One of the most important aspects of being a behavioural consultant is to constantly question yourself and take courses. And when you transmit your knowledge to others, it’s especially necessary! I got some great examples recently; many notions that I took for granted and taught in my courses and seminars had to be modified.
Without boasting about it, I consider Cat Educator to be up-to-date, with 100 hours of training each year for the past 5 years. Even then, we have been rectifying some concepts that I believed to be unshakable, logical and justified by reputable professionals. Nevertheless, the new updated theory, scientifically supported, has made some of the conveyed information obsolete.
Simonne Raffa owns the firm « De main de maître », specialized in canine behaviour. She invested in a seminar at the cutting edge of knowledge on training techniques, that of Jean Donaldson « The Academy for Dog Trainers ». This is a demanding and costly training, lasting two years. That’s why I asked her to teach an upgrade seminar to my team.
Why would Cat Educator train in dog behaviour? And why is training so important in a feline context? Because there are no such advanced classes in feline behaviour. In addition, many concepts of canine ethology can be applied to cats. We use a lot of training techniques in aggression cases, but also to simply enrich the lives of pet cats.
So, I encourage you to question yourself and update your knowledge. I concede that it can be hard to admit that what you’ve been saying for years is no longer adequate. In addition to correcting our course material and presentations, which has been colossal work. However, this questioning is essential and lacking in our profession.
It is precisely because of a lack of scientific integrity that we are still seeing the infamous outdated notions of « leader of the pack » and « alpha male ». These notions have been scientifically disavowed for over 40 years! However, shortcomings in the updating of knowledge are partly responsible for misinformed decisions by our governments on the issue of pitbull type dogs. All because people in the buisness, often very popular and publicized, don’t keep up to date or stubbornly perpetuate the same old methods. If your iPhone was ten times its current size 10 years ago, is it possible that the state of the art in behavioural science has also changed? Think about it!
Oh! One last important thing: if you are to take classes, make sure that what you learn is up-to-date. Ask your lecturer: « How many hours of training have you had RECENTLY (in the past 5 years) and what were they? » Rate and compare! After all, if I offered you an iPhone of the year or a nineties cellphone for the same price, which would you choose?
President, Cat Educator