Photo Credit: Sara Monika

Photo Credit: Sara Monika

Janet Higginson Cutler, PhD

Are you sometimes frustrated with your pet? Are there things about your pets’ behaviour that sometimes, or frequently, annoy you or make you mad?

I was there. I had an Australian Shepherd and he was my life, BUT, he was reactive, leash aggressive, and dog aggressive.  I yelled at him.  I was stressed when we walked, which made him stressed when we walked. This went on for too long, and began damaging our relationship.  I didn’t like walking him anymore.  After a bad walk, I didn’t want to hang out with him when we got home.

Then, I started learning about animal behaviour.

I got help from a behaviour consultant. At the time, I was in university hoping to get into the veterinary program.  I was working as a veterinary technician in a small animal clinic.  I also started helping a professor with some animal behaviour research.  And I fell in love. Not with my husband (that came later), but with animal behaviour.  I learned why my dog was doing what he was doing. I worked hard with my dog, and we got to the point where we both loved walks again, and spending time together.  I then started helping other people with their pets.

That job turned into an MSc, and then a PhD at the University of Guelph. I learned all about animal behaviour and welfare.  I’ve learned what motivates animals, how they learn, how emotions drive behaviour, and how to assess their behaviour and welfare.  I’ve received a Certified Professional Dog Training certification (CPDT-KA) and am working towards receiving a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist designation.  I’m also doing research on puppy socialization and how that affects behaviour later in life while consulting with pet owners to help them improve their relationship with their pets.

When I’m not busy at work, I’m home with my family, including my two young daughters and our Australian Shepherd puppy.  We love to travel, and when we get the chance my husband and I get in the water as much as we can scuba diving. When we’re home on a weekend, you’ll find us, babies and dog included, having a dance party while making waffles.

Now, I can help you with all of the information I’ve learned through my education, and the years of experience I’ve had.  I can help you have a happy and fulfilling relationship with your pet.

Member of the following organizations:

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers - CCPDT
Behaviour Education Network
Animal Behaviour Society
International Society of Applied Ethology
Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers