AVSAB Website Documentation

Use this document as your “how to” guide to the AVSAB website. The website features many social functions that were not present on our old website. To take full advantage of this, read through this document and explore these features on our website.

If you have any questions that are not covered here, please feel free to post them in our support forum.


Click on a link below to jump to a specific section of the documentation, or browse by scrolling below.

Forum Videos

We’ve put together a 3 part series that walks you through the features of the new website.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Member Profile

If you’re a AVSAB member, we recommend updating your profile at least once a year. If you’re a new member, it’s a good idea to navigate to your profile page and make sure that your information is correct, as there are some fields that are not available on the sign up form (such as social media links).

How to update your profile:

*Please note: The information in your profile is available to other AVSAB members only and is not for the public at large. We suggest filling out the fields as completely as you can.

Click on the “my profile” link and then click the “edit” sub menu item.

AVSAB Edit Profile TabGeneral Info:

The first is the “General Info” tab, which contains fields for name, country, state or province, city, etc. Please update all of these fields so that the information in them is complete and accurate.

**The “Introduction” field is a chance for you to introduce yourself to the community, provide background information, and any other personal or professional information you’d like to share with other AVSAB members.
General Info Tab

Professional Information (Or Student Information):

The second tab you need to edit is the “professional Information” tab (or it will be labeled “Student Information” if you have the student membership level.

Please fill out all or as many of the fields as you can.
Professional Information TAb

Social Media Links:

The third set of member information for you to update can be found under the “Social Media Links” section. This allows you to post links directly to any active social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and Instagram. This is a great way to let other members know where you are active on the web and provide links to your accounts so they can follow you.

To get the links from your accounts, navigate to the homepage of your social media accounts and copy and past the URL from the browser into the fields on the website.

How to update your profile photo

Click on the “my profile” link at the top right of the page (this link only shows up if you’re logged in). From there, you will see a round photo with your cover photo set behind it.

To update your profile photo, scroll down the page until you see the link to “change profile photo.” Click on that link.

You have the option of uploading a photo, taking a photo from your computer or mobile device if it’s able to do so.

To upload a photo: simply drag it onto the green area of this page, or click the “select your File” button to select a specific file from your device. You will then be given the option to crop the photo to your liking.

To take a new photo: click on the “take photo” tab and then hit capture to take your photo. Click “save” to save your changes.

How to update your cover image

From the “my profile” page, click the “change cover photo” link. We suggest you use an image that’s horizontally oriented an at least 1400 px and 440px tall wide. If you’re looking for a place to find a beautiful and free cover photo, we recommend unsplash.

Change Cover Image

**You can update your cover image by clicking on the small icon on the top left of your cover photo on your “my profile” page

To upload a photo: simply drag it onto the green area of this page, or click the “select your file” button to select a specific file from your device. The option to crop your cover image is not available, so please double check and make sure it looks how you intended.

How to update your password

If you’d like to update your password, from your profile click on the settings icon (gear icon). In some instances you may need to click on the “more tab” of your profile menu to display the settings icon.

This will take you to the settings > general tab. Enter your new password twice and click “Save Changes” to update your password.

**If you are unable to log into the website, you may request a new password by going to the login page, and clicking the “Lost your password?” link. You will be prompted to enter the username or email address associated with your account, and an lost password email will be sent to you.


Searching the Members Directory:

There are a number of ways that you can find and connect with other members. One way for you to find other members is via our member directory.

AVSAB Searching the members directory

To access the members directory, click here. From that page you have a couple of options to go about your member search:

Searching via the search bar:

You can enter anything into the search bar (name, state, country, animal, etc) and the system will return all matching results. For example, if you want to search for someone in Florida, enter “Florida” into the search bar. This will bring up a list of all members that mention Florida in their profile. If you’d like to narrow down your search to just professional, affiliate or student members, click the tabs underneath the search bar.

We recommend experimenting with different searches to get a feel for how the member directory searches work.

Searching via the membership level tabs:

If you’d like to see a list of all members of a specific member type (i.e. professional, affiliate, student, etc) click on their tab on the members directory page underneath the search bar.

