IACP – International Association of Canine Professionals’ Code of Conduct Questioned

Update: Jeff Gellman is no longer a member of the IACP

The IACP - International Association of Canine Professionals' Code of Conduct has recently been questioned in light of the numerous allegations about the non-professional conduct of some of the organizations most popular, awarded, and vocal dog trainers.  Some of these trainers are responsible for running week long seminars to create more "dog trainers" that follow their methods.  These "trainers" also become members of the organizanition that use the IACP's motto "In safe hands".

Potential clients can have a false sense of security by assuming that the IACP enforces it's code of conduct as it pertains in particular to:

"Conduct themselves in a business like and professional manner while maintaining empathy and understanding for the needs of the client, customer and  dog."

In addition to a certain member using social media to target and encourage minors to partake in some of the conduct in question, IACP members are concerned that the irresponsible use of training tools will be used as proof for the need to ban these tools.

Each individual member of the International Association
of Canine Professionals shall:

1.  Conduct his/her business in a professional manner, honestly and with trust and respect.

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

3.  Serve his/her client or customers competently and proficiently with proper care and attention.

4.  Use  professional judgment on behalf of each client or customer without regard to personal interests or interests of other clients or the desire of another person(s).

5.   Not undertake any service or employment for which he/she is not competent.

6.  Determine his/her ability to be of professional assistance to a client. Should the expertise required fall outside the realm of the member’s capability he/she shall seek appropriate answers and/ or support, or refer out to a fellow professional with the necessary experience and ability.

7.  Continue to further his/her education and increase his/her knowledge, skills  and experience to stay current and be able to increase the  well being of themselves, the profession, clients, customers, dogs, the dog ownership community and other affiliated bodies.

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 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.

9.  Give his/her client an honest opinion when consulted, and avoid bold,  confident and false assurances to obtain employment, sales and/or status.

10.  Not give false information to the Association. Doing so shall be considered grounds for lifetime dismissal.

11.  Accept that individual member’s fees charged to the community shall be a matter between the member and their client.

12.  Conduct themselves in a business-like and professional manner while maintaining empathy and understanding for the needs of the client, customer and dog.

13.  Use professional judgment and where it is considered of benefit to the client and/or dog, engage in consultation with other professionals to seek advice and assistance. All communications between professionals with regard to clients shall be responsible, respectful, and effective while remaining confidential endeavoring to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the professional/client relationship.

14.  Co-operate with the IACP’s Ethics Committee on any reported violation. 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.

If anyone has had a dog abused or injured by a trainer that is endorsed by this organization, I encourage you to speak up about the organization.  If someone has been injured by a dog after following the advice of a trainer endorsed by this organization, I also encourage you to speak up about this organization.

K9-1 Specialized Dog Training has been accused of making accusations to spread their own agenda.  This is absolutely correct.  To be clear the agenda is to spread awareness of dangerous and inhumane practices in the dog training industry.

Unfortunately, there are not many "quick fixes" in dog training that are not without serious side effects to the dog and possibly the owner in the form of injury.  K9-1 is aware that there will always be people that are too lazy or too desperate to take their time to properly train their dog and there will always be people that will be better off owning a stuffed animal than a dog.

However, there does need to be a divide made between "dog breakers" who have no formal education in canine behavior or the science of training and educated dog trainers that have taken their time to learn the field and conduct themselves in a professional manner.  This division is necessary for the safety of pet owners that are searching for help in an unregulated market.

K9-1 has been accused of criticizing the work of other trainers without offering publicly available solutions to their problems.  Here, you can find a lecture which explains to a professional how to handle a client's fear aggressive dog without the need to go in "hard and heavy" as suggested by the IACP's approved trainer and without the need to "choke out the dog".    CLICK HERE for Fear Aggression Blueprint


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