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

  • Member's Create Our Code of Conduct Here

    Posted by Michael D’Abruzzo on April 11, 2021 at 1:59 am

    Use this forum to start discussing what you think our code of conduct should be if we are taking paid jobs from the public.

    Please compare and contrast the differences between the IACP and APDT to use as potential models, and feel free to create points that may not exist in either. This thread will remain open throughout the course.

    Keep in mind that the better the code of conduct that we adhere to, especially if it meets and exceeds the code of conduct of other organizations, it will give a strong marketing edge as well as fulfill our ethical obligations.

    To fulfill this part of the coursework:

    Please start with at least 10 rules that trainers should abide by that you feel the most passionate about.

    Then, as other members start to post, reply to two other member’s posts about rules you would like to add to their list or a rule that you would like to fine tune the wording to. Be sure to explain WHY. Original posts DO NOT NEED to be edited after a suggestion is given, but discussion is encouraged.

    If you are passionate about this subject feel free to keep the discussion going.

    This will give us the head start we need, to form a code of conduct committee, and have our first member created code of conduct for 5.0 Foundation Style Dog Trainers.

    A final code of conduct will have each rule individually voted upon by all members that fulfill the obligations of the course.

    Post your work directly into the replies. Please don’t post files to download for this project.

    Themis replied 2 weeks, 5 days ago 15 Members · 47 Replies
  • 47 Replies
  • Arthur Lopatin

    April 11, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    This is based on reading IACP vs CFDT codes. I gotta think about the 10 rules some more.

    IACP Code vs APDT Code

    IACP is poorly written and vague. APDT is well written but maybe too long. The APDT code is, IMO, much better than IACP’s. I think that w/some tweaking to make it FSDT-specific, it might be a good model.

    I think FSDT code should be as well written as APDT’s but maybe briefer and perhaps more specific re LIMA

    Questions re: the APDT doc:

    Principle 3.5 Trainers/behavior consultants refrain from providing guarantees regarding the specific outcome of training and behavior plans.

    Me: On the one hand, guarantees are a bad idea, but on the other, aren’t clients entitled to a clear plan: how long? How much? Chances of success? Etc etc. You don’t want to defraud by making false claims, but clients are entitled to an accurate estimate.

    3.9 Trainers/behavior consultants do not advise on problems outside the recognized professional education and certifications, and do not provide advice or recommendations in areas of veterinary medicine or family counseling unless licensed and qualified to do so.

    Me: This is potentially a grey area. When you work with people and their dogs, you are, ipso facto, involved in a personal relationship w/both the people and their dogs. It’s relevant to doing right by both. For sure, you shouldn’t be giving clinical advice, but you do need to be sensitive to peoples’ situations and there’s a grey area between being a clinician and speaking honestly, politely, candidly about, for example, Attitude. For example, the appropriate thing to do w/someone who can’t control their anger toward their dog (or their spouse) when they are training w/you – after you have explained the importance of Attitude – is to suggest they seek professional help.

    Bottom Line: IMO, ‘professionalism’ can be a loaded, vague term and become an excuse for not calling attention – politely, appropriately – to things that impinge on your being a good LIMA trainer.

    4.1 Trainers/behavior consultants are respectful of colleagues and other professionals and do not condemn the character of their professional acts, nor engage in public commentary, including commentary in public presentations, written media or on websites, internet discussion lists or social media, that is disrespectful, derisive or inflammatory. This includes cyberbullying, that is, the use of electronic media for deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior against colleagues.

    Me: True. But at the same time, constructive criticism, is healthy, preferably w/o naming names but naming them if it’s relevant. Esp if u are calling out outrageous, callous, dishonest stuff. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a confidential, nonthreatening venue for ‘balanced’ trainers to engage in shop talk and mutual criticism? If such a venue exists, I don’t know about it.

    Re: the non discrimination part in both IACP & APDT, some questions:

    What about – for example – refusing someone who tells you he supports Al Qaeda? Has a swastika tatoo? Etc etc etc. Would I be violating the IACP or APDT code of ethics by refusing them as a client and they filed a complaint against me??

    What about telling someone handicapped that, with apologies — I don’t have the facilities to help someone in your particular situation.

    In short I think this has to be very carefully worded to penalize/terminate blatant discrimination but w/o going overboard.


