The Pet Professional Guild

The Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals

Representing Dog Trainers, Dog Behavior Consultants, Pet Care Service Providers & Veterinarians Across The Globe 
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The Pet Professional Guild Position Statements




The Use of Shock in Animal Training

It is the position of the Pet Professional Guild that effective animal training procedures lay the foundation for an animal’s healthy socialization and training and helps prevent behavior problems. The general pet-owning public should be educated by organizations and associations to ensure pet animals live in nurturing and stable environments to better prevent behavior problems. In this effort, it is the position of the PPG that the use of electrical stimulation, or “shock” or “e-collars,” to train and/or modify the behavior of pet animals is not necessary for effective behavior modification or training and damaging to the animal. For the purposes of this statement, electrical stimulation devices include products often referred to as: e-collars, training collars, e-touch, stimulation, tingle, TENS unit collar, remote trainers.

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The Use of Dominance Theory in Animal Training

It is the position of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) that dominance theory is an obsolete and aversive method of interacting with animals that has at its foundation incorrect and misinterpreted data which can result in damage to the animal-human relationship and cause behavioral problems in the animal. Rather, the PPG advocates for effective animal training procedures focused on the use of behaviorism, the natural science of behavior which emphasizes natural science assumptions and avoids speculation and theoretical constructs for explaining behavior.

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Position Statement on Puppy Socialization

It is the position of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) that effective animal training lays the foundation for an animal’s healthy socialization and training and helps prevent behavior problems. The general pet-owning public should be educated by organizations and associations to ensure pet animals live in nurturing and stable environments to better prevent behavior problems. Consistent with this effort, it is the position of the PPG that proper puppy socialization be addressed as vital to a dog’s development with an ideal socialization period starting at four weeks of age and continuing through four months of age.

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Position Statement on The Use of Choke and Prong Collars

Though data demonstrating the exact damage that can be potentially caused by using choke and prong collars is incomplete, experience has shown that soft tissue injuries are common and, as is the case with any harsh training method, the damage to the animal-human relationship results. Studies and the experience of the PPG’s membership finds that training and behavior problems are consistently and effectively solved without the use of choke or prong collars with the alternative methods reinforcing the animal-human bond.

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Position Statement on Reality TV Dog Training

The Pet Professional Guild appeals to all programming organizations to re-evaluate any decision to showcase forceful, painful and aversive training methods and equipment.  Despite warnings on the television for viewers not to attempt the methods displayed at home, such methods will be attempted by pet owners and may lead to extremely dangerous situations. The Pet Professional Guild respectfully requests television channels to replace this programming immediately with competent, progressive and force-free, formally-educated trainers and/or behaviorists.

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Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on Breed Specific Legislation

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is becoming increasingly alarmed at the number of dogs being seized or banned in a variety of communities worldwide based purely on their breed or appearance, allegedly in the interest of public safety. At the same time, there is little, if any, assessment of an individual dog’s behavior or environment, their owners’ knowledge of canine behavior and training, and/or their suitability as a dog guardian.

PPG holds that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) such as this paints an unjust picture of certain breeds of dogs and punishes responsible dog guardians unnecessarily. PPG considers BSL to be ineffective in dog bite prevention and the safety of the public at large, and opposes any law or regulation that discriminates against dogs based purely on breed or appearance. Rather than approach the issues of dog bite prevention and public safety via such unsatisfactory means, PPG is of the opinion that educating pet industry professionals, pet dog guardians, and the general public in canine cognition, communication, and the use of science-based, force-free pet care and training methods are by far the most effective means of reducing dog bites and ensuring greater public safety.

PPG recognizes that any size or type of dog can bite. Breed, however, is not a good predictor. A study by Patronek, Sacks, Delise, Cleary, and Marder (2013) concluded that: “Most DBRFs [dog bite-related fatalities] were characterized by coincident, preventable factors; breed was not one of these. Study results supported previous recommendations for multifactorial approaches, instead of single-factor solutions such as breed-specific legislation, for dog bite prevention.”

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