View Options:

Clicking on the “Order by” field gives you the option to view the members list (full and filtered by search) by the last active members, recently added, or alphabetical.

How to add friends:

The AVSAB website allows you to make professional connections with other members by “friending” them, similar to Facebook. It’s a great way to keep track of other members and their activity. Similar to Facebook, friends are able to post directly to your wall.

To make new friend connections, you can browse or search our member directory. Click on any members name or photo from the directory page to view their wall, or click on the “profile” icon to view their profile.

If you want to add any member as a friend you can do it either from the main member directory, or directly from their profile page.

From the member directory: Click on the “Add Friend” button.

From a members profile page: Click on the “Add Friend” button underneath their profile photo.

Add Friend Button

If you click the add friend button, that member will receive a notification that you have added them as a friend and they will be given the chance to add you back. Once they do so you will receive a notification in the “Alerts” section of your account.

Viewing your friend list:

There are two ways to see your friend list:

  1. Go to the member directory and click on the “my friends” link underneath the search bar.
  2. From your profile page, click on the “Friends” icon to view your friend list.

Approving a friend request:

To approve a friend request, navigate to your profile, click the “friends” icon, and then click on the “new requests” link. You will be shown a list of your friend requests, which you can either chose to accept or reject.

New Friend Requests

How to cancel a friendship:

If you need to cancel a friendship, there are two ways to do so:

  1. Go to the member directory, search for the friend you wish to cancel or click on the “my friends” link underneath the search bar, and click cancel friendship.
  2. From your profile page, click on the “Friends” icon to view your friend list. Find the friend and click the “cancel friendship” button.

Sending Messages

On the AVSAB website you have the ability to message other members directly. This can be a great way to ask specific questions of other members. Messages can be either public or private.

Private Messages

These are messages sent directly from one member to another without anyone else seeing it. There are several ways to send a private message to another member.

Send via the member directory page:

Find the member that you would like to send a message to on the member directory page. You can do this by browsing, searching, or clicking on the “my friends” tab. Once you locate the member you’d like to private message, click on the “private message” button.

Private MessagesOn the following screen, you will see the form for the private message. If you’d like to include more than one member in your private message, add their name in the “Send to (username or Friend’s Name)” field. If the additional person is already your friend, the system will auto suggest their name when you start typing.

Then enter the subject and message you’d like to send and click on the “send message” button to send your message.

Send via the other members profile page:

Navigate to the members profile page and click on the “Private Message” button, located underneath the member’s profile photo.

Private Messages 2On the following screen, you will see the form for the private message. If you’d like to include more than one member in your private message, add their name in the “Send to (username or Friend’s Name)” field. If the additional person is already your friend, the system will auto suggest their name when you start typing.

Then enter the subject and message you’d like to send and click on the “send message” button to send your message.

Send via your profile page:

To compose a new message from your profile page, click on the messages icon. This will take you to your messages inbox, where you’ll be able to see a list of all of your messages. Click on the “compose” tab in the messages sub menu.

Private Messages 3From there you will be taken to a form where you can compose the content of your message. Start typing the name of any of your friends, the system will auto suggest their names. Add a subject and your message and click “Send Message.”

**Please note that you can enter multiple names simultaneously in the “Send To” field, allowing for group messaging.

Public Messages using the @ symbol

If you’d like to send a public message to anther AVSAB member, you can simply use the @username symbol similar to Twitter and Facebook. There are a number of ways you can use this on the website.

Whenever you are adding a new post, comment, or reply on the AVSAB website, typing the @ symbol will bring up a list of your friends that you can include in your public message. This also works when using the forums. Those friends will then receive a notification that you mentioned them in that post or reply. This is a great way to draw attention to specific posts an encourage input from others.

You can also navigate to a members profile page and click the “public message” button located under their profile photo. That will bring up the “post update” form, with their @name auto-filled in the form.

Public Messages

The Messages Tab on your the Profile Page

Responding to messages

To see a full list of all of your messages, including read and unread and starred messages, navigate to your profile page and click the “messages” icon.

