogs Professional
(If the answer is no to any of the questions below, consider a different provider/practitioner)
1. Has the provider been confirmed to be anti-aversives? If no, look elsewhere.
2. Does the practitioner understand the importance of working at the dog’s own pace? If no--for example, if the practitioner believes that speed is more important--look elsewhere.
3. Is the provider’s main focus the work of anti-aversively abating extreme fear in dogs and avoiding new fear in dogs and puppies? If no, look elsewhere.
--If, for example, the practitioner is mainly an "obedience" or "manners" trainer who wants to work with fearful dogs but may not have the necessary expertise, look elsewhere.
4. Is the practitioner an expert on extremely fearful dogs? For example:
-Does the practitioner have a lengthy, successful working history with myriad extremely fearful dogs, including feral dogs
in captivity and other human-avoidant (e.g., unapproachable and untouchable) dogs?
-Does the practitioner have great depth & breadth of formal education in resolving extreme fear in dogs anti-aversively? (As opposed to attending webinars and passing short / simple multiple choice quizzes)
-Does the practitioner have great depth & breadth of direct experience living with as well as working with extremely fearful dogs and their guardians(including a large number of large dogs rather than exclusively or mostly small dogs)?
-Does the practitioner understand the nuances of fear-based behavior in dogs rather than rely on assumptions and labels such as “fear aggression”?
If no, look elsewhere.
5. Is the practitioner justifiably confident in the possibility of anti-aversively abating a variety of behaviors based in extreme fear, and of teaching you to avoid the development of new fears and fear-based behaviors in your dog? If no, look elsewhere.
6. Does the provider/practitioner suggest medication only to make the dog's experiences easier and safe-feeling, not simply to make the provider's efforts easier? If no, look elsewhere.
7. Is the practitioner’s certification rare, extraordinary, and hard-earned rather than common and easily obtained? If no, look elsewhere.