Recently I received an email with the following information from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). As you will read below, the time has come for organizations such as CCPDT to recognize the urgent need to pass legislation in order to regulate the now unregulated profession of pet dog training.
It is mind-blowing that the pet parents who choose to get help for their dog’s behavior have no way of knowing if the person they have chosen to work with their dog is indeed qualified to do so. The ramifications of working with someone – that while interested in dogs, loves dogs or simply plans to make a living in this field, without truly having the knowledge to do so, are scary and vast. I don’t know about you, but if I have a problem with my car, I do not attempt to diagnose or fix it. Instead, I call upon someone with the knowledge and experience. I don’t attempt either to fix my own electrical issues; instead I call upon someone that has the knowledge and credentials to do so.
Why is it then that we do not take the care and training of our pets with the same caution and concern? Dogs are predators, and while we love to think of them as furry “babies” and lovely companions, they can be very dangerous. If professionals choose to train with aversives, such as shock collars and other painful practices, they MUST at the very least understand how to use them correctly. No, I am not advocating at all the use of aversives in training dogs. Yet, it must be emphasized that aversives have fallouts and one of them is the increase in aggression.
Our responsibility as professionals working in the training industry, to our clients in particular, to their dogs, and to society at large, must be to help with the situation instead of making the situation worse and potentially more dangerous.
I urge all pet lovers and pet parents to support the need for legislation. I also urge anyone looking into getting some “professional” help for their dog to do their homework. Ask for certification, ask for referrals, and call them. Take to heart that it is your responsibility to keep your pet out of harms way. Think critically and look elsewhere if you are presented with inhumane options in order to resolve a problem.
CCPDT POSITION STATEMENT:
Mandating Certification for Training and Behavior Professionals
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) recognizes that the dog training and behavior profession is a largely unregulated industry in the United States and much of the rest of the world. As a result, consumers are at risk of engaging service providers who have little to no legitimate education, training or experience in the field of dog training and behavior modification. We join the international dog training community in calling for regulation of the dog training industry.
CCPDT is concerned that individuals who do not hold an accredited certification and operate in an unregulated industry with claims of being professional dog trainers/behavior consultants put dogs at risk of being incompetently trained by any methods used and/or abused through the utilization of inappropriate methods. This is particularly concerning to CCPDT as dogs trained with inappropriate methods may present a safety risk not only to their owners but to other people and animals they come in contact with within their community.
Additionally, research has shown that dogs who are poorly trained and/or abused can be a burden to their communities. They are more likely to be surrendered to shelters and rescues, or abandoned by their human caretakers.
Therefore, to protect the public and their dogs from the dangers of an unregulated dog training profession, CCPDT supports and will facilitate efforts to introduce and pass legislation intended to implement appropriate regulation that would require legitimate certification in order for a dog trainer to be able to represent him/herself to the public as a Professional Dog Trainer or Dog Behavior Consultant.
Board of Directors, CCPDT