Vancouver – All references to the Dog Whisperer aside, the BC SPCA has launched an innovative program to accredit dog-training businesses in British Columbia. The AnimalKind program sets out science-based training standards to ensure humane treatment for dogs and peace of mind for their owners.
The first six companies to become AnimalKind accredited are in Vancouver, Vancouer Island and Surrey.
The new AnimalKind standards (PDF) were developed after a thorough review of scientific research, feedback from international animal behaviour and dog training experts, and in-person consultations with 36 dog trainers from B.C. A public comment period was also carried out to gather additional feedback from dog trainers, community veterinarians, animal behaviour associations, kennel clubs service dog organizations and other humane organizations.
The standards allow only reward-based, positive reinforcement training and do not include any aversive methods that use punishment, confrontation, intimidation or have the potential to cause physical or psychological harm to the animal.