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

  • Brad Rimmel

    July 29, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    Hello all. Sorry that I am late to the conversation. Since the discussion thus far has been very robust and thoughtful, I’m not sure I can add much that has not already been discussed. That said, just some additional thoughts for consideration.

    By establishing a Code of Ethical Conduct, we are acknowledging that integrity and ethical conduct are fundamental to the core values of FSDT and vital to ensuring that those values are displayed in our daily interactions with clients, clients’ dogs, other trainers, and the public. The professionalism and high performance of FSDT is rooted in the highest standards of excellence, accountability, initiative, fairness, and respect. FSDT Certified Dog Technologists are guided by the simple principle to do “What is Right” for their clients and the clients’ dogs. Doing “What is Right” focuses on building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between owner and dog by applying the following Standards of Practice:

    1. Safety

    a. Always act in a manner that protects the safety of clients, clients’ dogs, and the public;

    b. Follow all state and local laws pertaining to canine activity and encourage clients to do the same.

    2. Integrity

    a. Always be truthful regarding your abilities, skills, and experience;

    b. If confronted with a problem outside the scope of your abilities, skills, or experience, seek science-based solutions and/or refer clients to a trusted trainer familiar with such issues.

    3. Excellence

    a. Utilize LIMA based principles always seeking to use the least aversive means possible to address the issue in question;

    b. Constantly be a student. Seek continued education to stay abreast of current information in the dog training profession.

    4. Accountability

    a. Always take responsibility for your own actions;

    b. Keep detailed training logs to verify accountability of services;

    c. Encourage owners to be accountable to their dogs by committing to investing the time and effort necessary to build a better owner / dog relationship.

    5. Initiative

    a. Seek creative science-based solutions to complex problems, but always be honest with your clients regarding your abilities, the issue presented, the abilities of the particular client and dog, and the degree of success / change that can reasonably be expected;

    b. Always abstain from making guarantees.

    6. Fairness

    a. Treat all people and dogs equally with dignity and professionalism.

    7. Respect

    a. Always respect your clients, colleagues, other trainers, and most importantly, the dogs imparted to your care, guidance, and training. Stress positive attitude and patience during training.

    8. Confidentiality

    a. Always maintain confidentiality. Do not disclose information pertaining to clients unless given express written permission or ordered to do so by a court of law.

    9. Transparency

    a. Always be truthful regarding your abilities, skills, and experience;

    b. Always obtain informed consent before rendering services to clients;

    c. Always ensure that clients understand the financial arrangement and fees associated with the services to be provided. Document by use of written contract or agreement.

    10. Best Business Practices

    a. Do not engage in any activity that may be illegal, fraudulent, deceptive, or have the appearance of impropriety;

    b. Give credit where credit is due. Acknowledge the accomplishments of predecessors and colleagues and do not represent information as your own if such is not accurate. Do not engage in deceptive or unfair advertising practices.

    c. As a professional, understand the risks inherent in the profession. Dog training has inherent risk of safety to you, your clients, clients’ dogs, and other individuals. Acknowledging this risk means protecting yourself legally. Always obtain a waiver of liability prior to rendering services. Obtaining an appropriate level of liability insurance is highly recommended.

    A quick comment on the Codes of Ethics by the APDT and the IACP. I liked the “principle based” approach from the APDT and felt the Code was well organized and the digital platform was easily accessible and user friendly. The Code was rather detailed, however; therefore, it was easy to get bogged down it into the minutiae and lose focus on the overriding theme, i.e., engaging in ethical conduct. On the other hand, I thought the IACP Code was concise and to the point, which lent itself to ease of understanding and practical usefulness. I was disappointed in both, though, from the perspective that neither really addressed the whole purpose of dog training, namely, to build a solid and beneficial relationship between the dog and owner so that both may experience a better quality of life.

    Kim James