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Course Summary



Sylvia Koczerzuk

Hi,  I am Sylvia your course instructor, I am the owner and founder of Walkabout Canine Consulting. I have spent 30 years in the pet industry in various roles working in veterinary hospitals, shelters, volunteering for rescues and shelters, and then in my own business providing variety of pet services. When becoming professionally certified as a trainer was an option in 2001, I knew that bringing owners the best possible methods for living and training their dogs was my passion. Motivation and creating desire are what I love to do. Understanding the complexities, bite-size behaviours and getting the real life results that every owner wants regardless of a new puppy, newly adopted, young or older dog where you may be facing behaviour challenges and understanding those are my specialty. 
I want what's best for your dog. I am proud to teach without using fear, pain, or force. I believe that training and working with your dog should be fun, humane,  and effective.    I also want you to understand your dog for who they are so that you can have the relationship we all want with our family friends.  

I am fear free certified (, certified pet dog trainer (, 

A certified dog behaviour consultant (, A  Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) is a professional who can help you resolve problem behaviors such as aggression and biting; anxiety issues, including separation anxiety; inappropriate house soiling and incomplete housetraining; obsessive-compulsive behaviours; food, object or place guarding; fears and phobias; and other unruly, annoying and abnormal behaviors.  

A  Certified Dog Behavior Consultant is different than a dog trainer because dog trainers, even ones that are Certified Pet Dog Trainers  (CPDTs), are not always qualified to deal with behavior issues such as aggression, fears, phobias or anxiety.  Although teaching a dog obedience behaviours like sitting on cue, not jumping on people, walking nicely on a leash, and coming when called is highly desirable, obedience alone will not resolve behavior issues such as fear, anxiety, or aggression.  Why?  Because behavior problems originate at the level of a  dog's emotions and obedience training reflects a more superficial,  conscious level of behaviors.

Because there are no generally recognized standards for regulating dog training, some people, unfortunately, claim to be "pet behaviour counselors" or "dog behaviourists" without the corresponding knowledge or experience to help people and their pets effectively. Would you allow a  heart surgeon that was not properly board certified in their field to operate on you?  You should be similarly cautious about choosing a pet  behaviour counselor without nationally recognized credentials.  The  International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants is a widely recognized professional organization that certifies those able to exhibit a rigorous standard of knowledge, experience, and ethics in their practice of animal behavior consulting (for more information, see  

Certified Dog Behaviour Consultants are required to submit written case studies and responses to questions as well as to demonstrate competency in six core areas, including assessment and intervention strategies,  consulting skills, knowledge of animal behaviour, and relevant species-specific knowledge of healthcare, husbandry, nutrition, and behaviour. In order to maintain their certification, CDBCs must stay current in the developing science of animal behavior and consulting by participating in coursework, attending conferences,  and participating in seminars/webinars as well as other continuing education opportunities. 

Within the purview of the IAABC, CDBCs must adopt the "Least Intrusive,  Minimally Aversive (LIMA)" principles (see the Library for a complete statement of LIMA principles) in their work with companion animals and strive to become a resource for the public. They assist companion animals and their humans by interrupting and preventing the cycle of inappropriate punishment, rejection, and euthanasia of animals due to behaviour problems. 

I am Fear Free Professionally Certified  (  who is committed to preventing and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them—you may notice that it’s inclusive to anyone who helps care for our best friends. Pet professionals play a critical role in creating a happier, healthier, Fear Free life for pets. In the coming months and years, we will continually be adding courses and resources for these professionals.

I have studied with Behavior Works under Dr. Susan Friedman.

I have a long list of studies from experts in their fields, hands-on experiences, along with a great commitment, and passion for continued learning.