Messages Inbox

You’ll see all of your messages and conversations in your inbox. To respond to any message, click on the message title, scroll down to the bottom of the conversation thread, type your reply, and hit “Send Reply.”

Starring messages

You can also “star” important messages by clicking on the star icon in any of your conversation threads at any time. This can be helpful for bookmarking important conversations for easy retrieval later.

Sent messages

You can see a full list of all of your sent messages by clicking on the “sent messages” tab in the messages area of your profile page.

Responding to Messages Via Email

If you have your alert settings saved to deliver an email alert whenever someone messages you on the AVSAB website, you can respond directly via email.

Simply open up the message in your email and compose your reply above the “reply to” line, and click send as if it were a normal email. Your response will be automatically posted to their account, and they will receive an email notification of your reply.

Your Wall

The AVSAB wall works similarly to your wall on Facebook. You can post information and updates to your wall and they will show up in your friends news feed. You can also post to on any of your friends wall’s by navigating to their profile page and using the “post update” box at the top of their wall.

How to post to your wall:

Navigate to your profile by clicking on the “my profile” from the menu at the top of the page (this only shows up if you’re logged in). Then, click on the “Wall” icon in your account.

You can compose your update at the top of the wall page by entering text underneath the “What’s new, [your name]” text. You can also add an image, video, or link by clicking on the according icon.


Adding Images: You can upload a file directly from your computer or mobile phone by clicking on the image button, and then “Upload File.” You can also add an image by linking to it directly from somewhere on the web. To do so, click the “Add image URL” button after you click on the add image button.

Adding Videos: You can also add videos to your post by linking directly to them on youtube, vimeo, etc. Click on the “video” button in the add post box. This will bring up a text box where you can place the link to your video. Click preview to make sure that your video is linked to correctly, and then click “Add Video.”

Adding Links: You can post links to articles and other web resources to your wall. To do so, click on the link icon in the add new post box. Paste your link in the add link box and click “preview” to see a summary of what it will look like. If you like the way your link looks, click “Add link.”

How to set the privacy of a wall post:

Sometimes you may not want all AVSAB members to be able to see your wall posts. By default, all posts are set to be shown to everyone, but you can also change these settings so your post will be shown only to your friends, or your self.

To set the privacy of your post, click on the option titled “everyone.” In this box you will be able to select to post either to everyone, your friends, or only you.

Set Privacy of Post

How to “Like” or comment on a post:

Underneath any post you see on the site, you will be given the option to comment or like the post, similar to Facebook. To do so, simply click on the “Comment” button to post a comment, or click on the thumbs up icon to like the post. If you want to unlike a post you have already liked, simply click on the button again to unlike it.

The AVSAB website keeps track of your likes so you can view them later. To view your likes navigate to your wall, and click on the “my likes” link.

My Likes

Commenting on a post will begin a comment thread, and the author of the original post will be notified of the comment in their email if they have chosen to receive comment notifications in their settings.

Your News Feed

Your news feed is where you can see specific activity from other members across the site.

The content of your news feed consists of other member activity. It’s a great way to keep tabs on what’s going on with AVSAB, and give you opportunities for engagement.

By default, all activity is shown in the news feed. However, you are able to narrow it down to specific types of updates by clicking on the “Show” box, directly to the right of the wall menu. You have the option to show:

  • Everything
  • Updates
  • Friendships
  • Group Updates
  • New Groups
  • Group Memberships
  • Posts
  • Comments
  • New Group Documents
  • Topics
  • Replies

Show Type of Post
We recommend bookmarking the news feed page, as it is similar to going to the “home” section of your Facebook account and a great page for viewing the latest activity from other AVSAB members.


The groups tab is a new feature of the AVSAB website. AVSAB groups are gatherings of members, posts, and any other user-generated content from within that group. Think of AVSAB groups as working similarly to Facebook groups. Each group has it’s own wall that members can post to, and a group forum where group members can engage in discussions related to the groups topic.

