Are Head Halters Like Prongs?

By Yvette Van Veen Are Head Halters Like Prongs? Head halters took the training world by storm years ago.  Some trainers are hanging up their head halters because they simply don’t like how dogs seem to fight them.  Other trainers, those who use force have long tried to make the claim that head halters are no different from prong collars. Generally, the argument […]

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The Last Trip To the Vet: What If Your Pet’s Last Breath Is on the Operating Table?

Alex in the foreground, with Rusty and Andrew behind him—photo from 1993. Yes, they are in a bathtub. Many years ago I lost Alexander, my dear, dear cat to stomach cancer. This was before veterinary medicine had the technology that’s available today. It was also before I took as proactive an approach to my animals’ health and welfare needs as […]

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Portland Blog Competition: Canine Aggression – The Public Perception

By Hannah Blumenfeld  “Not a nice dog,” says the woman on the sidewalk. Lucy and I had just walked past her, and although I was shoving treats in Lucy’s mouth, the woman locked eyes with my beautiful beast. This scares the bejeezus out of Lucy, so she barks. And, yes, sometimes lunges. I do not correct the woman; I don’t […]

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My Dog Is Afraid of the Clicker. What Should I Do?

I wrote this article especially for people who are either new to using a clicker or have not dealt extensively with a fearful dog. If your dog is scared by the noise of the clicker, slow down. Switch to a verbal marker for now. Don’t immediately focus on trying to achieve softer clicks. Here’s why. Rat terrier Kaci says, “Train me!” […]

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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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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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