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Arizona Humane Society Hosts Pet Professional Guild’s Annual Summit to Promote Positive-Reinforcement Training

The partnership aims to positively impact the successful transition of rescued pets into their new homes while empowering and enhancing their welfare.

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) have partnered to host a summit featuring 25 world-class presenters from around the globe at the Arizona Humane Society’s Nina Mason Pulliam South Mountain Campus in Phoenix November 1-5.

The “Homeward Bound” summit event will showcase the latest techniques in humane, ethical positive reinforcement–based training, helping both organizations reach their shared goal of ensuring that humane and ethical training is readily available to pet owners who want their pets to live in nurturing and stable environments.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, and about 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted yearly. Pet trainers and behavior experts support these pets through their local businesses. This preparation is an essential function of pet professionals, not just in the shelter or rescue location but also as pets transition to homes and adjust to their new daily norms.

The summit program features expert presenters sharing their skills and knowledge in both lecture and hands-on skill lab sessions to help with the continuing development of behavior professionals who, in turn, can then support their local pet communities with their cutting-edge knowledge. Each session will emphasize the enrichment, welfare, and behavioral well-being of pets. These are achieved by implementing training methods and procedures that empower pets and help them to feel confident and secure.

In our cyber-driven world, information that is readily available to pet owners may not be accurate or scientifically sound. Flashy and charismatic individuals often showcase forceful, painful, and aversive training methods and equipment to promote the misconception that there are “quick fixes” to training and behavior issues.

Scientific research shows that positive reinforcement­–based strategies are practical and expedient while posing no risk to pets, guardians, or the local community. A constructional approach to training where more appropriate and acceptable behaviors are encouraged and reinforced via positive training protocols are highly recommended and supported by the research. Such training is also fun and engaging for both the pet and their owner. Using pain, force, or fear to modify behavior or to train, manage, or care for pets is unnecessary and detrimental, and not in the best interest of pets and their families.

As an international organization, PPG represents professionals who believe that pets have an intrinsic right to be treated humanely, to have each of their individual needs met, and to live in safe, enriched environments free from force, pain, and fear. PPG holds that humane, ethical, and effective training and care procedures form the foundation for a pet’s healthy socialization and help prevent behavior problems. AHS’s certified trainers use positive-reinforcement, force-free, science-based methods to get the best results with dogs of all ages and breeds. All of the trainers on staff at AHS are committed to continuing their education and will enjoy hosting and attending the summit.

“PPG and AHS are providing a valuable platform for promoting education, resources, equipment, ideas, methods, and techniques that pet owners and pet professionals can trust to reflect the force-free training and pet care philosophy,” said Niki Tudge, PPG president. “Supporting the education and operation of shelter and rescue organizations not only helps us to help them, but also helps them to help us!”

“We’re thrilled to work with PPG to bring so many trainers and pet care professionals together to learn,  and promote humane animal training,” says Jenny Dagnino, Behavior and Training Manager at the Arizona Humane Society. “Education is one of the most impactful ways we can improve the lives of pets in our communities, in our shelters, and in our homes.”


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