There are many professional organizations out there for dog trainers to join. How do you possibly decide which one(s) to give your money to? I recently joined the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) as a basic supporting member, and could not be happier with my decision. Following are the top 10 reasons to consider joining the IAABC:
- Free videos for CEU’s – Once you join the IAABC, even if you are joining at the basic supporting membership level, you have immediate access to free lectures and webinars. These are changed/added to on a regular basis. But not only are they free; you can actually earn CEU’s for watching them and answering a few quick questions!
- Conference registration discounts – I was given the honor of attending the IAABC’s dog behavior conference in Chicago earlier this year, and I can honestly say it was one of the most educational and beneficial conferences I’ve ever attended. As a member of the IAABC, you get discounted ticket prices to their conferences. They already have their dog and cat conference scheduled for 2016, and for 2017 they are hoping to add horse and parrot conferences as well.
- Member discounts – Enjoy discounts to Dogwise, Tawzer Dog, The Clicker Company, Behavior Works, E-Training for Dogs, and Dogsafe.
- IAABC Animal Behavior Consulting courses – As part of their education initiative, you can take online courses that are interactive and educational. The first one they are offering is “Conducting Remote Feline Behavior Consultations.” IAABC members get a 15% discount on the course, but they also offered a code to audit it for free. They are soon going to be collaborating with the Karen Pryor Academy to offer discounts on coursework.
- Discussions – The IAABC offers many different ways to converse/consult with fellow members. You can talk to people via their very active Facebook member group, LinkedIn, and Yahoo groups. There is a general members Yahoo group along with species-specific groups. As a member, you are welcome to join any/all of the species-specific groups to benefit from the shared knowledge.
- Appropriate for all skill levels – There is no need for advanced degrees and decades of training experience to join the IAABC. Trainers of all skill levels will benefit from the offered courses, conferences, and discussions with other members.
- Inclusive of all science-based trainers – Here at The Modern Dog Trainer, we endorse force-free training methods. The IAABC follows the LIMA principle – Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive. That means there may be some people you interact with that use training methods/tools you might not agree with. However, so much can be gained when people are able to have honest, level-headed, thoughtful discussions with those from different backgrounds/philosophies.
- Multi-species – When you sign up with the IAABC, you choose a “division” – dog, cat, parrot, horse, or working animal. That being said, you are permitted to join the other divisions’ discussion lists and watch any of the videos. Even if you never plan on training anything but dogs, there is always something to be learned from watching other species get trained.
- Upcoming Principles & Practice course – Launching in 2016, this will be a multi-week, multi-module, multi-speaker self-study course. This course will provide an overview of the many facets of animal behavior consulting for all species, from domestic animals to exotics, appropriate for experienced animal behavior consultants and practitioners as well as those newer to the field.
- Committed to higher standards – The IAABC heavily promotes continued learning and has an extensive Code of Ethics that members must follow. The IAABC is constantly evolving and adding new educational opportunities and programs for members.
Are you a member of the IAABC or other professional organization? Tell us about it!
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