ANYONE CAN CALL THEMSELVES
A 'TRAINER' OR 'BEHAVIOURIST'...
WE AREN'T LIKE ANYONE ELSE
YOU WOULDN'T CHOOSE AN UNREGULATED DOCTOR WOULD YOU?
WHY SHOULD ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR & TRAINING BE REGULATED?
Anti-social canine behaviour has hit the headlines over the last few years and as a result many more people (dog owners or not) have become sensitive to the antics of our four-legged friends.
Accompanying this media attention has been a surge in ‘canine professionals’, people who want to train dogs, walk dogs, massage dogs, swim dogs, communicate with dogs, you name it, they’re there!
The problem is that many of these ‘professionals’ do not have any formal qualifications or belong to any professional accreditation body who adjudicates and regulates their competence.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF NON-REGULATION?
Do you want 'just anyone' taking charge of your dog's welfare? Taking the example of trainers and behaviourists. Anyone may call themselves a ‘trainer’ or ‘behaviourist’ - there are many terms; communicator, whisperer etc.
You may be receiving very sub-standard & advice. Without formal study and subsequent qualifications, there's likely to be very poor, incomplete or totally inaccurate diagnosis of the problem which of course results in a completely inaccurate and ineffective treatment plan. Some 'trainers/behaviourists' claim to be qualified but have only studied online or received 'qualifications' from an organization with no external adjudication.
Beware of unethical, outdated methods. Methods used may be insensitive and completely lacking the depth of understanding required to remediate the problem, or take into account medical issues which may be complicating factors.
Beware the purported membership organization! There are so many dog training & behaviour courses and organizations nowadays. Some have no merit whatsoever and others work to their own codes. The most meritable organizations will require members to undergo a rigorous assessment process.
The overall effect of non-regulation? Detrimental to the dog and at worse harmful & exacerbating the original complaint.
Two main developments aimed to unify some of the most forward thinking, progressive and ethical professional organisations.
The new Dog Training & Behaviour Charter 'aims to make a clear statement regarding the future direction of the dog behaviour and training industry in relation to professional standards, tools and methodologies. The welfare of the dogs lies at the heart of its mandate, making clear representation as to what is, and isn’t, acceptable in a modern, progressive profession.
It also seeks to provide assurance to the public, other professional bodies, and Government Agencies that signatory organisations are committed to open, transparent and robust complaints and grievances procedures that can be supported by independent arbitration if needed.
It is hoped that the Charter Symbol will give assurance and accountability to the public and other bodies. Displaying the Charter Symbol shows that the Dog Professional has been checked, monitored and supported by a reputable organisation, and has aligned themselves to the ethical, welfare and conduct obligations stated in the Charter'.
The Animal Behaviour Training and Welfare Council (ABTC) is the regulatory body created to represent trainers and behaviourists.
It sets exemplary standards of knowledge and practical skills required for these professions which all members must first attain in order to gain access to the register and then maintain through continued professional development. DEFRA and the Government refer to the ABTC in matters referring to animal behaviour.
Anna Francesca Bradley MSc BSc (hons) is an accredited animal behaviourist with the ABTC & member of the UK Dog Training & Behaviour Charter
IF YOU WANT THE BEST FOR YOUR DOG
ONLY CHOOSE QUALIFIED, PROFESSIONALLY ACCREDITED ADVICE
PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION MEMBERSHIPS
Fully Accredited Animal Behaviourist & qualified practitioner with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC)
Certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
Provisional Clinical Animal Behaviourist
Full member of INTOdogs, membership which is achieved after a rigorous selection process
Full member of the Pet Professional Guild which promotes humane and positive methods of training
16 years experience with over 1700 dogs from over 150 different breeds
Dogs from multiple environments, overseas rescue organisations, those experiencing extreme trauma and neglect and disabled or impaired dogs.
Experienced competitive handler, exhibiting at Crufts
I am the author of clinical research: Bradley A, Douglas C, Serpell J. Comparing the temperament of Newly Recognised Cross-Breed Dogs (Labradoodles and Cockapoos) and parent breeds using Canine Behaviour And Research Questionnaire In: British Society of Animal Science, Annual Conference. 2016, Chester, UK: Cambridge University Press.'
I am a content writer for Pet Professional Guild World Service Blog and Barks Magazine
Previously, behaviour Assessor for WAG North East Friendship Dogs
Master's degree with distinction in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Newcastle University)
Honours degree in Psychology
My advice and behaviour modification works as is evident by client recommendations, testimonials and veterinary referrals