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The PPG Guiding Principles are divided into two sections. Section One: The Non-Negotiables and Section Two: The Mission, Vision and Values. You can download the full document below.

The 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 that:

No shock, No prong, No choke and No Pain, No fear, No Force are ever employed in the training, behavior modification, care, or management of any pet.

Definition of Force

Any definition can never be so expansive and explicit that every possible situation is addressed. This is universal in its application. A good example is 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 in the context of its Guiding Principles and as a general framework, the Pet Professional Guild defines physical force as “any intentional physical act against a pet that causes psychological or physical pain, harm or damage to the pet.” 


Certain equipment is covered above in the Non-Negotiables. Clearly, the use of many (or even most) harnesses, head halters, collars (non-choking) and leashes would not be considered physical force under this guiding definition if

  1. they are used consistently 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 that would cause psychological or physical pain, harm or damage.

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