MemberJune 12, 2023 at 1:20 pm1900
here are my suggestions to supplement the Code of Ethics.
I apologize in advance for my English, but I hope everything will be understandable and clear.
1. The trainer is responsible for ensuring the safety of participants, bystanders and the dog, which he does by informing the client about what steps he should take before and during the training – e.g. purchase of appropriate quality training equipment.
Comment: it often happens that the client brings a dog to training in a poor quality collar or harness that can be damaged and cause the dog to run away, the same applies to the leash. Providing the owner with minimal precautions, adjusting the collar, using an undamaged leash gives comfort to both the trainer and the owner, and also ensures the safety of training.
2. The trainer does not impose the behavior towards the dog on the client – with the exception of point 1. If the client makes a decision that raises the trainer’s doubts, he should inform the client of the potential consequences so that the client is aware of them.
3. Confidentiality – the trainer does not provide information about the client and his dog to third parties, does not record the client’s image in the form of photos and/or video without his express consent. Sharing the recordings or the training process with other people, e.g. for educational purposes, should also take place only with the express consent of the client.
4. We work with the client and the dog as they are. It is forbidden to evaluate any actions from the past, e.g. regarding the dog’s upbringing mistakes. Thanks to this, we increase the client’s trust in the trainer as a professional.
5. The trainer should not discredit the work of other trainers. It should be our job to ensure that we raise awareness of professional dog training, not to ridicule someone else’s work or try to destroy the competition.
Comment: in my home market there are schools – quite large and well-known, which regularly try to discredit the work of other trainers. Such behavior is unethical and should not take place. I believe that such practices should be eliminated using possible legal means.
6. The trainer should adapt the activities to local laws.
7. The trainer should conclude an agreement/contract with the client, which describes the terms of cooperation, including the financial aspect.
Comment: such formalization of cooperation gives security to both the client and the trainer, as it allows you to clearly and precisely set the conditions. It also gives you the opportunity to pursue legal claims, if any, and defend against claims.
8. The trainer undertakes to train the dog to the extent it is prepared. It is unacceptable to train in a field in which the trainer would improvise due to lack of knowledge.
9. The trainer should use only such tools that he knows and understands their operation based on scientific knowledge. The trainer should work with awareness of the potential risks resulting from the techniques and tools he uses and always choose the path that brings the greatest profit for the dog and at the same time the least discomfort.
Comment: I have seen many times how trainers fascinated by some new tool heavily abused it, trying to take shortcuts, which did not bring training benefits, but had a negative impact on the emotions of the dog and the owner.
10. The trainer should always maintain the highest possible standard of knowledge. If the client disagrees, starts a discussion trying to impose a different way or solutions, we should be prepared to lose the client, instead of keeping him at all costs.
Comment: I have met clients many times who tried to impose solutions or negated the proposed solutions. Compromise never led to success, the client, the dog and me as a trainer lost – I gained a dissatisfied client.
11. The client should be informed about the opinion about the dog directly and not withhold information only because the client feels better.
Comment: Customers are often not objective in their assessment of their dog. Make them aware of the problem and its consequences. Otherwise, it can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between the trainer and the client.
12. As professionals, we should pay attention to other aspects such as the condition of the dog, its health, diet, etc. If necessary, we should undertake three-way cooperation Trainer – Client – Veterinarian.
Comment: It happens that the client is not aware of his dog’s health problem. A dog that suffers from pain, for example, will not cooperate and learn like a healthy dog, which means that training may be ineffective. Also, training work with a sick dog can worsen its health.
13. You should train, exchange experience with other trainers, improve your competences and maintain the most up-to-date knowledge based on new scientific experiences.
14. Transparency of the trainer by not concealing information about his work and experience, as well as by not making false statements, e.g. about skills, certificates or training programs.
Comments: I’ve come across a situation many times where a trainer claimed to have “invented” or “developed” a technique when it turned out that they were borrowed from trainers from another country. The same applies to training materials when the trainer claims to be the author, but in fact the materials are copied from the programs of other trainers from other countries. I consider such practices unethical and dishonest. Respecting copyright seems to me paramount in maintaining transparency and purity.
Ok. For me – and as I’ve noticed for most people here – apdt’s code of ethics is clearer and more specific, as opposed to the rather general rules of iacp. The issue of advertising discussed by apdt seems redundant – probably in most places in the world it will be governed by local regulations. Transparency seems to be a matter of course, but it is one of the points I made above – I do not see the need for additional specific regulation on advertising and marketing.
An interesting topic (apdt) seems to be the procedure for submitting and examining ethics complaints. This may indeed be an important issue that should also find its place here.