Training as a clinical animal behaviourist

Although the label ‘animal behaviourist’ can be used by people with no training or qualifications, anyone who consults with the public or other professionals about specific behavioural disorders of individual animals, should be appropriately qualified to do so. Both veterinary and non-veterinary practitioners should therefore belong to an organisation that has standards of both qualification and experience in their membership criteria. This will ensure that the behaviour expert identified is someone with the appropriate up-to-date knowledge, skills and experience to treat your pet.

Veterinary surgeons with expertise in behavioural medicine are recognised as such by specialist boards. In Europe, they are regulated by the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. In addition to a veterinary degree, Diplomats have considerable further training and experience in clinical behaviour. In the UK, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) is an independent organisation which accredits Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourists (CCAB), including both veterinary and non veterinary practitioners. Membership criteria include obtaining an approved qualification at Honours degree level or above, and undertaking an extensive period of supervised clinical training.

University of Bristol Veterinary School offers opportunities to obtain supervised experience through internships, placements and clinical scholarships for both vets and non-vets. We also offer studentships for those interested in enrolling for a Masters by Research (Mres) or PhD. Funded vacancies will be advertised on

Self-funded applicants should contact Dr Emily Blackwell

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