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Established in 2016, International Canine Behaviourists (ICB) is a leading global authority in dog behaviour, devoted to the welfare of dogs and their guardians. Our core philosophy, "Welfare Never Compromised," drives our commitment to achieving optimal mental and physical health for dogs.


At ICB, we specialise in understanding and resolving canine behavioral challenges. Our empathetic, non-judgmental and supportive approach is rooted in our own experiences as dog guardians, ensuring a deep connection with each client's unique situation.

Our team consists of highly skilled professionals with extensive hands-on experience, theoretical knowledge, and academic qualifications in dog behaviour. We are dedicated to using humane, scientifically validated behavior modification techniques. Our adherence to a stringent code of conduct, along with our affiliations with the Dog Charter and the PIAI, underscores our promise of utmost professionalism and welfare standards, contributing significantly to the regulation and advancement of the canine behaviour and training industry.


ICB's worldwide network guarantees excellent coverage and accessibility, with expert behaviourists available across the UK and internationally. Our approach is holistic, focusing on the entire spectrum of a dog's emotional and behavioural health, and offering personalised guidance through every step of the behaviour modification process.


Our behaviourists are ready to collaborate on vet-referred cases and are fully insured. We confidently address all types of behavioural issues across various breeds, continuously updating our practices with the latest research and developments in canine behavior science. Choosing ICB means partnering with an ever-evolving, knowledgeable team dedicated to the lifelong welfare of dogs.​


ICB is a unique community of canine professionals led by our own members. Click on the profiles below to learn a little more about us.

Brigitte Barton
Founder and Director

Brigitte's journey with dogs began at birth, only briefly interrupted when moving from Germany to England. After rescuing a challenging dog, she left her teaching career in 2000 to focus solely on canine behaviour, a decision that paved the way for founding International Canine Behaviourists (ICB). 

Recognising the need for a specialised and progressive organisation that supports and promotes aspiring behaviourists, and valuing practical experience as well as academic qualifications, Brigitte established ICB to elevate the field and improve the unregulated industry of behavioural consultancy. ICB’s success has paved the way for related associations that specialise in supporting feline behaviourists (IFB) and equine professionals (IEP). 

Today, her life with two Border Collies keeps her connected to her passion, allowing her to focus on leading ICB.

Kate Thornton
Board Member

Kate's lifelong affinity for animals, especially horses and dogs, shaped her path into animal behaviour. Her journey began with a fear-aggressive border collie from a shelter, fostering a deep bond and a transformative learning experience. This partnership sparked Kate's passion for understanding animal behaviour, leading her to become a certified canine behaviourist. 

Today, Kate shares her life with Flo, an eight-year-old border collie whose unique personality keeps Kate on her toes. Balancing her expertise, Kate is a qualified equine bodyworker and actively contributes to both the canine and equine worlds. Her work not only highlights her dedication to animal welfare but also her belief in the unique potential of each animal. Serving on the board of International Equine Professionals (IEP), Kate bridges her love for horses and dogs, enriching the lives of both with her expertise.

Mair Franklin
Webinar Host

As a Clinical Canine Massage Therapist based in the West Midlands, Mair excels in consent-based treatments for dogs suffering from orthopaedic and soft tissue injuries, focusing on the management of chronic pain. Her expertise is backed by a two-year, Lantra-approved Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Programme. She is a proud member of The Canine Massage Guild, insured professionally by Balens, and skilled in Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, and Myofascial Release massage techniques.

Graduating from The Canine Massage Therapy Centre, she employs the clinically trialed Lenton Method to achieve significant improvements in muscular and myofascial conditions, often within one to three sessions. Her qualifications extend to a Graduate Diploma (Level 6) in Animal Behaviour (GDipABM), and she is an Internal Quality Assurance assessor (IQA) for Canine Principles, a webinar presenter for ICB and NICE, and a Level one Tellington Ttouch Companion Animal Practitioner. This unique blend of behaviour and training expertise allows her to approach each dog with compassion and a deep understanding of how pain influences behaviour.

She maintains professional memberships with several esteemed organisations, including International Canine Behaviourists (ICB), National Institute for Canine Ethics (NICE), Canine Massage Guild, International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT), TTouch Guild, and she's an approved Kids Around Dogs (KAD) professional, showcasing her commitment to excellence in canine wellness and behaviour.

Angela Pitman
Board Member

Angela's lifelong love for animals, initially dreaming of a career in veterinary nursing, shifted gears after encountering resistance in training her Jack Russell Terrier. Despite being told it was too late for her dog to learn, her determination led them to achieve remarkable success in competitive obedience and terrier work. 

This experience ignited Angela's belief that no dog is beyond help, propelling her to become a Senior Instructor and later open the first pet dog training club in Cyprus. Returning to the U.K., her passion evolved her hobby into a full-time commitment to dogs and dog training. With over 40 years of experience with working terriers and a background as a trainer for an assistance dog charity, Angela has become a go-to expert for rescue centres seeking guidance. Her journey underscores the transformative power of dedication in dog behaviour and training and the belief in the potential of every canine.

