Dr. Parvene Farhoody started training animals in 1974. What began as a hobby led her toward her life’s work as a teacher of behavior science and technology. She started her own training and behavior business in 1992 and today, Parvene owns and operates Behavior Matters,®Inc., a behavior consulting, training, and education service in New York City that specializes in teaching people to better understand learning principles and how these principles are applied to teaching any species—human and nonhuman.
Parvene works with, consults on, and designs training protocols for many species, including cats, birds, and horses; however, the majority of her work remains with people and dogs. Whichever nonhuman species may be involved in training, her job is always to teach human caregivers how to work with the animals in their care so that they can built great relationships with their companions.
Parvene earned her doctorate in Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and her Master’s degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Animal Behavior and Wildlife Conservation, from Hunter College in New York City.
She is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Animal Behavior Society, and the Animal Behavior Management Alliance.
Parvene is Past President of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), which is the only independent certifying body for dog trainers in the United States. The CCPDT works to standardize the profession by establishing criteria for dog trainer education. Part of her duties with the board included writing and reviewing the annual examination. She was also Chairman of the Exam Committee and was responsible for initiating advanced certification examinations for the CCPDT.
Parvene dedicates time to shelter and rescue work and is certified through The Community Animal Shelter Association (CASA) in several areas: As a Certified Assess-A-Pet™ evaluator, Parvene conducts behavioral assessments of rescue and shelter dogs for placement with families. As a Certified Train-to-Adopt™ educator, she instructs shelter staff and volunteers in training of shelter dogs and on how to improve the quality of life for all the animals in their care. CASA’s Training Wheels™ program also provides neighborhood communities with free food, equipment, and access to medical assistance and training.
In addition to consulting with shelters, volunteer groups, professional trainers, and the public, Parvene has been featured on local and national television, including NBC News and The Learning Channel, and has worked with NickelodeonJr. on- and off-camera to create information spots about raising dogs with children. She writes articles for the public and is presently conducting scientific research on the effects of spaying and neutering dogs and on the use of non-aversive interventions to reduce inter-dog aggression.
From 1992 to 1996, Parvene worked extensively with children from Kindergarten through 5th grade in public and private schools throughout Baltimore, Maryland. She designed and implemented teaching systems grounded in the principles of positive reinforcement. The curricula were designed to motivate student to learn using the same scientific principles she applies to all training.
Parvene shares her passion for behavior analysis and behavior technology through her research, writings, and training of several species. She also give lectures, seminars and workshops around the world with the goal of teaching trainers to be more effective and efficient though a better understanding of learning principles and their application.