    A Few Suggestions for FSDT Code of Conduct

    Brief, to-the-pt description of CFDT. What it is, what makes it unique, even within the ‘balanced training community.’ And/or reference to something like the Become a Member Today page [ https://dogtraining.world/part2/?mepr-unauth-page=20796&redirect_to=%2Flive-classroom%2F with special focus on the triangle/lima….

    Procedure for members of the public/customers and CFDT trnrs to register complaints

    Who will decide if complaints are valid?

    Who will adjudicate complaints

    Procedure for deciding if a complaint is valid.

    Procedure for adjudicating complaints

    Categorization of complaints by severity, and their associated penalties

    In other words different penalties for financial malfeasance vs endangering dogs and members of the public vs outright cruelty vs badmouthing another trainer vs bad behavior toward client/member of the public

    • Dave Page

      April 11, 2021 at 9:54 pm

      Having so much more about the business ethics and responsibilities which is similar in any business I find the lack of purpose driven ethics and mention of improving quality of life odd.

      Definitely expected more than passing mention of dogs from an organization design around dogs. Comes across as generic copy and paste.

    • Allie McCain

      April 12, 2021 at 5:07 pm

      The guarantees/ lesson plan is difficult to predict. The only thing I can guarantee is that i am in invested in their success. I can explain what the training can achieve and what I want them to have, but I always tell people that their progress is entirely up to them. In fact I just had a puppy completely do a 180 in progress because as she was doing better they totally stopped practicing leadership and were carrying her around and having her on their lap ALOT. They were also not practicing obedience consistently. She came over after a few weeks off (due to family emergencies and weather) and was meant to go from P2 recall into P3 but she wanted NOTHING to do with her handler, so we did something else but we had to pump the breaks.

      Also the vet thing is tricky because not all vets are the same and they don’t all know about nutrition or holistic treatments, so their feeding plans and choices of treatment are sometimes super wonky…. but I can only make suggestions, if they ask me and even then I tell them that I can only provide them research info and they should make their choices based off their comfort level.

    • Allie McCain

      April 12, 2021 at 11:40 pm

      Good call on complaints. Lots to think about there? What would a complaint form look like?

  • Dave Page

    April 11, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    IACP is a bit jumbled and difficult to understand.

    Good base yet Overall theme seems to be organizational appearance giving the sense of being people/organization and money centric.

    I see one mention (7) of dog quality of life. 12 and 13.

    APDT is well written. Much of section I is about respect, as well as 2/3’s of section II.

    Once again mostly organizational appearances and business ethics (aka respect) with little mention of training ethics.

    In neither of their code of ethics was a stated purpose of the organization regarding advocacy of dogs.

    • Allie McCain

      April 12, 2021 at 5:13 pm

      I love that you brought this up. A lot of it is based around how the client and trainer should base their relationship but the dog takes a back seat…in reality the dog and handlers relationship should be at the forefront.

      • Dave Page

        April 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm


        The professionals relationship to the owner should be secondary to improving the relationship between the owner and dog. In some cases a dogs life chould depend on it.

        As long as the trainer deals ethically; applying all their knowledge and skills; to assist the owner/dog in reach training/behavioral goals their relationship with the trainer will improve as well if only from the sense of accomplishment

        I find the business/appearance centric nature distasteful.

        Would much rather see code of ethics more results oriented.

        Their code of ethics seem to be derived from a past generation when many dogs were merely considered ornaments or tools to be traded and sold.

        From overall theme in social media there seems to be more movement towards seeing dogs as valued members of the family, I think a code of ethics speaking to said trend would tend to draw a bit more attention from them.

        Personally Tried everything I could get my hands on then found Foundation style and joined to have a better relationship and improve my dog’s quality of living

  • Dave Page

    April 11, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    <div>Here’s my quick code of ethical conduct.</div>

    Foundation style trainers endeavor to ethically improve the quality of life for both the owner’s and K-9’s through a fair exchange and incorporating Least Invasive Minimal Aversive strategy to illicit improved communication, competency, and co-operation between K-9 and owner.


    1. Respect: Treat all clients (clients referring to dog and owner) ethically honoring the diversity of personalities in individuals and temperaments of the breeds by tailoring training to individual learning speed.

    Respect should include:

    A) Honesty with the client on achieving their goals

    B) Transparency of training methods and competency

    C) Confidentiality in all aspects when dealing with a client unless given express permission

    D) Accountability in all areas of training, care, and advisement.