Jules Ballard
Board Member & Treasurer

Jules is a Certified Canine Behaviourist specialising in reactivity, fear and separation anxiety, an ACE trainer, reflexologist, trauma resolution practitioner and an animal wellness practitioner of botanical self-healing which involves aromatherapy, herbs, crystals, TCM and acupoints.

She recently retired after 35 years as a nurse and midwife to focus full-time on her business; Contented Canines. As well as offering 1-1 behavioural support, she has written several courses on achieving animal balance, wellness and connection, trauma, resilience, enrichment, reactivity and others.

She worked for many years with those who had fears, phobias and trauma and as a human wellness coach. Transferring those skills to animals was prompted by adopting an ex-Police dog that had been removed from service, because she couldn't be induced to bite. Jules will always be grateful for the 6 years they spent together and for everything that Grace taught her, particularly for setting her on her current path of working with animals. She lives in Wiltshire, UK with her husband and GSD Dakota.



Website for courses:

Deborah Bennison
Webinar Coordinator

Deb is a full member of ICB and a Certified Animal Behaviourist offering help with a range of animal behaviour problems but especially with dog Reactivity and Separation Anxiety. From her experience, these are the issues that cause most distress both to people and to their dogs.

Deb is very well certified; a professional science and psychology teacher with a range of qualifications including a Post Graduate Award in Clinical Animal Behaviour from Edinburgh University.

Along with seeing her own clients, she is also a tutor with Dogenius Institute for other dog behaviourists studying right up to honours degree level. Deb continues to study and learn in order to ensure that her practice is always based on current thinking. The techniques she uses are, of course, fear and force free, as well as being understandable and personalised to each client.

Amy Lacey
Board Member

Amy's career working with animals spans over two decades, establishing her reputation as a knowledgeable zoologist, ethologist, and certified professional in canine behaviour and training. 

Her extensive experience encompasses working with a diverse array of species, from seals and foxes to elephants and monkeys, leading her to pioneer award-winning conservation and welfare projects across Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. 

Despite her broad expertise in animal behaviour, Amy's heart lies with dogs and their health and wellbeing. As a Fellow of the International Association of Animal Professionals (ISAP) and a board member of International Canine Behaviourists, she excels in games-based concept training, transforming the lives of dogs and their guardians by addressing behavioural challenges with innovative and compassionate methods.

Sonia Catherall
Board Member & Marketing

Sonia has many years of experience training dogs and supporting their guardians; helping them build strong, trusting relationships. In particular, she specialises in supporting dogs who are sensitive, reactive and who struggle with day-to-day living. Both ends of the lead need to work together in these cases, and Sonia has the expertise to support the challenge of building trust and finding harmony. 

Additionally, Sonia also runs an online membership group which provides specialised ongoing support for guardians. As well as keeping busy with her own clients, she also works with The Dogenius Institute where she tutors other dog professionals whilst also pursuing her passion for learning to ensure her knowledge is up to date.

Sonia is a full member of ICB and a Certified Canine Behaviourist. She holds a range of training qualifications, is an ACE Associate Tutor, and a City & Guilds Scentwork Instructor.


Discover the remarkable people who fuel our mission: our valued patrons. Each brings a unique journey and a steadfast dedication to improving canine wellbeing and pioneering canine behavioural science, guiding our journey at International Canine Behaviourists (ICB).

Dr. Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is an award winning researcher who has published more than 1000 essays (scientific, popular, and book chapters) and 30 books, including Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do. Marc has studied dogs and their wild relatives for many decades.

Dr. Ian Dunbar

Veterinarian, animal behaviourist, and author, Dr. Ian Dunbar received his veterinary degree and a Special Honours degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a doctorate in animal behaviour from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched sexual differentiation and especially, the development of aggression in domestic dogs. 

Dr. Dunbar has authored numerous books and DVDs about puppy/dog behaviour and training, including How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks and the SIRIUS® Puppy Training videos. In 1982, Dr. Dunbar designed and taught the world’s very first off-leash puppy socialisation and training classes — SIRIUS® Puppy Training. Subsequently, he created and developed the San Francisco SPCA’s Animal Behavior Department, the American Kennel Club’s Gazette “Behavior” column, which he wrote for seven years, and the K9 GAMES®, which were first held in San Francisco in 1993 and continue as annual events in Japan and Europe. 

Dr. Dunbar has consulted on a variety of movies — full-length features, documentaries and animation (including Pixar’s UP) and he has twice spoken at the prestigious Conference (TED). Over the past 40+ years, Dr. Dunbar has given well over 1500 one-day seminars and workshops for dog trainers and veterinarians to popularise early puppy socialisation, temperament modification, and owner-friendly and dog-friendly dog training. After he founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in 1993 and later, the APDT Foundation, Dr. Dunbar was inducted into the Dog Fancy Hall of Fame along with four of his heroes, James Herriot, Konrad Lorenz, Lassie, and Balto. 

Dr. Dunbar is TopDog (CEO) of the Center for Applied Animal Behavior in Berkeley and a Director for — a free online, multi-media educational website for puppy and dog owners. Ian lives in Berkeley, California.

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