Professional Ethics 5.0

What we will learn

  • What is dog training ethics
  • What are the components
  • Why is it important for your business, the industry, and the future of the profession?
  • Examples of how bad ethics can backfire
  • Examples of how good ethics can help you to be sucessful



What is dog training Business Ethics?

Professional ethics are principles that govern the behavior of a person or group in a business environment. Like values, professional ethics provide rules on how a person should act towards other people and institutions in such an environment.

Law and ethics are not the same.  So what may be legal may not always be ethical. 

Why is it important?

Protects the consumer, dog, fellow professionals, public

Based on principals. What are the components?


Honesty is a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.

  • Hiding dog bite histories
  • Taking jobs that you know you are not qualified for
  • Badfinger story
  • Different pricing for different people
  • False marketing


 one party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee), and the situation is typically directed to the future. In addition, the trustor abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome of the other's actions; the trustor can only develop and evaluate expectations. Such expectations are formed with a view to the motivations of the trustee, dependent on their characteristics, the situation, and their interaction.  The uncertainty stems from the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee does not behave as desired.


Operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. Transparency implies openness, communication, and accountability.

  • BBB, reviews, etc..
  • Not hiding training methods, schedule for in-kennel dogs, etc..


Equated with answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving.

Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability. Another key area that contributes to accountability is good records management.

  • Insurance (kennel pro, insurance of the Carolinas)
  • Contracts


Involves a set of rules or a promise usually executed through confidentiality agreements that limit access or places restrictions on certain types of information.

  • Sharing information about clients without permission.
  • By sharing info can you cause harm to the client. (protection trained dog, aggression case, etc..)
  • What is OK to talk about with peers?


A trainer is obligated to render “loyal and faithful” service to the client, to act with “good faith,” and not to compete with but rather to advance the client's interests.  The trainer must not act in a way that benefits him when doing so would create a conflict of interest with the client. 

  • apprenticeship courses
  • Special projects (covid dog example)


the quality or character of being objective: lack of favoritism toward one side or another: freedom from bias.


It is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.

How do we talk to and treat the client?


Be competent and improve continually; competence is the ability of an individual to do a job properly, it is a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior used to improve performance. Competency grows through experience and to the extent one is willing to learn and adapt. Continuous self-development is a prerequisite in offering professional service at all times.

  • Can you kennel dogs to a standard
  • Can you train to a standard

Obedience to the law

Following all Rules and regulations

Some history:


I didn't attack trainers but was trying to bring awareness toward methods (in this case it was directed toward technique in "Monks of New Skete" - since repaired and Cesar Milan)

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Hunkie (was to be euthanized)

Hunkie petition

The court case brought backlash and attacks to me.  I was slandered on Internet (craigs list, fliers placed around Putnam County, Journal News forums, etc..). Even though I had proof of who was behind it, I couldn't do much about it unless I used time and resources I did not have to hire a lawyer. I dealt with it by using transparency.

  1. Establishing leadership/dominance and phase 1 training
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2.  Phase 2 training

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3  Muzzle/management

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4. prong collar and tools explained.

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Putnam Humane Society (Hunkie at the end after adoption - with phase 3 training complete)

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Extra Darren (was to be euthanized) - volunteer job.

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Victoria Stilwell Experience


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Using my facility (not in scarsdale), using the no pull harness i introduced her to and GAVE to her after watching her train in the yard, and she didn't even put it on right.

Within months she was selling her own brand of no-pull harness.

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Email changes with high profile "positive dog trainers"

Victoria Stilwell Email Exchange

Zak George Email Exchange

Cesar Milan vs Ian Dunbar:  Read this article

"Friendly Dog Training"?

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Hacks?  Is it bullying? Is ignorance the same as dishonesty?

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Be ready to define components of ethics in dog training business

Read IACP  vs APDT  - Contrast and Compare

Analyze how effective each code of conduct is for creating a stable profession of high standards that protects the professional, public, and the profession.

Create a code of conduct for Foundation Style Dog Trainers.  Participate on this forum:

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