Science shows a positive, reward-based approach to dog training is best, say Australia’s leading pet training organisations.
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT) and Pet Professionals Guild Australia (PPGA) have joined forces to promote the use of humane, positive reinforcement methods to Aussie dog owners and the dog training industry.
“Reward-based training methods—using no force, no fear, no pain and no compulsion—are backed by scientific research, are shown to work most effectively at improving behaviour outcomes and have no side effects on the dogs,” said PPGA president Barbara Hodel.
To this end, both organisations are calling for an overhaul of 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,” Hodel said.
The PPGA and APDT encourage dog owners to instead use force-free, formally educated and scientifically-sound trainers and/or behaviour consultants to address their pet’s training and behaviour issues.
“Positive training techniques involve using as little equipment as possible and aim to get the dogs to participate of their own free will,” Hodel said, adding that dog training in Australia is not government regulated.
“Everyone can and does call themselves a dog trainer without any formal qualification or following a code of ethics of a professional organisation,” APDT president Louise Ginman said.
“Dog owners seeking help from a dog trainer should ensure they have at least a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services by a reputable provider and use positive reinforcement methods.”