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March 2020: Issue 51

By now, we are all well aware of the impact of the coronavirus. Things are changing rapidly and some small business owners may find themselves having to rethink how they do business for a few weeks, or longer. Check out PPG president Niki Tudge’s blog, Business Contingency Planning – Need Help?, which will form the backdrop of a FREE interactive member webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 at 1 p.m. EDT, in which Tudge will expand on the topics discussed in her blog with the experts from PPG corporate partner dog*biz to offer advice for pet trainers and behavior consultants.

Shock-Free Coalition Pledge Drive Postponed till September 20

The Shock-Free Coalition has postponed its 61-Day Pledge Drive to educate consumers and pet professionals about the benefits of using reward-based training as opposed to the risks associated with using shock collars. Now running from September 20–Nov 21, 2020, the event will award a range of prizes to individuals and organizations that inspire the most people to Sign the Shock-Free Pledge, a call to action whereby signees commit to the principle that all pets have an intrinsic right to be treated humanely and to live in a safe, enriched environment free from force, pain and fear.

Sign Up for PPG’s April Virtual Summit

Have you signed up yet for the PPG Virtual Summit, taking place on April 2–3 to celebrate the launch of the Pet Rescue Resource – A Behavior and Welfare Toolkit? Registration is open through both the PPG and PPGBI websites and, once you register, you will gain access to the live event and also receive audio session recordings available for 12 months.

Virtual Summit Schedule

Thursday, April 2

Dr. Kathy Murphy 9 a.m. – 10.30 a.m. ET

Dr. Nick Thompson - 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET

Malena DeMartini & Casey McGee - 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET

Dr. Zazie Todd - 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. ET

Friday, April 3

Dr. Karolina Westlund - 9 a.m. – 10.30 a.m. ET

Dr. Morag Heirs - 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET

Dr. Robert Hewings - 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Dr. Juliane Kaminski - 4: 30 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET

PPG Announces New Corporate Partner: Transpaw Gear®

PPG is delighted to welcome TransPaw Gear® to its Corporate Partner program. TransPaw Gear® founder, certified professional dog trainer, certified canine behavior consultant, and dog mom, Joan Hunter Mayer has spent more than five years developing the TransPaw Gear® Happy Harness to combine safety, ease of use, and comfort. The harness features a front clip that can help decrease pulling, a back clip to support active walking outdoors and other vigorous physical activities, a special support feature for the dog’s upper front legs and a custom fit for the dog’s shoulder.

PPG Opens Online Store

The PPG Store now has some great products in it and more are being added. Right now you can find a range of apparel, water bottles, laptop sleeves, baseball caps, beanies and more. Place your order today so you ca proudly display your force-free philosophy!

PPG Scholarships: Apply April 5 - May 5

Don't forget, a limited number of full and partial scholarships will be offered this year to eligible PPG members to further their education in force-free training and/or pet care. The scholarships are intended for participation in suitable programs offered by organizations that support PPG’s Guiding Principles and goals. See current providers. PPG must receive applications for the Scholarship Program between April 5 - May 5. Download the full Candidate Scholarship Application Guide. Complete the Scholarship Application Form

Project Trade Names January Ambassador


Congratulations to Holly Tedor of Howling Peaks Dog Training LLC in Alaska, USA for trading one shock collar and who has been named Project Trade Ambassador for January 2020.

Project Trade is PPG's advocacy program whereby members offer service discounts in exchange for aversive training gear.

Find out how Project Trade can help your business in Helping Dogs, Helping Families.

Niki Tudge Talks Force-Free Training

Check out PPG President Niki Tudge discussing force-free training with Dr. Karen Becker in this fascinating interview! “In my opinion as a practicing veterinarian, even though vets graduate with little to no background in animal training, we really need to be on the front lines in terms of referring clients to trainers who use positive, nonpunitive methods. It would be wonderful to have a single resource to refer people to with complete confidence. It can make the difference between a pet who returns with his human to our practice year after year grounded and well-balanced, and a pet we never see again because his family dropped him off at the shelter due to his behavior problems,” writes Dr. Becker in her corresponding article.

Zazie Todd Book Competition Winners

Congratulations to Jean Arovas, Fran Berry and Melony Phillips who were the lucky live webinar attendees in February to win a copy of Dr. Zazie Todd’s book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy, hot off the press! Dr. Todd, of Companion Animal Psychology, will be hosting another webinar at the PPG Virtual Summit on April 2 (see above) and will also present at the 2020 PPG Summit in Phoenix, Arizona on September 18-22.

