I frequently get asked how to find and vet behavior consultant. This is mostly because I recommend that part of a behavior modification program involve the consultant coming into your home to help you see what he or she is talking about. Unfortunately, people call me from all over the United States. I often don’t know who is in their area. So if your are just starting to look for someone to help you with your behavior problems, consider the following.
Start by asking your avian veterinarian for suggestions. If you don’t have a local avian vet, try asking your regular vet to see if he or she has heard of anyone. Local bird breeders may also have some thoughts. Then look for these traits:
- Ability to say “I don’t know, but I can find out”
- Effective teaching and listening skills
- Ethical professional behavior and good standing in the professional community
- Experience with and love for parrots
- Experience, with and adherance to positive reinforcement as the primary training tool
- General and species-specific knowledge regarding health care, nutrition, husbandry, and behavior
- Overall committment to assist in creating environments in which parrots and parrot owners thrive
- Supportive references
- Understanding and empathy for the humans in the household, as well as the parrots
- Willingness to treat you as a partner in the process.