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Two Best Dogs!

Is Dog Training Regulated?

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The wondering has been kicked off in my head this week.

I know businesses have to abide by the Domestic Animals Act and there's a Code of Practice for the Operation of Dog Training Establishments, but I wouldn't know where to find the guidelines on this.

My trainers (who I am very happy with, no complaints here) all have National Dog Trainers Federation certifications and various other specialist qualifications under their belt.

But I wonder if any of this is enforced or mandatory? How does someone know if they're getting a good trainer? Is there a trainer standard? What about dog walkers?

Tangentially related and not why I am wondering: there is a person around here who does dog training type sessions for free (and claims they are not a business because it is free) and they make my skin crawl with the risks they take. I am wondering where they would fit under any standards? Even back when I was first looking for help, there was alarm bells ringing all over and I left. It's only now that I can recognise why I was so uneasy. :o

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Willem   

certificates are one thing, having a talent for 'reading and leading' dogs another...if everything comes together it will make a good instructor / trainer, so I wouldn't judge a trainer just by his / her certification.

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Snook   

My understanding is that there is no regulation, which is how places like BarkBusters operate. As far as I know, there aren't even any requirements for calling yourself a behaviourist, unless you're a vet behaviourist. Anyone can decide to become a dog walker too.

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This is a memorable (for me at least) post from this forum.

From a'whisperer' who was around at the time offering help to rescues.

In my experience with dog Psychology it seems he first started to dominate , when the growling started definitely a warning if she moved he would have attacked her, you did what you had to do, Next time if this happens stand your ground and walk into the other dogs space slowly without fear be calm, as soon as you see it back away you are taking its power away if that does not work poke the dog on the neck with the same intensity its showing, eg, if its at level 5 poke with 6 or higher, like other dogs do to each other with out anger or fear because dogs will reflect that. You must be the dominate one at all times with your dog, and make sure you never show poor thing affection to your dog in these experiences because it will nurture its instability or weakness and insecurity and will associate other dogs and that area of your walk as a negative experience, best to keep walking and move on. I have worked on many cases to educate human on the right energy and body language to use. Like sky said walk with confidence and it will reflect on her let go of that experience and move on

Pity his website is gone now but there's lots still around. Just google a few of Caesar's keywords.

In answer, like huski said. Absolutely nothing to stop anyone.

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Willem   

My understanding is that there is no regulation, which is how places like BarkBusters operate. As far as I know, there aren't even any requirements for calling yourself a behaviourist, unless you're a vet behaviourist. Anyone can decide to become a dog walker too.

if there is no regulation there is no regulation - so the umbrella under which every dog traiings school works would be the same...

however, there is always the 'duty of care' everyone has to apply to, so indivifuals & organisations without any qualifications might find themselves in deep shit if something goes pear-shaped. You will likely struggle to find an insurance for your business if you can't demonstrate that you are somehow qualified for the service you offer. Our club has an insurance that would cover for accidents on the trainings ground during the official training - I don't think that we would be able to afford the fees if the club couldn't verify that the instructors are qualified.

Edited by Willem

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Willem   

This is a memorable (for me at least) post from this forum.

From a'whisperer' who was around at the time offering help to rescues.

In my experience with dog Psychology it seems he first started to dominate , when the growling started definitely a warning if she moved he would have attacked her, you did what you had to do, Next time if this happens stand your ground and walk into the other dogs space slowly without fear be calm, as soon as you see it back away you are taking its power away if that does not work poke the dog on the neck with the same intensity its showing, eg, if its at level 5 poke with 6 or higher, like other dogs do to each other with out anger or fear because dogs will reflect that. You must be the dominate one at all times with your dog, and make sure you never show poor thing affection to your dog in these experiences because it will nurture its instability or weakness and insecurity and will associate other dogs and that area of your walk as a negative experience, best to keep walking and move on. I have worked on many cases to educate human on the right energy and body language to use. Like sky said walk with confidence and it will reflect on her let go of that experience and move on

Pity his website is gone now but there's lots still around. Just google a few of Caesar's keywords.

In answer, like huski said. Absolutely nothing to stop anyone.

what's the purpose of this quote with unknown source?

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This is a memorable (for me at least) post from this forum.

From a'whisperer' who was around at the time offering help to rescues.

In my experience with dog Psychology it seems he first started to dominate , when the growling started definitely a warning if she moved he would have attacked her, you did what you had to do,

Next time if this happens stand your ground and walk into the other dogs space slowly without fear be calm, as soon as you see it back away you are taking its power away if that does not work poke the dog on the neck with the same intensity its showing, eg, if its at level 5 poke with 6 or higher, like other dogs do to each other with out anger or fear because dogs will reflect that.

