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Your Pet's Shrink - Animal Behaviorists



Your Pet's Shrink - Animal Behaviorists
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.72

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    image, behaviorist, behaviorists, gooney, hierarchy, purrrfectly, adoption, veterinary, domestic, behavior, catnip, directly, lower, housebreak, public, defend
     content words:    Hurricane Katrina


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Your Pet's Shrink - Animal Behaviorists
By Colleen Messina
  

1     The image of a cat stretched out on a couch meowing about the lack of fresh catnip in her life, or a dog growling that his owner doesn't walk him enough are what come to mind when you think of someone who helps animals feel better. However, an animal behaviorist doesn't exactly speak animal languages. He or she is someone who studies animal behavior and how to improve it. They help others understand animals better, too.
 
2     An animal behaviorist likes to discover why animals do certain things. Usually, animal behaviorists have a degree in veterinary medicine. They can work at colleges or universities. They can help veterinarians. Some zoos and museums hire them to help with animals or animal displays. Some of them work directly with pet owners to help them improve their pets' behavior, while others train animals for public performances in zoos, circuses, and television.
 
3     Animal behaviorists have to understand how animals communicate. Many wild animals have special ways of talking to each other. Wolves howl and yap and growl. A male deer rubs against a tree and leaves his scent there, which tells other deer to go away. White- tailed deer raise their tails like flags to warn others that danger is near. Gooney birds twist their wings and bow their heads to attract mates.

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