Calls on organizations representing pet professionals to drive significant change by publicly saying “no” to any training technique that causes pain or fear
TAMPA, Fla. – March 6, 2017 – PRLog — Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has released an open letter to pet industry representatives on the use of electric shock as a tool for training and behavior modification in pets. In the letter, PPG draws on a number of scientific studies and surveys to explain why shock constitutes a form of abuse towards pets, and should no longer be a part of the current pet industry culture of accepted practices, equipment or philosophies, particularly when there are highly effective, positive, humane and scientifically sound alternatives.
One such study is Ziv’s (2017) The Effects of Using Aversive Training Methods in Dogs – A Review, recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. Ziv concludes that “there is “no evidence to suggest that aversive training methods are more effective than reward based training methods” and that, in fact, studies suggest “the opposite might be true – in both pets and working dogs.” At the outset of the letter, PPG asks three key questions of professional associations and credentialing bodies, speculating whether they can work within the confines of applied animal behavior without endorsing or enabling shock collar practitioners;
PPG notes that there are many “organizations, associations and councils responsible for the representation, guidance and certification of pet industry professionals”
PPG goes on to point out that industry associations and credentialing bodies “play a critical role in establishing and recommending best practices, education, leadership and technical standards in their respective arena. With this role comes the obligation to take a transparent and consistent position on important and urgent issues, including training practices and equipment use.” The letter states that professional animal training and behavior associations must take “full responsibility for the fact that pet owners are encouraged to purchase services from their members purely by association, and through their efforts to market said members to the general pet owning public.” PPG recognizes, however, that this, unfortunately, “does not take into account the vast differences in methodology and philosophy that may exist across an organization’s membership body.”
“Because of this, there is little, if any, transparency in terms of the risks and benefits associated with the type of training, behavior modification or pet care services provided, nor any differentiation between members of professional associations who practice a force-free training philosophy, and those who still risk physical or psychological harm to pets through their approach and the use of aversive tools and techniques,”