Interview with Kate Mornement from Pets Behaving Badly
Every now and then you meet an overachiever doing great things; someone who inspires you to wake up earlier, work harder, follow your dreams and never give up. Kate Mornement is one of these people!
Kate is an animal behaviourist, lecturer, freelance writer, expert witness and media personality. For over 10 years, she has consulted with dog, cat and parrot owners who are experiencing behavioural difficulties with their pets, through her business, Pets Behaving Badly. Kate has also worked with exotic animals housed in zoos and aquariums and taught staff about animal behaviour and training in Australia and overseas.
But that’s not all! Kate is currently completing a PhD in Canine Behaviour, investigating how animal shelters assess dogs for adoption suitability. She has presented her research at international conferences and her work has been published in scientific literature. She’s also an active member of the Australian Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Association of Animal Behaviour Professionals.
Kate is passionate about helping the pet owners of Australia understand the needs of their pets and how to modify problem behaviour, using the latest science-based and humane training techniques.
We’re thrilled Kate was able to fit us into her busy schedule for a quick chat about realising her dream career. Here’s what she had to say…
“There is quite a lot of competition in the animal industry and so gaining experience is essential.”
I was fascinated with animals and their behaviour from a young age and always knew I wanted to work with animals. Training my dog, an Australian Cattle Dog, when I was 14 years old and realising how smart he was, piqued my interest in training and behaviour.
I began with a Bachelor of Science during which I studied Zoology and animal behaviour. I enjoyed it so much I went on to do Honours in Animal Behaviour and then a PhD in Canine Behaviour.
There is quite a lot of competition in the animal industry and so gaining experience is essential. I would also say that you should never stop learning!
After my Honours in 2004, I took a break from study and ended up working in a pet shop for a while. Countless people asked me for advice about their pets’ problem behaviours and I realised there was a real need for this kind of service. I therefore started Pets Behaving Badly and haven’t looked back since!
My role is varied and extremely rewarding. Some days I can be sitting in a court room, whilst other days I can be helping shelter dogs overcome fear-based aggression towards other dogs, following negative past experiences. It can also involve helping pet owners to understand and resolve behaviour problems, which often prevents a pet from being surrendered, whilst strengthening the bond people have with their pets.