Behavior Suppression Is Not the Same as Behavior Modification

By Jenny Efimova Reactive behavior is the tip of the iceberg. It’s what we see: the lunging, the barking, the snarling, the growling, etc. It’s what’s above the surface and it’s what we often want to stop. What we don’t see and what’s driving this behavior is the rest of the iceberg below: the fear, the anxiety, the stress, the […]

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Portland Blog Competition: Lessons from Bogie

By Shannon Finch  I want to warn you at the outset, Bogie’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for this dog, with mistakes compounded by more mistakes. It’s been over 15 years since I worked with Bogie, but I clearly remember every detail about him. He was a 7-month-old German shepherd with […]

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Pet Professional Guild Response To Joint Industry Code of Conduct

Official Pet Professional Guild (PPG) response to the announcement (September 11, 2018) by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) that they have combined to adopt a unified Code of Conduct, a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for professional animal behavior […]

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Pet Professional Guild Responds to the UK Government’s Decision to Ban Electronic Shock Collars in Pet Training, Care, Behavior Modification, and Management

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) fully supports and applauds the Government of the United Kingdom’s decision to implement a nationwide ban on the use of remote control electric shock collars for the training, management, and care for pets. Further, PPG is in full agreement with the U.K. Kennel Club (2018) that “the use of electric shock collars as a training method […]

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Pet Guardians Need Help Finding Professionals

As a professional dog trainer taking behavioral cases I see how confusing it can be for pet owners to know what sort of help they need and where to find it. Lack of regulation and transparency in the industry can lead pet guardians into pitfalls. This happened to a client whose dog was fearful of other dogs during leash walks. […]

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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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