Dog Training World Forums Community Conduct Member's Create Our Code of Conduct Here Reply To: Member's Create Our Code of Conduct Here

  • Taylor Bagwell

    May 2, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    Looking at the IACP code of conduct, it seems to be pretty loose, allowing for each trainer to have a bit more freedom with what they do in their business. There is emphasis on being honest, maintaining the honor of the organization as a whole, and being competent. I do very much like how they mention seeking out help should expertise they don’t have be required in addition to furthering their knowledge in their field. It’s rather interesting that they specifically state that they aren’t to ban or restrict other professionals in the field, keeping the choice to use them to each individual trainer.

    That being said, there’s not really anything regarding the actual animals, focusing more on the owners and other trainers. I personally don’t like that they draw the line of membership to being convicted in court or lying to the organization. That just seems too far to me. Also, the professional judgement, while nice, does allow for a lot of interpretation. You can still be honest and respectful to the owner and see yourself as competent but still choke the dog out because you thinks that’s what’s best for the dog. It also worries me that they have to state the fees are a matter between the trainer and client. What does it say about the organization and the trainers in the industry that they felt the need to include that in their code of conduct?

    The APDT code of conduct is definitely more professional looking. Breaking out the rules into sections lets you see at a glance what the main focus of each rule is. The order also shows that clients come first to the organization. I don’t know if that’s why they had intended with that, but that’s the meaning that comes across to me. I really do love that one of the first rules is the safety of everyone, including the animals involved. The focus on local laws is also a big point, which can get trainers in a lot of trouble with clients if they don’t follow the local laws. Like the IACP, there is focus on honesty, competence, and not taking on cases above your abilities, in addition to furthering education.

    Something I don’t quite care for or understand the need to have a rule about is professional liability insurance coverage. That seems like it should be more of a personal choice for the individual trainer, unless required by law. The rules on advertising seem redundant with respect to the earlier rules regarding honesty, competence, and integrity. While the IACP seemed to vague and open with their rules, the APDT seems to have too many, several of which read as redundant to me.

    Going through both of these codes of conduct, there are aspects of both that I liked. Neither are inherently good or bad, but both seem to have a different focus and end goal for their respective codes of conduct. The IACP code seems more focused on the relationship between the trainer and client and the relationship between the trainer and other trainers. The APDT code seems focused on the business aspect of things. While I understand both points of view, I think a little more focus on the training aspect of things is appropriate.

    Here are my ten rule suggestions:

    1. Safety of dog, owner, and surrounding people and animals is first priority in all training or consultation sessions.

    2. Trainer will not force the client to do something they are not comfortable with or force them into any decisions.

    3. Basic procedures and policies will be disclosed upon first meeting. Details will be given upon request and/or before procedures begin so client can make an informed decision.

    4. Trainer will not bash or bully other trainers or dog owners.

    5. When taking a dog above your skill level for learning purposes, client must be informed of skill level and make the final decision. There must be complete transparency throughout.

    6. Trainers have the responsibility to consistently continue their education in the field/industry.

    7. Trainers will strive for honestly and transparency with all matters with the client. Fraud is unacceptable. Negligence or ignorance will be corrected upon trainers notification of the event.

    8. Trainers are familiar and abide by the associated local laws.

    9. Trainers do not release client information unless required by law or have prior approval from the client.

    10. Trainers strive to avoid conflicts of interests with all clients.

    Kim James