IAABC News – June 2016

ShikashioA Message from the President

Greetings and welcome to the IAABC’s Journal.

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants is a worldwide organization whose members share an interest in the study and application of animal training and behavior consulting. As part of our mission, the IAABC promotes professionalism and continuing education in the field of animal behavior and we are proud to offer this online journal as a showcase of this initiative.

In each issue of this journal, we will highlight case studies from talented behavior consultants in the field, which will include video and the techniques and tools applied for successful outcomes in those cases. In addition, we’ll be featuring articles focusing on animal behavior from the best and brightest in the industry.

The IAABC is pleased to make the journal available as a free resource to anyone with a desire to learn more about the latest in animal behavior. As part of the community spirit the IAABC embodies, we welcome our readers to share this resource and continue to disseminate contemporary information related to the science of animal behavior.
On behalf of the Board of Directors for the IAABC,

Michael Shikashio CDBC
President – IAABC

Membership Milestone

We’re thrilled to announce that on the 24th of May this year, the IAABC reached a milestone of 1000 members! One thousand people wanting to learn, share, and grow this field to the highest standards possible, in the most respectful way possible, through hard work and collegiality. Together we’re really doing something! If you want to help move us towards our next thousand, take a look at the different membership and certification levels we offer on our website.

New Divisions

In recognition of the fact that behavior consultants don’t just help pet animals, we we’ve added a Shelter Division, dedicated to support and education of all those working in shelters and rescues, and re-formed our Working Animals Division to develop LIMA protocols and support those working with service and therapy animals struggling in their duties. Since their launch, we’ve attracted some wonderfully knowledgeable and creative people as Affiliate and Associate members. There have been some fascinating discussions in our email lists, and we’re hoping for even stronger growth in the next few months. If you would like to join IAABC, visit our website.

With that mission in mind, our executive director Marjie Alonso and Project Manager Mychelle Blake set up a booth at the Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo 2016 in Las Vegas in May. We made many new connections in the animal sheltering world and hope to expand the Shelter Division’s impact by providing education and resources to staff and volunteers.

Online Courses

In the past few months, IAABC has expanded the range of continuing education courses available to members and the public alike. Three courses are currently available through our education portal, our flagship Principles and Practice program and two shorter courses on fear in horses and the science of behavior. Robin Foster, PhD, CAAB, CHCB and Lauren Fraser, CHBC, teaches “Needles and Clippers and Farriers, Oh My!  Understanding and Resolving Common Fear-based Behaviors in Horses,” and “Putting Behavior Back in Behavior Professional” is taught by Erica Feuerbacher, PhD, BCBA-D, CPDT-KA.

News PandP

Georgina Lees-Smith proudly displays her Principles & Practice graduation certificate

In Principles and Practice, we offer a complete background in what it takes to become a successful behavior consultant in all companion animal species. We have recruited experts in the fields of behavior analysis; training and behavior modification in all species; business; animal welfare, and human interaction and self care to create our online lectures, and we have a pool of experienced mentors offering weekly live sessions to expand on and clarify students’ understanding of what they have learned.

We believe our platform is the future of online learning: interactive, not static; understandable, even for very complex concepts; challenging, but not overwhelming; and fun!


Sadly, one of our great friends, Rebecca Park, CDBC, passed away in March. She was a passionate supporter of everything IAABC did, and will be greatly missed. In honor of her dedication to excellence in the field of animal behavior consulting, we have set up the Rebecca Park Principles and Practice Scholarship, which will allow one spring and one winter winner a free place on our Principles and Practice course. We are now accepting entries for the October contest; more details are available on our website.
Heddie Leger won the spring contest, and you can read her winning article on page 48 in this journal.

Dog Park Project

The IAABC has collaborated with Dr. Jessica Hekman and artist Lili Chin to create a series of posters for use by trainers, dog parks, and community dog organizations to promote safety in dog parks and dog play. The posters are available as PDFs, intended for printing, and in JPG form for social media. IAABC members have free access to these posters, which can be found under “resources” in their user accounts.

We’re encouraging members to distribute these to their local dog owner social groups, dog parks, training centers, veterinary offices, and anywhere else they might be useful.

Thanks to Miki Saito, Alexandra Bovell and others, the posters are now available in Japanese, French, Spanish and Norwegian.

Through this campaign we hope to educate owners in a simple, friendly way, improve safety for the dogs playing in dog parks, and to help make the IAABC a household name for people looking for further help.

In addition to the dog park posters, a series of cat behavior posters were created as well.