PPG Summit 2020 Writers' Competition 

How would you like to win a FREE ticket worth $500 to PPG’s sixth annual summit in Phoenix, Arizona on September 18-22, 2020? We are looking for blog posts or short features on the topic of animal shelter and rescue to publish on the BARKS Blog or in BARKS from the Guild. We may publish snippets on our social media platforms too. The author of the winning blog post or article will win a FREE ticket to Phoenix 2020! Please read the terms and conditions before entering, then submit your article here. Deadline for entries: April 5, 2020 / Winner announced: April 20, 2020. Photo: © Can Stock Photo/damedeeso

PPG Workshop on Pet Loss

PPG held a two-day Pet Loss and Grief Companioning Certification Course at its Tampa, Florida headquarters last month. Presented by Coleen Ellis, founder of the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, the event delved into the emotional journey of the end-of-life walk with a beloved pet. Attendees also learned more about how to support those needing a companion, understanding what pet parents need during this time, the benefits of rituals, compassion fatigue, and more. “Not a dry eye in the room,” said PPG president Niki Tudge. “The stories, always so powerful from every aspect of service represented in the room. The shelter worker… what he shared [about what] he dealt with and saw, my heart broke. The animal care and control young lady… I had to put a layer of protection in knowing what she dealt with daily. The trainers, in sharing the love they had for the roles to the heartbreak of their job when they just couldn’t “fix” a mentally broken animal. Argh. My heart. My shattered heart,” wrote Ellis in her blog, Me, the Pet Professional Guild, and My Village People about the event.

Leslie McDevitt April Workshop Postponed, New Dates Set

Out of consideration for the health and safety of our members and other event participants, and due to rising concerns about the spread of the coronavirus), regrettably, the decision has been made to postpone Leslie McDevitt’s April workshop Reactive to Relaxed: Next Steps in Control Unleashed. New dates in February 2021 have been secured and, if you were already registered, your registration is already guaranteed. If you are not able to attend, please let us know so we can make the appropriate refund arrangements.

Got Some Time? Want to Help PPG Help Others?

PPG is looking for a couple of people to join our Canine Committee and work with chair Judy Luther and her team on developing some fabulous resources for our members, so come on down! Just take a couple of minutes to complete our volunteer form and let’s get it done!

BARKS: March 2020 Issue Available Online


The digital edition of the March 2020 issue of BARKS from the Guild is now available to read online. You can also still order a print copy by completing this form. In the March cover feature, Morag Heirs draws from her experience of 20 years running her own businesses to offer advice on helping canine training and behavior professionals enjoy — and become more efficient at — running the business side of their work. More great content includes:

Training: How to ensure communication is effective for both handlers and dogs / E-fence fallout – featuring labradoodle, Charlee / positive reinforcement vs. bribery.

Canine: The importance of triggers and the environment in a stress reduction protocol.
Interview: Dr. Gregory Berns on the significance of olfactory and visual stimuli in a dog’s universe.
Rescue: Guidelines to help select rescue dogs to set them up for success to train as service dogs.
Feline: Reading cats’ minds / human-directed play aggression.
Case Study: Best feline friends who became enemies.
Behavior: Lessons from exotics (featuring a pair of ring-tailed lemurs).
Equine: Helping clients adapt to a new perspective in terms of training philosophy.
Business: Streamlining your businesses / speaking to the media.

Note: the digital edition of BARKS remains FREE but you must subscribe as of the March 2020 issue to gain access.

Training and Behavior Survey

Attention UK training and behavior professionals! Do you have 10 minutes to help our friends at The University of Edinburgh with their study on problematic behaviours in dogs from a professional perspective? Here's the link: https://t.co/2gvsqKeZdS.

Live Webinars:

Monday, March 16 - 12 p.m. EDT - BRAVE - Essential Coping Strategies for Every Dog. Presented by Victoria Stilwell

Friday, March 20 - 1 p.m. EDT - Chaos to Calm. Presented by Yvette Van Veen

Tuesday, March 24 - 10 a.m. EDT - What Does the Most Recent Research Tell Us About Behavior Problems in Dogs? Presented by Dr. Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB

Friday, April 3 - 1 p.m. EDT - Genetic Testing Your Dog: Can you trust those health and breed results? Presented by Dr. Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD

Tuesday, April 7 - 12 p.m. EDT - How to Conduct a Successful Pet Loss Support Group. Presented by Coleen Ellis

Wednesday, April 8 - 6 p.m. EDT - Mantrailing - Training Dogs to Find People. Presented by Lisa Gorenflo

Discounted Webinars - This Month ONLY!:

Did you know that PPG has hundreds of recorded webinars? Each month more are added as live events are completed. You can search on them via topic, or presenter. Click here to have a browse through them or to check out the new scheduled live webinars.

PPG is offering selected webinars at a discount this month (discount valid till March 31, 2020).