    2. Integrity: Treat each client, and situation with same courtesy, as all others. Understanding by incorporating Least Intrusive Minimally Averse treatment we show respect for the owners situation as well as the dog, and exhibit the integrity to go at the needed pace for each.

    A) To the best of our ability work with the clients to speedily help them reach their goals while simultaneously keeping in mind and informing them beforehand each dog has it’s own pace.

    3. Loyalty to the profession, K-9 advocacy, and client can be should be exhibited at all times even with a willingness to refer to another trainer who may have experience necessary to assist them in achieving their training goals if we lack said ability.

    4. Objective: in the capability of the dog, and client to reach stated goals in timeframe they hope to achieve it.

    A) Objective honesty with the owner in capability of their dog breed to achieve goals of the owner.

    5. Be Responsible: Both in the industry, and personal actions by erring on the side of caution in consults, actions, and advice.

    6. Refrain from discussion of other trainers, and focus on the task at hand.

    7. Responsibility: Have a sense of responsibility in meeting the needs of owner and dog.

    In coming to a FSDT they have shown a belief in our competency to show them a path to achieving a happier and better behaved dog, as such to the best of our ability we should be responsible enough to maintain the availability to help them through to the end.

    A) Diplomatically Instill in the owner a responsibility to meet the drives and needs of their dog.

    8. Safety: Ensure to fully inform the owners, of any precautions necessary so general public, owner, handlers, and bystanders are always safe.

    9. Stewardship: As a dog trainer we need to recognize we are stewards not only of an industry, but also advocates for better quality of life for both owners and dogs; In doing so we are also being stewards of our industry and unethical treatment, ill-advised information can tarnish, the individual trainer, the Foundation, and industry in general

    10. Fairness: Instill in those we work with a sense of fairness regarding their relationship with their dog to promote better quality of life and co-operation between human and K-9.


    1. Treat others (human and K-9) with same regard as we would want to be treated

    2. Advocate for fairness and competency

    3. Tailor plans according to specific situation

    4. Keep stewardship in mind.

    5. Have safety of all on mind


    1. Give a definite time line you can’t keep. We are working with different temperaments and personalities.

    2. Give off hand advice without a consult and evaluating personally


    • Allie McCain

      April 12, 2021 at 11:38 pm

      So much good stuff! Well written This was my fav!

      2. Integrity: Treat each client, and situation with same courtesy, as all others. Understanding by incorporating Least Intrusive Minimally Averse treatment we show respect for the owners situation as well as the dog, and exhibit the integrity to go at the needed pace for each.

      A) To the best of our ability work with the clients to speedily help them reach their goals while simultaneously keeping in mind and informing them beforehand each dog has it’s own pace.

    • Nicole Ticehurst

      April 13, 2021 at 1:42 am

      I think this is great. I especially like the Integrity part. It helps to keep us accountable when realizing that some clients will not be as easy as others to work with, or for that matter, to like.

    • Errich Schmidt Schmidt

      April 14, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      Dave I like how your code of conduct is well rounded and to the point, and how you also kept the dogs the focus.

    • Taylor Bagwell

      May 2, 2021 at 10:26 pm

      I love #10 “Fairness: Instill in those we work with a sense of fairness regarding their relationship with their dog to promote better quality of life and co-operation between human and K-9.” That just really seems to bring home that it’s the relationship between dog and human that we’re focusing on improving rather than just simple obedience or behavior fixes.

      The sum up at the end with the always and never is an awesome idea. I’ve seen other places and professions have similar main rules like that. To me, that really is a good way to go about things.

  • Dave Page

    April 11, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    Thought i proof read better. Number 7 was supposed to be about purpose.

  • Allie McCain

    April 12, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    I am really struggling with the APDT referencing LIMA, and denying dominance. Steven R Lindsay is the creator of LIMA and he discusses dominance and positive punishment in the same books that LIMA was pulled from. So for me the code of conduct from the APDT especially regarding misrepresentation and honesty is immediately tainted. The APDT covered “front of house” behavior in detail and then had a section for LIMA complaints to be filed. Again, the information on the site, and the code of conduct just didn’t connect, so I can’t pull from it. ALTHOUGH the idea of an accountability system for clients is a good idea, standards for the way dogs should be treated during training was not outlined. I attached the dominance theory article below.

