VERO BEACH â One of the problems with the pet industry is a lack of standards and licensing.
Anyone can say theyâre a trainer and is up to the consumer to ask questions about methods and qualifications.
Of course, most consumers donât know what questions to ask or how to find a qualified trainer.
The dog training industry itself is divided about methods and strategies.
To help the public and trainers become better informed, three dog training organizations came together and issued a statement on best practices and a code of conduct.
Here is a part of the joint statement from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers:
â˘ To understand and promote Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) training and behavior work
â˘ To continue professional development by reading relevant material; attending conferences, workshops and seminars; and pursuing other educational opportunities â˘ To review and understand source material and academic texts for information
â˘ To abstain from representing training and behavioral information as scientific, unless the information is derived from peer-reviewed and published research
â˘ To refrain from offering guarantees regarding the outcome of training and behavior work LIMA does not justify the use of punishment in lieu of other effective interventions and strategies.
In the vast majority of cases, desired behavior change can be affected by focusing on the animalâs environment, physical well-being, and operant and classical interventions such as differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior, desensitization, and counterconditioning.
These LIMA guidelines do not justify the use of aversive methods and tools including, but not limited to, the use of electronic, choke or prong collars, in lieu of other effective positive reinforcement interventions and strategies.
Iâm really proud of these organizations for coming together.
It has literally been years in the making. I like that they recommend continuing education and scientific data.
I really like that these organizations are recommending avoiding the use of punitive training methods.
Science supports the use of rewards in training. Using punishment should be a last resort.
An educated trainer should understand the science behind the methods they chose. And you and your dog have a right to feel safe.
If youâre looking for a trainer, read the entirety of the statement before you hire someone or join a class.
Private training is available by appointment.
New group classes begin Oct.Â 3 in Vero Beach and Oct.Â 4 in Sebastian.
Cissy Sumner of Best Behavior Pet Training is Veroâs first Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge and Skills Assessed and Certified Behavior Counselor Canine-Knowledge. If you have a training or behavior question, email Cissy at email@example.com call 772-978-7863 or visit www.bestbehaviorpettraining.com for information.
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