Schnauzer puppy


Why choose an APBC counsellor?



Stephanie Hedges BSc (Hons) CCAB

Canine Behaviour Counsellor

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The APBC is the UK's leading representative body for Animal Behaviour Counsellors. The highest standards of academic achievement and practical experience are required for membership and members are required to adhere to a robust Code of Conduct.

Regrettably Stephanie is currently unable to accept any new behaviour cases. If you are looking for behavioural advice, your vet should be able to refer you to an appropriately qualified Clinical Animal Behaviourist. Accredited trainers and behaviourists can also be found on the Animal Behaviour and Training Council website. The follow up service to existing clients is unaffected.

The treatment of behaviour problems in dogs and other companion animals is a specialised field that requires qualified professional help. The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) represents a network of Behaviour Counsellors that have achieved the highest proven academic and practical standards available in the field of animal behaviour therapy.

APBC members abide by a code of conduct which requires that they:

  • Only accept cases on veterinary referral to ensure possible physical causes for behavioural problems have been considered
  • Offer advice based on scientifically supported principles and maintain their professional knowledge of new research
  • Maintain the confidentiality of their clients, the welfare of their patients and their own personal and professional conduct
  • Carry professional indemnity insurance and adopt a fair fee structure

For further information about the APBC, its Code of Conduct, requirements for full APBC membership and to locate an APBC member go to www.apbc.org.uk

The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC)

The APBC is a founder member of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC), alongside the RSPCA, The Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the European College of Veterinary Behaviour Medicine - Companion Animals (ECVBM-CA), amongst many other respected animal behaviour, training and welfare bodies. The ABTC is an independent body and has been launched to co-ordinate the much needed regulation of those engaged in behaviour modification.

The ABTC's mission is to set and maintain the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to be an animal trainer or animal behaviour therapist through a national register of appropriately qualified animal trainers and animal behaviourists. It serves to promote the welfare of animals in their interactions with humans, lobbying for humane methods in training and behaviour modification, and for the education of the animal owning public.

For more details go to www.abtcouncil.org.uk.

Update 30th January 2012

The Animal Behaviour and Training Council have today published the required standards of knowledge and practical skills required to work in the animal training and behaviour industry. These standards have been agreed by the UKs leading welfare, veterinary and qualified training and behaviour professionals. They have also been incorporated into the national standards for future further and higher education courses, as developed by the governments educational body for the land based industries (LANTRA). This is a huge step forward in the regulation of the animal behaviour and training profession. As such it is also a huge step forward in animal welfare and in helping owners to identify qualified and accountable professionals in the field. A day to celebrate!

For more information go to http://www.abtcouncil.org.uk/standards-for-practitioners.html

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