  • Allie McCain

    April 12, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    The IACP had one thing that really stood out to me:

    8. IACP members may not seek to deprive any canine professional of his or her ability to

    conduct his or her business by seeking to restrict or ban accepted and established tools

    of the trade, or by seeking to restrict or ban accepted and established techniques and

    practices within the industry through calls for boycotts, restrictions, bans, or other

    actions designed to interfere with free marketplace participation of a canine professional

    in his or her business. Accepted and established tools of the trade include, but are not limited to,

    leashes, harnesses, training collars, slip collars, prong collars, head halters, remote electronic c

    collars, and electronic pet containment systems. Accepted and established techniques and practices

    include, but are not limited to, those techniques and practices described in published books, videos,

    and professional seminars. A personal preference shall be allowed in the individual member’s

    choice of methods, equipment and techniques within their own practice.

    I love this in that it sets the expectation that tools are not the same as training, abuse, or education. It also discourages members from saying “I’m better than XYZ because I don’t/do use “this” tool.

    I know this is about code of conduct but I really feel like the rest of the site is important to look at for context. This was in the mission statement:

    9. Encourages and supports the establishment of dog parks, training and exercise areas within local communities.

    <font face=”inherit”>It does seem like both of these organizations are most concerned with </font>standardizing<font face=”inherit”> the way </font>trainers<font face=”inherit”> present to the public and how they represent an industry that allows for differing opinions to be equally qualified as education based on individual preference. </font>

    <font face=”inherit”>

    Estheticians (in the US) all have to know the same base knowledge, they have to pass safety tests and prove continually to a state board ethical practice. I just feel like style or tool preference is one thing, but bending animal sciences and behavior to promote marketing ideology is detrimental to dogs and their handlers. If trainers can sell differing definitions of aggression, operant conditioning, canine genetics etc. then we aren’t ever going to be able to reach our potential as an industry and so many dogs and people will suffer as a result.

  • Nicole Ticehurst

    April 13, 2021 at 2:40 am

    I agree with Dave, that IACP seemed generic copy and paste. It does not even mention ethics except in item 14. when it says a member should cooperate with an Ethics Committee (should one be assigned)…. It was limited in content and I also agree it was lacking a focus on the dog, and what I think should be a necessary mention of improving quality of life.

    I did, however, like:

    2. Assist in maintaining the honor and reputation of the IACP and their Profession and avoid any form of fraud, deception or impropriety, discrimination or violence.

    I think it’s important to include this idea in our code of ethics, though worded quite differently.

    APDT was much more thorough. In fact, so thorough it seemed excessive and redundant, bordering on arrogant. It reads very Corporate.

    I found it disturbing just how much of the document is based on complaints, and how little of such a large document was based on Responsibility to the Profession.

    What I did like about the APDT, was that it calls out each as “Principles”, to follow, versus a list of rules to abide by.

    I like 3.3 where it states that we shall ..”maintain adequate knowledge..” and think we should call out that as a FSDT, we maintain to stay accountable to each other, and to continue to further our knowledge.

    I found typos and grammatical errors in both, which irritate me immediately.

    • Taylor Bagwell

      May 2, 2021 at 10:34 pm

      I agree that the APDT was redundant and reads very corporate. Though, your catch on them using the word “Principles” is a good one. I hadn’t noticed that.

      Out of curiosity, when you mention how the second rules of the IACP should be worded quite differently, what sort of wording do you have in mind?

      Keeping accountable to each other is a good point. No bashing or bullying, but accountability can go a long way to keeping everyone on track and focused on what’s most important. Very good catch.

  • Sharon Blakeney-McDonald

    April 13, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    I’m not sure if I’m on the right track here but I’ve picked out the keywords to analyse the difference between IACP vs APDT. My concern with the IACP is there no enforcement for their code of conduct.

    IACP Association – depends on the members and their services to make an impact upon the profession (determined by reputation/ability).

    If members are to be best served by IACP then they need to comply with the code of conduct requirements.

    Ending with the statement being: the Association shall not and cannot be responsible for individual acts of its member.

    There are no clear definitions of which consequences will be taken if members don’t comply with the requirements of the code of conduct.

    Rule 14. Cooperate with the IACP’s President, Board of Directors or Ethics Committee (should one be assigned) on any reported violations. Following a full investigation and adjudication of any violation, the Ethics Committee will be required to make recommendations to the Board of Directors on any action that may be taken. The final decision will rest with the Board.

