Position Statement on Regulation in Animal Training and Behavior

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Position Statement on Regulation in Animal Training and Behavior

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) strives to standardize and support the practice of animal training and behavior consulting and maximize the effective use of reinforcers to modify animal behavior.

Scientific research has clearly established that best practices in animal training and behavior require positive reinforcement-based strategies, competent evaluation of effectiveness, and the ability to communicate effectively with both human and animal clients. Further, these strategies must be founded on established principles of learning and assessment.

The absence of meaningful requirements in the field means that best practices need not be adhered to by those choosing to forego the necessary education and assessment of their own skills. The lack of such standards has been shown to increase the risk of relinquishment to shelters, the emergence or worsening of aggression and other serious behavioral issues in animals, and fails to protect trainers, the public, and the pets in their care.

For this reason, the IAABC supports the regulation of animal training and behavior consulting based on the Joint Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics established in 2018 by the leading training and behavior organizations in the United States. Thoughtful, meaningful, and consistently applied standards will serve to better the care and training available to owners seeking help for their beloved pets.

Footnotes:

Arhant, C., Bubna-Littitz, H., Bartels, A., Futschik, A., & Troxler, J. (2010). Behaviour of smaller and larger dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behaviour and level of engagement in activities with the dog. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 123(3), 131-142.

Bennett, P. C., Cooper, N., Rohlf, V. I., & Mornement, K. (2007). Factors influencing owner satisfaction with companion-dog-training facilities. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 10(3), 217-241.

Cooper, J. J., Cracknell, N., Hardiman, J., Wright, H., & Mills, D. (2014). The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Electronic Training Collars in Comparison to Reward Based Training. PloS one,9(9), e102722.

Diesel, G., Brodbelt, D., & Pfeiffer, D. U. (2010). Characteristics of relinquished dogs and their owners at 14 rehoming centers in the United Kingdom. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 13(1), 15-30. Hiby, E. F., Rooney, N. J., & Bradshaw, J. W. S. (2004).

Luescher, A. U., & Reisner, I. R. (2008). Canine aggression toward familiar people: a new look at an old problem. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 38(5), 1107-1130. New Jr, J. C., Salman, M. D., King, M., Scarlett, J. M., Kass, P. H., & Hutchison, J. M. (2000). Characteristics of shelter-relinquished animals and their owners compared with animals and their owners in US pet owning households. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 3(3), 179-201.

Overall, K. L., & Love, M. (2001). Dog bites to humans-demography, epidemiology, injury, and risk. JOURNALAMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, 218(12), 1923-1935.

Patronek, G. J., Glickman, L. T., Beck, A. M., McCabe, G. P., & Ecker, C. (1996). Risk factors for relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 209(3), 572-581.

Vischer, N., Snider S., Vander Stoep G., (2008). Comparative analysis of knowledge gain between interpretive and fact-only presentations at an animal training session: an exploratory study. Zoo Biol 28:488–495, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

 

https://m.iaabc.org/about/position-statements/regulation/

Posted May 20th 2019