Posted in Career Insights

how to become an animal behavioristAnimal behaviorists or animal behavior specialists are people who observe animals and figure out why they act as they do.

Animal behavior specialists can have different levels of education.

They can specialize by choosing to focus on certain animals. For example, they may become a canine specialist.

Or, they might focus on many animals by becoming a veterinary behaviorist.

In order to become an animal behavior specialist, many people get a bachelor’s degree. Some even earn a graduate degree and consider voluntary certifications. They also must continue to learn throughout their career.

However, there are many jobs that an animal behaviorist can have. And not all of them require graduate degrees or a lot of experience.

Taking a course like the Canine Specialist Distance Learning Course at the Stratford Career Institute can help get your career as a dog specialist started.

So how do you become an animal behaviorist?

Choose a Career Path

Animal behavior specialists can find a number of jobs at various degree levels working at a zoo, an aquarium, veterinary office, or a private institution.

A good way to help figure out what career is best for you is by volunteering and interning at organizations such as veterinary clinics and animal shelters. This can help you decide if you want to take a job as canine specialist or go to school to eventually earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Bachelor’s Degree

If you decide that your career goals require that you get a bachelor’s degree, then you have many options such as zoology, psychology, animal science, or biology.

Consider a Graduate Program

After completing your bachelor’s degree, getting a further graduate degree can open up more career paths. This can be a master’s degree, a Ph.D. or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. All of these programs and degrees have a variety of education requirements and take different lengths of time, so you should consider which program is best for you and for your career goals.


While earning a certification is voluntary and up to you, having one can help assure people of your qualifications to work with their animals.

The Animal Behavior Society certifies that an animal behaviorist meets the ethics, education, and experience required by the society. There are two levels of certification with different requirements for experience and education. More information about certifications can be found on the Animal Behavior Society’s website.

Vets can also be certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

Continue Learning

It is important that an animal behavior specialist never stops learning, regardless of your degree. This can be done by attending special events and conferences as well by keeping up with new research in your field.


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Enroll in a Course Today!

Enroll in a Course Today!

You can begin looking into a career as a canine specialist by taking an introductory online course with Stratford Career Institute. Or, browse through our course catalog to choose another class that interests you. Enroll today!