    How can you report a violation when one has not been assigned?

    Should one be assigned the decision rests with the board. No mention of any notification for all members of the association to be aware that the violation had been dealt with.

    If the association is relying on its member’s reputations/abilities then those members need to know they are being protected by the code of conduct being enforce from others not complying and abiding by the code of conduct.


    APTD was created to set forth guidelines for members. However, any members are subject to termination of membership.

    APTD Association gives consequences to those who do not follow their guidelines of conduct.

    They also put forth ethical principles with LIMA where the majority of dog training professionals philosophy would be in agreement, regardless of training methods and tools maximize the ability to uphold a Code of Ethics.

  • Arthur Lopatin

    April 14, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    ‘Nother good Code. Maybe better than IACP’s….https://m.iaabc.org/about/ethics/

    • Dave Page

      April 15, 2021 at 11:48 am

      I do like this portion in the about section:

      “<b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;”>Who We Are

      IAABC members believe in the study and science of behavior consulting. We understand that animal behavior consultants can assist owners in managing and modifying problem behaviors, and in the process help strengthen the relationships between an owner and pet.”

      I looked and may have missed it, but in the other 2 I never saw such a statement.

    • Kirsten Watry

      August 23, 2022 at 5:17 pm

      It is interesting how similar IAABC and APDT’s codes of ethics are. CCPDT’s code of ethics uses the term “humane hierarchy” rather than LIMA, which is the version of LIMA used by those organizations. I think all of their rules are similar, but CCPDT’s is more simplistic (I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I also don’t think it is necessarily superior to the others).
      CCPDT code of ethics: https://www.ccpdt.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Code-of-Ethics.pdf

      Humane Hierarchy: https://www.ccpdt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Application-of-the-Humane-Hierarchy-Position-Statement.pdf

  • Errich Schmidt Schmidt

    April 14, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Sorry for taking so long it is rushed but here it is

    Foundation Style Dog Trainers (FSDT) shall follow the code of conduct by:

    Being honest, truthful, and forthcoming in business and in character. Will not hide any information like bite history. Trainers will not take on any business they are not qualified as well as maintain consistent pricing, and not promise anything that you can’t deliver.

    Honoring any promises we make to our clients. We must be reliable to our clients and K9 alike. We want our clients to know what service they are receiving from us it will be honest and true above the standards of the industry.

    Being open and showing the training methods, being willing to show all aspects or the business as long it doesn’t interfere with clients confidentiality.

    Be accountable for any misconduct and accept consequences of your actions.

    Never share any information about any clients without their written permission. It is ok to talk to the FSDT community as long as we do not divulge any personal information about our clients.

    Being loyal to the client and their interests. Helping the client to meet their goals as long it is legal and ethical.

    Must remain objective, to further the knowledge of yourself and the community. If you are biased then your are closed to new ideas and methods, which will hinder the betterment of our profession.

    Being respectful in all interactions with our clients, their dogs, and the community.

    Never step out of the bounds of your knowledge. Continue your education and better yourself and your peers. We have come so far in the way dogs are trained, we need to keep getting better.

    Must obey all laws and regulations. Remember just because its legal doesn’t make it ethical or responsable.

    Reading the IACP and APDT

    It appears to me the IACP is more focused on legality and saving the image of the organisation. If their code of conduct would be a little more focused on dogs I would be happy to use their model. It’s short and to the point not leaving much to not being understood.

    TE APDT Is in depth and detailed. Their code is explained more and doesn’t leave much to be disputed.

    • Allie McCain

      April 16, 2021 at 3:02 am

      Be accountable for any misconduct and accept consequences of your actions.

      love this one!

  • Judy B.

    April 14, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Code of Conduct

    Here are some initial bullet points that come to mind

    1. Will not engage in any form of harassment or tolerate disrespectful communication, trolling etc.

    2. Have integrity, be honest and upfront with all clients / provide transparency

    3. Conduct all plans in the best interest of the dog / owner

    4. Always safety first

    5. Report all concerns in good faith to moderator / admin

    6. Privacy for all clients

    7. Abide by local area dog laws

    8. Be reliable / communicate with clients

    9. Use training tools only as outlined/approved by FSDT

    10. Report all concerns for breech in conduct in good faith to moderator for report to admin / or admin

    11. Always strive for continued improvement

    12. If you need help, ask, turn to the site

    • Dave Page

      April 15, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Regarding 7: Glad you brought it up.

