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Recognizing that equids are different from other pets and use different equipment, the Equid Division has made some amendments to PPG’s Guiding Principles. The additional guiding principles for equids are included below the PPG Guiding Principles document.

Section One: PPG Non-Negotiables

To be in any way affiliated with the Pet Professional Guild all members must adhere to a strict code of conduct. Pet Professional Guild Members Understand Force-Free to mean: no pain, no force, no fear and no compulsion  methods are employed to train or care for an equine.

PPG promotes the use of positive operant and respondent training protocols.  PPG believes that all training and behavior change programs should be conducted in a manner consistent with our Guiding principles as they promote physical and emotional well-being in pets .  in the PPG Position Statements.

Definition of Force 

Any definition can never be so expansive and explicit that every possible situation is  addressed. This is seen everywhere in life and most obviously in the US legal system where very often courts cannot agree on a single interpretation of what terms and definitions mean, including physical force.

Recognizing this we understand, in the context of our guiding principles and as a general framework, physical force to mean “any intentional physical act against a pet that causes psychological or physical pain, harm or damage to the pet.”  


Certain equipment would be considered not appropriate under our Guiding Principles and clearly the use of many (most?) head halters (non-knotted rope halters) and bit-less bridles would not be considered physical force under this guiding definition if 1) they are used consistent with our guiding principles, 2) they are used as intended and designed and 3) they are not used in a way that is contrary to their design and intent, i.e. not used in a manner which would cause psychological or physical pain, harm or damage.” 

Section Two: PPG Member Professional Ethics

  1. We always hold the pet’s welfare as our top priority. The pet is the vulnerable component in the consultation process as they cannot offer informed consent.
  2. The professionals’ role is one that is beneficial to the pet and never to its detriment. Always seek to do no harm.
  3. Do not condone or endorse any treatment by a pet’s owner that is physically or mentally cruel. We will opt out of a consulting agreement rather than attempt to manage an unethical course of action.
  4. We only consult with clients who offer cases that we have the professional competence to deal with.
  5. We only use procedures, protocols and training tools that are empirically based and have a proven track record.
  6. We always consider communications with our clients privileged. We will only break that confidentiality if a pet is being abused and the client cannot be dissuaded from using their current approach. We always act according to local and state laws in terms of reporting animal cruelty.
  7. We recognize that the pet’s owner is responsible for their pet and the owner has the right to make decisions about the professional treatment of their pet.
  8. Ensure all communications are professional and based in fact. When discussing industry practices, trends or issues, members will limit discussion to practices and consequences rather than the individuals using them thereby ensuring informed, professional and civil exchanges that enrich members and the industry of force-free pet professionals.
  9. Apply the following ethical principles to each situation you encounter:   
    • Respect for the freedom and dignity of others.
    • Do no harm.
    • Do good.
    • Act fairly.
    • Be faithful to promises made.

The Pet Professional Guild Vision

A world where people and pets can live together to their mutual benefit and where pets can live and function free from physical and mental pain, stress and fear as valued family members.

The Pet Professional Guild Mission

Our mission is to help make every pet a valued member of its family and improve the relationship and the quality of life people share with their pets by:

  • Providing the greatest value and highest quality, state-of-the-art, force-free, scientific based pet training and pet care for each client.
  • Always demonstrating integrity, compassion and an uncompromising commitment to excellence in the care and support of clients and their pets.
  • Continually expanding our knowledge and improving our skills to serve our clients as a valuable resource, providing the most innovative pet training and pet care possible.

 Our Pledge

  1. We pledge to use our knowledge and skills for the benefit of pets and their owners.
  2. We pledge to practice our profession conscientiously with dignity and in keeping with the principles of The Pet Professional Guild.
  3. We pledge to accept, as a lifelong obligation, the continual improvement of professional knowledge and competence.
  4. We pledge to commit to the highest professional and ethical standards in any business practices and in the approach to pet training and pet care.
  5. We pledge to always treat customers with respect, kindness and caring.
  6. We pledge to work openly and honestly with clients who share these values in their relationship with their pet and who: 
    • Enjoy working, playing and spending time with their pets.
    • Integrate their pets into their family and are willing to teach them how to live in human society.
    • Recognize and understand the value, effectiveness and power of force-free training methods.
    • Are dedicated to optimizing the physical, social and mental well-being of their pets.

 The Guild’s Key Values 

  • First, do no harm. Our ethical principles allow for no harm and provide for the well-being of each pet.
  • Emphasize a ‘holistic’, force-free approach to pet training and pet care by attending to the physical, emotional, and environmental well-being of pets in our care.
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