Pet Behaviour Franchise Fears
he Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) is growing increasingly concerned about franchised ‘pet behaviour counsellor’ businesses within the UK. Following recent coverage of these franchises in the national press, many pet owners will be unaware that these ‘behaviourists’ have only received a few weeks training before starting to offer advice on what can be potentially dangerous behaviour, such as dog aggression.
The APBC was set up in 1989 to offer the highest professional standards of pet behaviour advice and many of its members are international authorities in this growing discipline. All members work strictly on veterinary referral to ensure that there are no medical causes for the behaviour, as well as to give the pet owner’s confidence that they are being referred to a professional. Many pet insurance companies will also cover behavioural consultation costs with an APBC member.
Donna Brander, APBC Chairman, stated ‘The APBC is constantly striving to advance the highest standards of diagnosis and treatment. APBC behaviourists have to comply with stringent selection criteria to be eligible to become Full Members; membership requirements include relevant qualifications to degree level and a lengthy period of supervised experience, so as to ensure that the welfare of the pet is not compromised. If a behaviour problem is misdiagnosed, or inappropriately handled, the situation could deteriorate, with repercussions on the pet’s long term future. Pet owners need to have the confidence that they are being advised by a properly qualified behaviourist, rather than an unqualified, well meaning, pet lover who may have bought a business franchise’.
Owners experiencing behavioural problems with their pet can find their nearest APBC Counsellor by visiting www.apbc.org.uk