The behavioral health of your companion animal is our primary concern.  The following section outlines frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients.

What is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB)?

A CAAB has been certified by the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) and is a professional with scientific training in animal behavior. A CAAB works with people and their companion animals to modify behavior that has become a concern for owners. A CAAB will diagnose the cause of a behavior problem, often in coordination with your veterinarian.  A behavioral diagnosis is a critical analysis of an animals behavior using scientific principles.

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists have:

  • Obtained an undergraduate degree, usually requiring 4 years, at an accredited college or university.
  • Gained admission to an accredited graduate school or veterinary school through a highly competitive admission process.
  • Completed post-graduate education receiving a Master’s (2-year full time) or Ph.D (4-year full time) degree in a behavioral science, or DVM or VMD degree with a behavioral residency.
  • Passed rigorous oral and written examinations given by their faculty committees.
  • Published articles in scientific journals.
  • Supervised hands-on experience with animals.
  • Met the course work and experience requirements for certification as set forth by the Animal Behavior Society.

For more information about the criteria for certification by the Animal Behavior Society, please visit:


Can my Veterinarian Provide behavioral services?

It depends...

Typically, Veterinarians are focused on the physical health of an animal.  It is common for a physical problem to be the root cause of a behavioral problem.  Resolving the physical problem may also correct a behavioral problem.  However, some Veterinarians have undergone additional behavioral training and residency in addition to their standard curriculum.  Veterinarians with this additional training and education can help you with specialized behavior modification plans in addition to providing for physical care of your animal.  

However, most Veterinarians have not undergone additional behavioral training and do not incorporate behavioral modification into their practice.  Please ask your Veterinarian if he or she has any specialized training in the area of behavior.

It is common for a Veterinarian to partner with a CAAB to provide a full range of behavioral services to their clients.  Fairview Behavior Associates is associated with several local Veterinarians.  These partnerships provide an excellent foundation for complete animal healthcare.

What is the difference between a CAAB and a Trainer?

An animal trainer specializes in teaching specific skills.  Some of these skills may include:

  • Sitting
  • Walking on a loose leash
  • Coming
  • Lying down

An animal trainer does not typically have the education or experience to address specific behavior issues such as:

  • Fear
  • Aggression
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Resource Guarding
  • House soiling
  • Excessive pacing
  • Excessive self grooming

These behaviors in an animal can be caused by many different stimuli.  The CAAB-lead team at Fairview Behavior Associates work with our clients to address these behavioral problems.

What Reinforcement Techniques do you use?

The welfare of your companion is first and foremost.  We do not hit or act aggressively towards the animal, nor do we endorse the idea that an owner needs to "dominate" their animal for it to behave properly (as is seen in some television programs).  In fact, these approaches have been shown to be ineffective and dangerous to both the owner and the animal.

The team at Fairview Behavior Associates uses positive reinforcement techniques to affect behavioral change.  All techniques used are humane and safe for both the animal and owner.

What is your success rate?

Any reputable behavior professional will tell you that success is not guaranteed.  Each case is different with its own merits and challenges.  Some behaviors are affected by the local environment.  Sometimes changing these environments can be easy, other times making these changes are difficult or impractical.

After the initial assessment, our team will be honest and upfront with you about the challenges for your particular animal and situation.  Any behavior modification plan will take into consideration the goals of the owner and the welfare of the animal.

What animals do you work with?

Our practice is focused on companion animals such as dogs and cats.  However, we also have experience with large cats, lions, tigers and other exotic animals.  Please contact us for more details.

What if my dog has bitten someone?

A dog bite is a serious situation.  Fairview Behavior Associates has the experience and training to work with aggressive animals.  We work very closely with the animal owner throughout the behavior assessment and modification processes to provide the best advice possible. 

How do I contact you?

To discuss your case in more detail, please contact us here.