Group Video

Finding Groups

To find groups, browse the directory of AVSAB groups by clicking here. You are free to join any public group, or if you’d like to join a private group, you can send a membership request from the groups directory page.

Kinds of Groups

Public: any avsab member is free to join these groups. Group activity is visible to all members.

Private: group administrators must approve group members. You can request memberships to these groups from the main group directory. Group content is only visible to members of the group.

Hidden: groups visible only to group members – not shown on groups directory page. Membership is by invite only, and content seen only by members.

**Please note that site administrators can still see hidden groups.

What to do in Groups

Group interaction happens primarily through the group wall where members post updates and information, and through the group discussion forum. Groups can also upload documents and share them with the rest of the group.

As groups are a new feature on the website, we would like to give some suggestions for the ways the AVSAB groups can be used:

  • Create a group around a research topic
  • Create a group around a region (i.e. Behaviorists from New York, Behaviorists from Canada, etc)
  • Create a group around a specialty

We hope you enjoy the new groups function of the website, and encourage you to join and create groups!

Creating a group

To create a group, navigate to the groups page and click on “Create A Group” link.

Create a Group

You will be walked through a series of steps to set up the group. Specifically, you will be asked to enter:

  • the name of the group
  • the group description
  • whether the group is public, private, or hidden
  • whether or not the group has it’s own forum
  • upload a profile photo for the group
  • set the permissions for uploading documents to the group
  • add a cover image for the group
  • and send invitations to other members

When you are done setting up your group, click the Finish button.

Group Administration

By default, the member that creates the group is the administrator for the group. Administrators are able to promote or remove other group members. Groups must have at least 1 administrator.

Group administrators have the following abilities:

  1. Change group-wide settings. For instance, administrators can turn group forums on or off, change group status from public to private, and toggle on or off various other group functionality.
  2. Change the group profile photo.
  3. Manage group members. More specifically, only group administrators have the power to promote members to moderators, or to ban individual users from the group
  4. Delete the group.

Promoting other group members

Administrators can promote other group members to be moderators and administrators. Each group can have more than one administrator.

To promote a member, navigate to the group homepage and click on the settings (gear) icon. From the group menu, click on the “members” link. This will bring up a list of group members, and you will be given the option to promote any member to the moderator role or promote to admin.

Removing and banning group members

Administrators have the ability to remove or ban group members. To do so, navigate to the group homepage and click on the settings (gear) icon. From the group menu, click on the “members” link. This will bring up a list of group members, and you will be given the option to “kick and ban” or “remove from group.” We advise group administrators to only use this option under extreme circumstances.

Changing other group settings

To change any other group settings, navigate to the group homepage and click on the settings (gear) icon. Here is a summary of what you can do from the groups manage menu:

  • Details: Change the group name and description
  • Settings: Change the privacy options of the group. Options include public, private, or hidden.
  • Photo: Upload a new profile photo.
  • Cover Image: Upload a new cover image for the group.
  • Members: View all of the members in the group and promote, remove, or ban members.
  • Documents: Change settings for who has permission to upload documents – options include all group members or only group administrators and moderators. Administrators can also set up category lists for documents from this page.
  • Forum: Add or remove the forum from the group.

AVSAB Forums

Forums are one of the primary ways that members communicate on the AVSAB website. There are a number of opportunities to engage through the use of forums. You can find the main forum directory on the forums page.

Forum Videos

We’ve put together a 2 part series that walks you through the forums on the new website.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Forums available on the AVSAB website

You can find all available forums in the main forums directory. Here is a breakdown of the forums that are available to members:

  • Members – this forum is available to all professional and affiliate members. Student members do not have access to this forum.
  • Students – forum for students. Professional and affiliate members also have access to the student forum, and we encourage their participation.
  • Support Forum – use this forum to ask questions about the organization and how the website works. If you have a question about your individual account, please use fill out our member support form instead.

Group Forums

Many of the groups on the AVSAB website have their own forums. If you are a member of any of our groups you can participate in these forums as well. These groups are listed on the main forums page, and are also accessible from the individual group home page.

