Animal Behaviorist- (defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association) A person holding a PhD or DVM specializing in animal behavior.
Animal Behavior Counselor/Specialist-a person specializing in animal behavior studies and/or behavior modification. This person has usually received some time of formal training in animal behavior or another closely related field.
Animal (Dog/Cat) Trainer-A person who teaches commands and/or behaviors to an animal.
Obedience Instructor/Behavior Instructor-A person who teaches humans how to work with/train animals. These humans are generally the owners of the animals being trained.
Behavior Modification-long term alteration of behavior and/reactionary patterns. This altercation can be accomplished in a variety of ways.
Positive Reinforcement-The use of a reward (or varying forms) to encourage a specific behavior to continue/be repeated. (The addition of to reinforce/encourage a behavior). Example: Giving a dog a treat for sitting when told.
Negative Punishment-The removal of a pleasant experience (reward) to discourage a behavior from being repeated. Example: Pulling a treat away from a dog who is snapping at the treat (or hand holding the treat)
Positive Reinforcement and Negative Punishment are used together to accomplish behavior modification.
Positive Punishment-The addition of an unpleasant experience to discourage a behavior from continuing. Example: Anti bark collars that spray citronella in a dog's face for barking.
Negative Reinforcement-The removal of an unpleasant experience to encourage a behavior to continue. Example: Anti bark collars stop spraying citronella when the dog stops barking.
Positive Punishment and Negative Reinforcement are used together to accomplish behavior modification.
Please note that the above terms do not refer to the animal's emotional response to these techniques. Positive in this context does NOT mean "good" and negative does NOT mean "bad" or harmful. The terms only refer to the adding or removal of a reward for a specific purpose.
Desensitization-The gradual limited exposure of an animal to a "trigger" (one that causes a reaction such as barking or lunging) stimulus, while an alternative behavior is taught (redirection). Example: Playing the sound of fireworks for a few minutes at a time, while calming your dog.
Redirection-Providing an alternative behavior to replace one that is considered inappropriate in a given situation. Example: Teaching a dog to sit to greet humans, instead of jumping.
Dominance -leading/teaching by force or intimidation.
Leadership-leading/teaching with consistency, respect and enforcement of appropriate boundaries. Good leaders guide, teach, , protect and encourage.
Alternative/Complimentary Medical Terms:
Alternative/Complimentary Medicine-treatments based on scientific research that are used in addition to or in place of traditional (Western or allopathic) medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine-ancient medical philosophy based on the concept of energy channels running through the body. The blockage or overflowing of these channels result in illness (and behavioral changes).
Acupuncture-the use of needles placed in specific points along the body, to increase or decrease the flow of energy through TCM channels. NOTE: Acupuncture in animals should only be preformed by a veterinarian specifically trained in acupuncture.
Acupressure-the use of pressure on designated acupuncture points to create energy balance (acupuncture without needles). The use of compression devices, such as Anxiety Wraps, and Thundershirts act on the theory of acupressure.
Aromatherapy-the use of scent, generally through the use of essential oils (derived from plants), to later behavior and/or enhance healing.
Bach Flower Therapy- use of specific flowers to restore harmony within the body, created by DR. Edward Bach
Dietary/Nutritional Management-the use of diet or foods to alter an animal's physical, mental or emotional state.
Herbal Therapy-the use of herbal, usually natural plant materials, to create a change in the body. NOTE: Herbal treatment for animals should only be undertaken under the guidance of a veterinarian and properly trained herbalist. The misuse of herbs can be very dangerous.
Homeopathy-the use of minute quantities of a plant material, or other agent, to cause the body to react a certain way, generally to regain "normal" balance and function.
Holistic Therapy-encompassing the whole animal-including meeting of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Holistic theory states that behavior and/or physical condition are affected by many factors including environment, diet, and the mental and emotional state of the animal.
Massage-the use of hands to induce change in the body, usually by increasing blood flow to the area.