What is an Animal Behaviorist?
Anyone can claim to be a behaviorist. However, technically speaking, professional behaviorists are called Applied Animal Behaviorists. It would be reasonable to consider an applied animal behaviorist a pet/human psychologist. Mark Deesing holds Ph.D. in Animal Science with a focus on behavioral genetics. He published research in behavioral genetics and co-authored three books with the world’s leading animal behavior expert, Temple Grandin, at Colorado State University. The books “Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals” First, Second, and Third Editions, Elsevier Press, 2008, 2014, 2021, are textbooks used for aspiring students of animal behavior and veterinarians worldwide.
Applied animal behaviorists focus on understanding animal behaviors and work with pets displaying behavior problems. Good behaviorists are experts in behavior modification through understanding breed-specific behaviors and learning how the problems begin in the first place. In addition, they spend a lot of time counseling humans about how they interact with their pets. Investigating the Nature (genetic) and Nurture (upbringing) interactions between the dog and the owner is how a behaviorist understands your dog’s undesirable behavior and how you may be contributing to the problem in the first place. Bonds between humans and dogs can be intense and resemble parent–infant attachment bonds. This relationship of shared understanding and close affiliation seems to be at the heart of the view that dogs are humans’ best friends.
Getting to the root cause of the problem is the first step in correcting the problem and helping you live in harmony with your dog. Mark has raised and trained dogs for over 40 years and has extensive experience with different breeds and their unique needs. At Dog Behaviorist UT, we train dogs using the best scientific principles and the most current understanding of genetics and behavioral development. Nature (genes) and Nurture (upbringing) interact in complex ways to determine how dogs behave. There are genetic differences between breeds and differences in dogs of the same breed. The foundation of our training program is understanding individual differences in temperament and developing a program to address your dog’s unique needs. Contact Mark. Let’s start a program where you and your dog can live in harmony.
Mark Deesing is a native Utahn, born in Salt Lake. He began his career as a dog and horse trainer in the late 1970s, then moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1993 to begin work for Dr. Temple Grandin at Colorado State University. Together, they wrote three books and published several peer-reviewed journal articles on animal behavior. Their book “Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals” is the leading textbook in the field and is now in its third edition. In the second edition (pictured here), Mark co-authored and co-edited with Dr.Grandin and interacted on the book with the top experts in the field. This information led Mark to develop a comprehensive dog training philosophy for raising well-adjusted young dogs or correcting problems and bad habits in older dogs.