Subscribing to forums

As an AVSAB member, you are able to subscribe to individual forums, or to individual topics created within those forums specifically. When you subscribe to a forum you will receive email notifications whenever there is activity in the forum. Subscribing to a forum or topic ensures that you stay up to date on the latest developments on the AVSAB website and gives you the opportunity to help other members when you have an answer to a question.

To subscribe to a forum, navigate to the main forum page, click on a forum, and click on the blue “subscribe” link at the top right of the page.

Unsubscribing from forums

If you’d like to unsubscribe from any forums or topics, navigate to either the forum home page or the topic page, and click the blue “unsubscribe” link at the top right of the page.

Reply By Email to Forums

The new AVSAB website has “reply by email” functionality built into all of our forums. When you subscribed to a forum you will receive email notifications for each any activity within that forum. The email will also contain instructions about how you can post a response to directly from your email account without having to log into the site.

Forum Signatures

Forum signatures allow members to create a custom signature to be used on all of their forum posts, similar to the an email signature.

To create a custom email signature, navigate to your profile via the “my profile” link from the top right menu of the AVSAB website. Click the “Edit” button, which takes you to the “general info” profile fields. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see the “Signature” field. Enter your signature in this text area. Please note you have a number of formatting options for your signature including bold, italic, & underline. You can also insert a link to a personal website and more.

**Please note that updating your forum signature will update your old signature, or add one if you didn’t already have one, across the entire AVASB website.

“My Forums” page

To view all of your forum activity across the entire website, navigate to the “My Forums” section of your account. To do so, click on the My Profile link at the top right of the website, and click on “My Forums.”

My Forums Tab

From here, you are able to view:

  • Forum topics you started
  • Replies you created
  • Forums you’ve favorited
  • A list of all of your active forum and topic subscriptions, along with the option to unsubscribe.

Click on the individual forum to jump in and write a reply.


Alerts on the AVSAB website are notifications of activity across the site. You can set your alert preferences so that you only receive alerts for activity you’re interested in.

Types of Alerts

Here are the different types of alerts that you’ll encounter for various activity on the AVSAB website:


  • A member mentions you in an update @username
  • A member replies to an update or comment you’ve posted


  • A member sends you a new message


  • A member sends you a friendship request
  • A member accepts your friendship request


  • A member invites you to join a group
  • Group information is updated
  • You are promoted to a group administrator or moderator
  • A member requests to join a private group for which you are an admin

Finding Your Alerts

Alerts Tab

To find your alerts, navigate to your profile page and click on the “alerts” icon, where you can view your read and unread alerts and:

  • Mark notifications as “read”
  • Mark notification as “unread”
  • Delete notification (in batches if needed)

Changing your Alert Preferences

You have wide flexibility to set which alerts you’d like to receive emails for, and which one’s you’d rather not. To set your preferences, navigate to your “my profile” page, and click on the settings (gear) icon. Click “email” from the settings menu.

Alert Settings

This will give you a list of email activity options that you can toggle on and off. Be sure to click “Save changes” for your preferences to go into effect.

The AVSAB Behavior Consultants Directory

The new AVSAB website features a public directory of animal behavior consultants. Think of it as a searchable database that the public in general can use to find animal behavior consultants to contact. It’s like Yelp but for behaviorists.

This directory is completely optional, and it is up to you whether or not you would like to be listed. The benefits of listing yourself or your business in this directory are that it will make you visible to the public on our website, and also visible for the public at large through search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. We highly recommend adding your listing if you want to be found by the public for your behavior services.

**Please note: This directory is only available to Professional and Affiliate members. Student members are not permitted to add a listing to this directory. 

To see an example of what the listing page will eventually look like, click here and here.

Searching Listings

The AVSAB public behavior consultant directory is a great resource for the public to be able to find behaviorists.

