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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An Open Letter to County Commissioners re: Consumer Transparency – the Methods Used in Animal Training, Care and Management Will Protect Pets, Their Owners, Local Residents and the Public at Large

Introduction: The Importance of Transparency between Clients and Service Providers Frieden (2013) states that: “Free and open information empowers people to make informed choices and reduces the likelihood that misinformation or hidden information will endanger health.” It is not unusual and, in many cases, is mandated, that providers and manufacturers of potentially dangerous services and products place warnings on said products, […]

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Case Study: Introducing a New Dog to Resident Cats

I used clicker training to help introduce my newly adopted dog, Ness, to the four cats in my household. Ness was under-socialized and had no experience with cats prior to adoption. The cats had only occasional exposure to visiting dogs during family holidays. During those visits, I provided my cats with a safe retreat and positive distractions such as Kongs […]

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