      I may be odd one out due to location. Probably not something most trainers will ever have to deal with.

      Although most would expect clients to manage; However is a minimal containment requirement for clients something we should place in code of conduct?

      People have seen me working with mine in the past and asked me to train theirs. I know they don’t all have their dogs in yards from what they have said.

      Perhaps at least a fenced yard, kennel, dog run or tie out?

      I ask because so many moving from the city to the country where I live let dogs run free. To the extent I have stopped carting past certain distance until i figure something to protect my dogs.

      I would necessarily require a common sense standard regarding containment before working with a client otherwise I feel it would be negligent of me, as well as wasting a clients money.

      Lax containment regulations and overall decline in respect has led to Free-ranging fad has resultsed in 2 deaths locally in past couple years. Only one close town has a leash law.

      Excluding the larger towns what I found so far it is only dogs deemed dangerous which require containment inside a fence thus there are many running semi-feral.

      I know for most of us it is simple common respect for neighbors and community…

      Just a thoughts running through my head and probably outside scope of code of conduct.

      • Judy B.

        April 15, 2021 at 10:15 pm

        Hi Dave,

        I should have been more specific but I was just jotting down quick thoughts. Mostly I was referring to leash laws. I think its important to be knowledgeable about your local laws regarding leashes and also where dogs are and are not allowed. We have to stress the importance and inform clients just because they may have learned off leash training doesn’t give them the free range to let their dogs off leash if there are laws against it. Also its important to only train in areas where dogs are permitted. In our area we have leash laws and many do not abide by them. Also there are many areas where dogs are not permitted but you see people in those areas with their dogs. We should be encouraging compliance with these types of local laws.

        • Dave Page

          April 16, 2021 at 9:13 am


          It’s great. Very succinct. I was one jotting down quick thoughts without having enough coffee for thoughts to coalesce, and forgot to say I really like the clarity, and thanks for bringing it up. My apologies if came across as otherwise.

          You bringing it up helped me realize what I would need to do regarding local situation; I.e. add section for any clients of mine outlining containment, plus educate why it is of necessity, which they must agree to for safety of dog and others.

        • Judy B.

          April 16, 2021 at 4:05 pm

          Not at all Dave, this is all great communication. It’s good to brainstorm and bounce ideas off one another ?

    • Allie McCain

      April 16, 2021 at 2:52 am

      These are so on point and concise!

    • Chad Mashburn

      March 2, 2022 at 11:32 am

      I agree with all your points. I like #4 safety first, it goes right along with know the tools that you are using. You could seriously injure an animal if you’re not using the proper equipment in the right way. I also really like #7, since I am a police officer I see way to many dogs running around off leash and and an owner yelling at the dog to come and it almost getting hit by a car or actually getting hit by a car. The laws are set in place for safety reasons not just to make a dog owner’s life hard.

  • Arthur Lopatin

    April 15, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Here’s my short and sweet (I hope) 11-point FSDT Code of Ethics:

    As a CFDT, I will:

    Accurately describe my professional background and experience.

    Thoroughly analyze the needs and requirements of potential clients, dogs as well as humans.

    Be respectful of my clients and of their privacy.

    Provide a precise and succinct explanation of FSDT.

    Present a well-thought-out problem-solving and training plan, one designed to enrich the human-dog relationship.

    Present a realistic yet flexible estimate of the time neededto implement the plan.

    Meticulously monitor and document progress and provide frequent client-feedback.

    Never skip steps to get quick results that have negative side effects.

    Be crystal-clear about my rates and, if possible, offer lower rates to people in need.

    Strive for collegial relationships with other trainers.

  • Allie McCain

    April 16, 2021 at 2:50 am

    Here are 10 quick things that I try to practice currently. I’m sure they could be worded more professionally but these are my first thoughts 🙂

    1) Transparency regarding training outlines and guarantees. Client goals are reviewed and I explain the potential training options and possibilities. Results depend on client follow through and investment. I promise to give to 100% and always seek out answers to questions I don’t have, through this forum (that they are given a briefing on during our consultation), and to provide safe and controlled learning opportunities for them and their dogs. I am forthcoming about the training during consultations regarding: tools, attitude, what training with me will be like, and what it wont be like. I want people to sign up because they feel comfortable and hopeful, not rushed and desperate.

