Code of Ethics

K9 Kind Dog Training & Behaviour Consulting Code of Ethics

Our Code of Ethics serves as guiding principles that shape our work as a business. We are committed to honouring these values and to putting them into action in our services and professional conduct.

Integrity

Team members and staff of K9 Kind adhere to the highest professional standards befitting a complex, helping profession. These include:

1. Aversive-Free Training Philosophy

Action: While K9 Kind recognizes that it is still legal in most jurisdictions to use P+ (Positive Punishment), and R- (Negative Reinforcement), tools and techniques on dogs, there is ample evidence in both the pure and applied literature that training and behaviour modification can be accomplished without the use of aversive stimuli and their attendant side effects and impact on dog welfare. Team members and staff practice and endorse training and behaviour modification that does not employ pain, fear, startle, electric shock, intimidation, fear tactics, strangulation or other forms of P+ or R-.

2. Evidence-Based Practice and Intellectual Integrity

Action: Competence at dog training, behaviour modification and effective skill-building in owners relies on a thorough knowledge of the principles of operant and classical conditioning, as well as their efficient application in pet dog settings. Furthermore, the dog owning public is best protected as consumers of dog training and behaviour modification services if questions of motivation and side-effects are transparent. Competence and transparency are therefore critical to our work. Obfuscation of means of motivation that is based either on poor knowledge of animal learning or deliberate attempts to hide or re-brand techniques and tools is unacceptable practice.

Misrepresenting to clients, other professionals or the public how training and behaviour modification work is dishonest and unethical.

3. Professional Demeanour, Collegial Atmosphere, Etiquette

Action: Team members and staff uphold a professional relationship with both our canine and human client. We require our team to behave with respect, honesty, diplomacy and professionalism towards not only our clients, but our colleagues and the canine community.

4. Provide a comprehensive, science-based services on aversive-free pet dog training, behaviour and behaviour modification so that dogs:

a. are not relinquished to shelters and rescues due to behaviour problems,

b. are integrated into families and not relegated to yards, garages or kennels,

c. are socialized, have high quality of life, enriched environments, and a sense of safety

d. are understood by their human families and allowed to engage in species-normal behaviour, empowered to access reinforcers (e.g. attention, play, food, toys, smells etc.) in ways that are acceptable in a human environment.

Action: Require all team members and staff to agree to, sign, and abide by K9 Kind’s Code of Ethics.

5. Promote responsible breeding, adhering to behavioural and medical standards as recommended by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
6. Support animal rescue organizations.
Action: K9 Kind promotes responsible breeding and supports animal rescue organizations by means of education, endorsement, promotion, donations, volunteering and cooperation.

Education

K9 Kind believes that Dog Trainers should be knowledgeable and who’s knowledge is based on current, sound scientific principles.
Action: Promote universal understanding of, and respect for dog training and behaviour consulting as a profession by endorsing strict adherence to scientific and humane methods.

Action: Require staff to enrol in a recognized certification program (Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers – https://www.ccpdt.org/, Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers – https://www.academyfordogtrainers.com/), or other similar program approved by K9 Kind Dog Training & Behaviour Consulting.


Scientific Principles

We are committed to current behavioural science and its application to dog training and behaviour consulting.

Action: Resources are sourced from accredited professionals in animal behaviour and also adhere to our mandate.

Action: Strive to make decisions based on comprehensive research, aggregate data, and expert opinions.

January 2020

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