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Pet Professional Guild Joins Six Leading Organizations to Support UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter
The Charter evolved of a recognition by the founding industry bodies (comprising PPG, the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers, International Canine Behaviourists (ICB), the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT), the Association of INTODogs, the UK College of Scent Dogs, and the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behaviour) of the need for a collaborative approach to the challenges that lie ahead for the industry, including regulation, canine welfare, and support of individual practitioners.
By setting out common values of welfare and professional conduct, the Charter aims to provide assurance to the public, other professional bodies, and government agencies that signatory organizations are committed to transparent complaints and grievance procedures that can be supported by independent arbitration if needed. As such, signatory organizations have agreed on a set of minimum standards of animal welfare and professional conduct to ensure practitioners use the most up-to-date and humane methodologies and tools. These include publicly pledging "not to endorse correction-based remote training devices or aversive stimuli that work through eliciting a withdraw reflex/response and/or an alarm reaction, and/or that cause pain and/or fear" (including shock collars, citronella collars, anti-bark collars, choke chains and prong collars). These stipulations must be referenced in the organization's code of practice with clear guidance to members. To help provide assurance and accountability to the public and other bodies, members of Charter organizations will be able to display the Charter symbol to show they have been checked, and are monitored and supported by a reputable organization, and have aligned themselves to the ethical, welfare and conduct obligations stated in the Charter.
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Since its inception in 2012, PPG has attracted and retained members who are committed to the pet's welfare and consider this to be their top priority at all times. PPG members pledge to focus on the implementation and practice of a holistic, "force-free" approach to pet training and care by attending to the physical, emotional and environmental well-being of every animal in their care, founded specifically on the principle of doing no harm given that there are perfectly humane and positive alternatives that are not packaged with problematic emotional consequences such as fear, anxiety and pain. An essential part of this force-free philosophy is to avoid any training methods or equipment that are aversive and/or punitive and that work by inflicting pain, force or fear. PPG members understand this to mean that any equipment and/or methods involving the use of shock, pain, choke, pain, force or fear are never employed to train or care for any pet under their charge.
"PPG's key goal is to drive and bring about change in the pet services industry, specifically the fields of training, behavior consulting and pet care," said PPG president Niki Tudge. "This sought-after change promotes scientific, humane and positive reinforcement-based methods and skill application in order to reach training, behavior modification, and pet care goals for both pets and their owners.
"To enact, promote and manage this scope of change, PPG needs to be at the forefront of shaping the industry. This means, as an organization, it must help guide, manage and, when necessary, reinforce small approximations of cultural shifts, behavior change or attitude adjustments towards the end goal when organizations, associations and individuals who are operating within the industry present them. By aligning with like-minded professional bodies under the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter, PPG has great confidence that both pets and their guardians can now look forward to greater transparency from the professionals they elect to work with while remaining assured that their pet's welfare will always be the top priority. The strong and visionary foundation brought about by this unified approach is sure to be a positive force in the United Kingdom as the pet industry evolves, and one which may, in time, inspire other countries to follow."
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About the Pet Professional Guild
The Pet Professional Guild is a 501(c)6 member organization founded on the principles of force-free training and pet care with Chapters in the UK and Australia. Its membership represents pet industry professionals who are committed to force-free training, pet care philosophies, practices and methods. Pet Professional Guild members understand force-free to mean: no shock, no pain, no choke, no pain, no fear, no force are employed to train or care for a pet.
About the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter
The UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter aims to make a clear statement regarding the future direction of the dog behavior and training industry in relation to professional standards, tools and methodologies. The welfare of the dogs lies at the heart of its mandate, making clear representation as to what is, and is not, acceptable in a modern, progressive profession. It also seeks to provide assurance to the public, other professional bodies, and government agencies that signatory organizations are committed to open, transparent and robust complaints and grievances procedures that can be supported by independent arbitration if needed.
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