The Unintended Consequences of Shock

(Confidentiality Notice: Names in this blog have been changed to protect privacy, but the facts remain unchanged. Photographs have been used with written consent.) Betsy is a kind person who contacted a shelter in June of 2016 to help find a nice family dog to share her life with through adoption. She learned of Zelda, a female one year old […]

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The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on the Use of Shock in Animal Training

It is Pet Professional Guild’s (PPG) view that electric shock in the guise of training constitutes a form of abuse towards pets, and, given that there are highly effective, positive training alternatives, should no longer be a part of the current pet industry culture of accepted practices, tools or philosophies. In this position statement, PPG will combine decades of research […]

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The Science of Force-Free Learning: How Our Pets Learn!

Introduction Here at the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), we like to focus on building relationships with our pets by using positive reinforcement to train new skills, and to build new behaviors as replacements for problematic ones. Because the emotional brain inhibits the rational brain (and vice versa), nobody, and that includes our pets, can learn something constructive and pleasant when in a […]

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An Open Letter to Veterinarians on Referrals to Training and Behavior Professionals: Recommended Best Practices

Dear Veterinarian, There are numerous professional organizations that offer membership and credentials in the field of animal training and behavior. Few, however, hold their members to a strict code of conduct which involves the application of their trade through scientific protocols and the objective to cause no harm. Unfortunately, the pet training industry is entirely unregulated, meaning that anyone can […]

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An Open Letter To Pet Retailers Concerning The Availability of Pet Training and Management Devices That Deliver Electric Shock

In September 2017, the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) rolled out its Shock-Free Coalition, the key purpose of which is to build a strong and broad movement committed to eliminating electric shock devices from the worldwide supply and demand chain. It is our intent to fully realize the goal of shock tools and equipment being universally unavailable and no longer permitted […]

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Santa Claus May Scare Dogs

People around the world enjoy the winter season and many nations celebrate a version of Saint Nicholas. In the United States I witnessed an increase in commercialization and marketing hype since I was a child and Christmas decorations now appear after Halloween in my locale.  There is a lot of social pressure to “be happy” during the Christmas season. Personal […]

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An Open Letter to Pet Industry Representatives Regarding the Use of Shock in Animal Training, Management and Care: We now know enough to stop shocking our pets

Shocking pet dogs remains a common, if controversial, training practice worldwide. In this open letter, Pet Professional Guild (PPG) combines decades of research, the opinions of certified animal behaviorists, and the question of ethics to explain why using electric shock in the name of training and care is both ineffective and harmful. PPG concludes that shocking constitutes a form of […]

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Being Your Dog’s Best Advocate

In 2012, my wife and I enrolled in a therapy dog training class which led to a Pet Partners evaluation process for therapy animal teams. I partnered with Buddha and my wife partnered with Gandhi. It was only by working closely together for our mutual benefit that we truly became teams and passed the evaluation. The instructor taught me two […]

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