WHAT'S A CBCC?
A CBCC, which means Certified Behavior Consultant, Canine, is a vetted professional who can help you with canine behavior and emotional difficulties such as aggression, reactivity, anxiety, resource guarding, fears and phobias, unusual house-soiling, and other upsetting issues. Though a Certified Canine Behavior Consultant is usually a dog trainer as well, s/he is different than a dog trainer in that dog trainers, even Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDTs), are not always qualified to deal with concerns such as aggression, reactivity, fears, phobias, or anxiety. Teaching a dog skills like sitting on cue, not jumping on people, and coming when called are highly desirable abilities, but these skills alone will not resolve issues such as fear, anxiety, reactivity, and aggression because such problems originate at the level of a dog's emotions--the subconscious--whereas obedience training operates generally at the conscious level.
A CBCC-KA's experience, knowledge, and ethics have been professionally assessed by the independent, international certifying organization, The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). As of December 2018 there are only 232 CBCC-KAs worldwide, and currently there are only 7 in the entire state of Oregon. In order to be awarded the CBCC certification, an applicant must first have several hundred working hours of canine behavior experience, and then must pass a rigorous, carefully proctored examination given by the CCPDT. To be awarded the CBCC-KA, Certified Canine Behavior Consultants must demonstrate competence in applied behavior analysis, ethology, body language, & observational skills, consulting skills & best practices, health, development, & life stages, and anatomy & physiology. CBCCs also stay abreast of and may even participate in new research in animal behavior, and must keep their education and skills up to date. Following the guidelines of the CCPDT, CBCCs must adopt Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) principles, incorporating the Humane Hierarchy as appropriate to assist their clients and become a resource for the public, and some CBCCs, myself included, take extra measures to adopt anti-aversive policies. CBCCs such as myself may also seek to assist companion animals and their humans by seeking to prevent and/or interrupt interaction cycles that historically have tended to lead to euthanasia due to behavior problems.
Because there are no laws for regulating dog training and behavior modification, some people unfortunately claim to be animal "behaviorists" without having the knowledge, experience, oversight, or professional education and testing needed to help people and their pets. Just as a person in need of heart surgery would start by seeking out a reputable board certified heart surgeon, those in need of behavior help for their dogs are wise to begin by seeking out a certified behavior consultant with nationally recognized credentials.
A Note About Professional Organizations (CCPDT versus APDT):
The CCPDT (Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers) offers independent certification to dog training and behavior professionals and is an organization of certificants. Certificants have taken and passed a rigorous examination, and must continue to recertify to retain the credential. APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) is an organization of members. Members are individuals with an interest in the goals of the organization, who pay annual membership dues to participate. APDT members continue to be part of the organization as long as they continue to pay their annual dues, but there are no requirements for experience, examination, and continuing education for APDT members. CCPDT certificants must keep their knowledge updated via lifelong professional education (or retesting) and provide proof of that in order to maintain their certifications. As Susan Smith explains it, "In the dog training certification world, there is only one truly independent certifying body – the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). "