Positive Veterinary Visits - Dr. Amy Pike

Will The Real Behavior Case Please Stand Up? - Dr. Lynn Honeckman

May the Force Be With You - or Not - Kathy Sdao

Learn About The Biology of Socialization - Dr. Jessica Hekman

Teaching Animals to Communicate Through Pictures - Victoria Fogel

The PPG Archive holds over 3,200 articles, blogs and videos. Here's a selection of what's been added this month:

Niki Tudge Explains Force-Free Dog Training [Video File] – Mercola Healthy Pets

No Pain, No Force, No Fear: An Interview with Niki Tudge [Video File + Article] - Dr. Karen Becker

Pain and Problem Behavior in Cats and Dogs - Daniel S. Mills et al.

The small home ranges and large local ecological impacts of pet cats - R. Kays et al.

Phantom of the Operant: Recognising the Emotional Drive to Behaviour- Andrew Hale

Walking With Your Dog And Loving It: A Teamwork Approach - Sylvie Martin

What Do Animals Know and Feel About Death and Dying? – Marc Bekoff

How to protect your dog's mind from the effects of aging - Stanley Coren

The environmental needs of many Australian pet cats are not being met - Lawson GT, Langford FM, Harvey AM

Cats Burned In California Wildfires Also Had Heart Problems - Amy Quinton

Dogs can sense weak thermal radiation - Anna Bálint, Attila Andics, Márta Gácsi, Anna Gábor, Kálmán Czeibert, Chelsey M. Luce, Ádám Miklósi & Ronald H. H. Kröger

COVID-19 and Planning for Your Pet – Dr. Zazie Todd

Prevalence, comorbidity, and breed differences in canine anxiety in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs - Milla Salonen, Sini Sulkama, Salla Mikkola, Jenni Puurunen, Emma Hakanen, Katriina Tiira, César Araujo & Hannes Lohi

'Cat Tracker' study reveals the secret wanderings of 900 house cats- Jonathan Losos

Household Hazards - Toxic Hazards for Cats - Ernest Ward, DVM

Exercising Your Senior Dog's Brain - Ann-Marie Fleming

Dog brains detect who is talking - Family Dog Project

Learning to cope with grief after losing a beloved furry “family member”- Tony Squires

New study results consistent with dog domestication during Ice Age- Matt McGowan

Is My Dog Happy? How Dogs’ Body Language Is a Guide - Zazie Todd

The fascinating dialogue that animals want to have with us – Sindhoor Pangal

SENIOR DOGS – Two Exercises To Keep Them Going Strong - Kerry Fisher

Building a Better Brain for Your Dog - Stanley Coren

Does behavior affect how long cats stay in shelters? - Mikel Delgado

The Use of Medications in Canine Behavior Therapy - Ilana Reisner, DVM

Salivary oxytocin in pigs, cattle, and goats during positive human-animal interactions - Stephanie Lürzel, Laura Bückendorf, Susanne Waiblinger, Jean-Loup Rault

See the full PPG Archive.

New this month!

Business Contingency Planning – Need Help? – Niki Tudge

COVID-19 and Pet Dogs – Daniel Antolec

Me, the Pet Professional Guild, and My Village People - Coleen Ellis

Shock-Free Coalition Launches Pledge Drive to Educate Pet Professionals and Guardians on the Risks of Using Shock as a Training Tool – BARKS from the Guild

Dogs in the Zone - Barb Levenson

PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: Zen Games – Should I Stay or Should I Go? BARKS from the Guild

PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: How Can We Ask Questions from Non-Verbal Animals? The Basic Science of Choice - BARKS from the Guild

Quick Cat Behavior Tip: Counter Surfing – PPG Cat Committee

Dog Behaviour and Managing our Frustrations - Anna Bradley

Feline Behavior Unmasked: Emesis in Cats – Common but Not Normal – Dr. Liz Bales

Member Brags: PPG Australia in the News

As reported by Huon News in their article, Science shows positive practice makes perfect, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT) and Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) have joined forces to promote the use of humane, positive reinforcement methods to dog owners and the dog training industry. “Australia’s dog training industry is not government regulated and some trainers still use antiquated force-based methods and equipment, such as electronic devices, choke or prong collars, which can cause pets serious injury,” says PPGA president, Barbara Hodel.


* Advocacy Resources

* BARKS Blog - latest blog posts and subscribe

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* Corporate Partners

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* PPG Archive (links to over 3,150 articles, blogs and studies and growing daily)   

* PPG Australia

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* PPG Education Scholarship Program

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* PPG Member Discussion Board (note: you must be logged in)

* PPG Newsroom

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* PPG Shelter and Rescue Facebook Group

* PPG Summit Phoenix 2020

* Project Trade

* Shelter and Rescue Resources

* Shock-Free Coalition

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