    2) Only utilize tools I fully understand, that are safe for the dog and handler team, and that have been qualified as FSDT appropriate.

    3) Principals before sales. I cannot place inappropriate expectations or speed above the respect the dog’s deserve during training, even if it means losing a client.

    4) Treat every person coming to me with training needs with respect and compassion. (Something I hope to refine more as I keep learning not to be judgmental….sometimes its easy for me to forget my mistakes), while respecting their privacy and trust.

    5) Safety, management, and containment systems will be out lined and implemented to set the dog and family up for safe success.

    6) Be a source of education rather than opinion for things like: health care, nutrition, parasite control etc. I want to help my clients be educated advocates for their dogs, so I will send them material and research for them to utilize to make choices for their dogs.

    7) I will not engage in putting down other trainers, organizations, or go down the social media hole. #GOODBACTERIA Differences in systems can be explained in a matter of factually, if needed, and clients can make educated choices on what they prefer.

    8) Respect and explain local dog laws. Off Leash training does not equal leash law bypass, nor is it always safe.

    9) Training journals will help us have communication, record progress, and not skip steps.

    10) I will be honest with clients regarding their dogs, questions etc. of course this is always important but I was thinking about a rescue that used to send me referrals, of course I love the referrals and working to help dogs have successful transitions into forever homes, but I could not sugar coat the safety concerns and/or lifestyle requirements these dogs entailed and a couple dog’s were returned as a result. I lost the referral flow from the rescue but gained referrals from the clients.

    Sorry if this is rambly guys, felt a bit of stage fright putting this up….progress not perfection I suppose 🙂

    • Nicole Ticehurst

      April 20, 2021 at 1:31 am

      6) Be a source of education rather than opinion for things like: health care, nutrition, parasite control etc. I want to help my clients be educated advocates for their dogs, so I will send them material and research for them to utilize to make choices for their dogs.

      This is great. I think it’s important to educate the clients and give them the power of choice, based on knowledge rather than opinion. As a client, this would (and has), added to the feeling of being treated with respect and transparency, and made to build trust in relationship with trainer, and desire to continue learning how to best advocate for my dogs.

    • Judy B.

      April 21, 2021 at 11:32 am

      These are great….I agree, be an educator rather than source of opinion. This is so important. It’s so easy for us to be a source of information bias….there is a time and a place for an educated opinion. We have to be wise about our choices when educating. We have to provide all the information on all sides. I love this.

    • Errich Schmidt Schmidt

      April 21, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      I really like how you made it a point to add, be an educator.

    • Chad Mashburn

      March 2, 2022 at 11:26 am

      Your points are on point, lol. Number 2 is a good one, using the tools that you know how to use properly. I also like #3 that is very similar to my # 9 its about the relationships not about filling our pockets.

  • 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.

  • Chad Mashburn

    March 2, 2022 at 11:20 am

    I feel like the IACP has a more well written and easier to understand list. Where the APDT is broken down a little better but doesn’t really have a list of the rules. APDT has about 2 or 3 good rules then talks more about complaints and how to file a complaint. Also maybe I missed it but I really didn’t see anywhere in APDT about the dogs quality of life.

    1. Conduct themselves in a honest and trustworthy manner

    2. To treat every client and every animal with respect.

    3. Do not take on any client or service in which you are not qualified or competent about.

    4. Continue educating yourself on training techniques and animal behaviors.

    5. Be transparent with client about your training methods.

    <font face=”inherit”>6. </font>Confidentiality<font face=”inherit”> agreements must be signed before any media is posted of clients and/or their dogs.</font>

    <font face=”inherit”>7. Do not conduct or promote any actions in which will hurt the training business or provide </font>falsities<font face=”inherit”> that is not supported by years of research.</font>

    <font face=”inherit”>8. Do not provide opinions of a dog’s future based on what you can or cannot do, always seek the help from a more qualified professional before requesting a dog be put down.</font>

    <font face=”inherit”>9. Be selfless – This business is about improving the quality of life and relationship between an owner and their dog, NOT about just filling your pockets.</font>

    <font face=”inherit”>10. Do not publicly slander or bash </font>colleagues<font face=”inherit”> in the profession for their training methods. </font>

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