There are a number of ways to use the search features of the directory to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Searching by location:
To do a location based search, navigate to the directory homepage and fill out the second search field titled “Search by State/Province, City or Zip.”
Searching the AVSAB Behavior Consultants Directory
If you’re looking for a list of behavior consultants near you, we suggest entering your zip code. If you’re looking for a list of consultants from a given state, province, or even country, we suggest typing in the name and waiting for the system to auto-suggest your state. Select the auto suggestion to be given a list of all behaviorists for that particular state, province, or country.

Searching by name:
To do a search for a particular member by name, start typing the name of the consultant in the field labeled “Search by name.” The system may auto-suggest certain consultants based on what you type. If you see who you’re looking for, click on their name from the auto-suggest and hit the “search” button. Or, you can just type their name into the search field and hit search without hitting the auto-suggest feature.

Feel free to enter only first or last names if you don’t know the consultant’s full name.

Searching by Credentials:

If you’re looking for a member with specific credentials, type them into the “search by name” field and click search. If you want to narrow your search by location, you can type the credentials into the “search by name” field and then enter the state or province to search in the “search by State/Province, City or Zip” field.

Searching by Credentials and State

Browsing by Category:

If you’d like to browse the directory by category, select the category from the top of the right hand sidebar. You will be taken to a page with a map of all consultants in that category, and you will be provided with a list of consultants in that category.

Categories to choose from include:

  • Dog behavior consultants
  • Cat behavior consultants
  • Avian behavior consultants
  • Horse behavior consultants
  • Livestock behavior consultants
  • Public speakers (speakers bureau)
  • Expert legal witnesses
  • Available for media consult

**Please note that the icon that displays on the map for each consultant is the category they have selected as their “primary” category. If you go to the category page for for “cat behavior consultants” and there are dog icons on the map, that just means that those members do behavior consulting for both dogs and cats – you can still contact them about behavior issues you’re having with your cat.

Adding Your Listing

To add your public listing, hover over the directory link in the main navigation and select “Add a New Listing.”

Add New Listing

This takes you to a page where you can add your listing information. Please be aware that you want to fill out these fields in a way that speaks to the public at large.

Directory Listing Tips: 

  • Name Field: Enter your full name, including titles in the name field.
  • Introduction: The introduction field is your chance to really showcase yourself and what you do, as it is the first thing a person will see when they review your listing. We suggest including background information, listing the kinds of services you offer, and anything else you want.
  • Categories: The categories you select will determine what category pages you show up on in the directory. For an example, view our dog category page. You can select multiple categories, and we suggest selecting all of the animals that you do behavior work with. Also, you have the option to add yourself to our speakers bureau by adding the “Public Speakers” category, offer yourself as an expert witness in legal trials by selecting the “Legal Expert Witness” category, and make yourself available to the media by selecting the “Media Consultants” category.
  • Address: As you type your address into the address field, you should see it a list of addresses pop up based on the information you enter. Be sure to select yours from the list so that the system knows the precise coordinates of your listing and you show up properly on the map. Once you do, double check your country, region, city, and zip code to make sure they are correct. Also, double check to make sure the the icon on the Google map is in the correct location.
  • Videos: Videos are a great way to connect with the public. If you have any Youtube or Vimeo videos, you can copy and paste the URL in this field (one per line) and they will appear in your listing.
  • Add Images: We recommend adding images that are horizontally oriented and at least 800px wide for the best results. These photos create a slideshow at the top of your listing that users can scroll through.
  • Click Preview and Save to review the appearance of your listing. Then be sure to click the “Publish” button to make your listing live.

Editing Your Listing

You can edit your listing at anytime. Simply navigate to your listing (you can search for yourself from the main directory page to find it), or click on the “my profile” link at the top right of the page, then click on the “public listing” menu icon, and from the next screen click on your name.

In the top right of the sidebar on your listing page (or under directly under the listing on mobile) you will see the link to “edit your information.” Click on this, edit your information, and save your changes.

Edit Public Listing

The “Public Listing” profile page tab

For quick access to your listing, click on the “my profile” link at the top right of the AVSAB website. From there, click on the “public listing” tab, and then click the name of your listing to navigate to your public listing page.

©2024 The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. All rights reserved. | Website design by  Joshua Paul Design

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