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Pet behaviour consultant

Pet behaviour consultants help pet owners deal with animal behaviour problems.

Annual Salary


Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends; as customers demand

Future employment

There will be 3.8% more Pet behaviour consultant jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

On a typical day you might:

  • take referrals from vets
  • hold consultations in your own centre or in owners' homes
  • talk to owners and observe their animals
  • investigate the nature of the problems and likely causes
  • create a training plan for individual animals
  • check the animal's progress
  • keep up to date with animal welfare regulations

Working environment

You could work at a client's home, in a therapy clinic or at a veterinary practice.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • specialised training with a professional body

You could take a degree that includes the study of animal behaviour, though it is not essential. Relevant courses include:

  • animal behaviour and welfare
  • animal management
  • zoology with animal behaviour

If you want to become a member of a recognised professional or industry body you should check their preferred degree subject requirements.

As well as your degree you would also need knowledge of different types of animals and animal breeds, and some experience of animal handling and training.

Postgraduate qualifications in subjects like animal welfare and behaviour or applied animal behaviour and welfare are also available.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could take a course at college that would give you some of the skills and knowledge to start in an animal care role and work towards further qualifications in animal behaviour.

Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Animal Care - Companion Animals
  • Level 3 Award in Practical Animal Care Skills
  • Level 4 Diploma in Canine Welfare, Training and Behaviour

For more information

You could gain some of the skills and knowledge needed for this job through an animal trainer higher apprenticeship.

With experience you may be able to take further training to become an animal behaviour consultant.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start out as an animal care assistant in:

  • a dog kennels
  • a vet's practice
  • an animal rescue centre

With experience and the support of your employer, you may be able to train on the job to become a pet behaviour consultant.

Volunteering and work experience

Voluntary work with an animal welfare organisation, veterinary surgery or a pet rescue centre can be a useful way to get experience.

Look for opportunities with organisations like the:

Other routes

You can find specialist courses on animal behaviour with animal welfare and training organisations. It may help to work towards national standards or membership of a professional body like:

More information

Further information

You can get more advice about working in pet behaviour through the:Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors; Animal Behaviour and Training Council

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With qualifications and experience you can apply to the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour for Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist status. This will allow you entry onto the Register of Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourists.

You could set up your own practice, move into teaching, or work in animal behaviour research.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of animal psychology
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability teach pet owners new training and pet management techniques
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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