IAABC Statement on the use of shock in behavior and training Effective June 22, 2020

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The use of shock in training and behavior is not considered a best practice by the IAABC or the Joint Standards of Practice, and is strongly discouraged. Our goal is to eliminate the use of shock devices from training and behavior work, and to do so by modeling, educating, and providing members with effective alternatives.
In order to remain a community of learning and betterment, the IAABC is open to all practitioners interested in seeking and following best practices.
Learning is an iterative process, and we understand that change is difficult, especially in an ongoing practice of training and behavior. Therefore, we’re requiring that members agree to the following conditions of membership:
Members will work to eliminate the use of shock completely from their practice.
Before applying shock or using shock devices, IAABC members will consult with a Certified IAABC Consultant or Board Certified Behaviorist to review the case and ensure that all possible, less intrusive, aversive options have been worked.
Consultations ought to assess the current skills of the trainer/behavior consultant, strategies being implemented, body language of the dog, and other aspects of the case deemed necessary for a thorough evaluation.
Consultations may take place in person, via recorded video, or via live, virtual visit.
This applies to every individual case.
We focus on reinforcing desired behaviors, and always ask the question, “What do you want the animal to do?” Relying on punishment in training does not answer this question, and therefore offers no acceptable behavior for the animal to learn to replace the unwanted behavior. These LIMA guidelines do not justify the use of aversive methods and tools including, but not limited to, the use of electronic, choke or prong collars in lieu of other effective positive reinforcement interventions and strategies.
Members found failing to follow these requirements are subject to Ethics Committee recommendations for education, suspension of membership, or revocation of certification.
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