You must be the dominate one at all times with your dog, and make sure you never show poor thing affection to your dog in these experiences because it will nurture its instability or weakness and insecurity and will associate other dogs and that area of your walk as a negative experience, best to keep walking and move on. I have worked on many cases to educate human on the right energy and body language to use. Like sky said walk with confidence and it will reflect on her let go of that experience and move on

Pity his website is gone now but there's lots still around. Just google a few of Caesar's keywords.

In answer, like huski said. Absolutely nothing to stop anyone.

what's the purpose of this quote with unknown source?

You need help to see what people are being advised by unqualified trainers? Translation; next time, to pre-empt an attack, you and your dog just confidently step into the aggressive dog's space and poke it in the neck.

Here's context for you My link

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There's a lot of jobs around that require no formal qualifications or licence to do. It's up to the person paying for the service to check that the person has what qualifications or skills they want.

With a "dog trainer" - what I really want is someone who can teach me to train my dog and make us both feel great doing it.

http://www.collared-scholar.com/lessons-learned-from-my-dog/dont-be-a-dog-person-an-open-letter-to-dog-trainers/

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Willem   

....You need help to see what people are being advised by unqualified trainers? ...

...to be able to understand the answer I need to know the question...a quote out of context without disclosing the source is seldom helpful.

....You need help to see what people are being advised by unqualified trainers? Translation; next time, to pre-empt an attack, you and your dog just confidently step into the aggressive dog's space and poke it in the neck.

Here's context for you My link

..thanks for the link...it seems that the poster read a few books from CM and believed that this is enough to qualify him...

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....You need help to see what people are being advised by unqualified trainers? ...

...to be able to understand the answer I need to know the question...a quote out of context without disclosing the source is seldom helpful.

....You need help to see what people are being advised by unqualified trainers? Translation; next time, to pre-empt an attack, you and your dog just confidently step into the aggressive dog's space and poke it in the neck.

Here's context for you My link

..thanks for the link...it seems that the poster read a few books from CM and believed that this is enough to qualify him...

No problem, I just didn't want to drag attention away onto one particular twit when there's so many.

Fortunately it's been a while since I've seen someone alpha roll a poodle but dogs are still being dragged around like cattle. Most owners who seek training help are just genuinely nice people without a lot of experience, and they get taken advantage of, and their dogs get messed up. :mad

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Willem   

There's a lot of jobs around that require no formal qualifications or licence to do. It's up to the person paying for the service to check that the person has what qualifications or skills they want.

With a "dog trainer" - what I really want is someone who can teach me to train my dog and make us both feel great doing it.

http://www.collared-scholar.com/lessons-learned-from-my-dog/dont-be-a-dog-person-an-open-letter-to-dog-trainers/

that's an interesting point:

when we (dog and I) go to the obedience training, the instructor actually trains me (and the other owners) how to train the dogs. He / she doesn't train our dogs, but advises us how to do it. And with different dogs with different owners it is quite a challenge to give the right advise to every owner with different presuppositions.

Conversely, if you leave your dog with the trainer so he works directly with the dog - that would be again a total different story.

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I see :o

I am a little sad to see there isn't some kind of regulation. I confess it wasn't on my mind when I picked my trainers (who I agree are training me to train the dog!) but I have been wondering if there was some kind of minimum expectation or if any old person could start a dog training business because their past 3 dogs worked out alright.

There are I think lots of different types and situations a trainer might have to work in and while experience speaks for itself I like that extra bit of proof that they are constantly improving their training techniques and keeping their knowledge current with recent discoveries.

But mostly I was just wondering.

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denali   

I think it really should be, but alas, it is not.

its the same with grooming. Joe bloggs could grab some scissors and declare himself a groomer just as easily as i can open up a training facility simply because i own dogs.

(not that thats even a requirement :laugh:)

Though there is qualifications etc. about that can help choose a good one :)

Edited by denali

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wayrod   

In Victoria, the Department of Agriculture has tried to regulate dog training establishments. Only six organisations have been approved by the Minster of Agriculture. Each organisation has to supply to the Minister a number of documents including training manuals/memberships/financials/meeting minutes and ongoing training undertaken etc on a yearly to three year basis in order to become/remain as an Approved Dog Training Organisation.

note the qualifications offered by some organisations as certificate courses are recognised under the National Qualification Framework but are not recognised under Department of Agriculture. Separate criterias must be met in order to have an academic qualification as well as being an approved dog training establishment.

Some councils are now asking dog training establishments to be approved dog training establishments if they wish to use council owned facilities.

At the end of the day you can know all the theory but as an instructor if you cannot relate to people and explain methods of training methods suitable for their dog then you may not be a suitable instructor.

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As others have said... Nope :(

I suppose the next question is so then what do you look for in a trainer?

For me - Its a personal connection - Do I like the person? Are they good to me, my dog, other dogs in the class? Their own dog?

I've tried about 6 training places all up.

The first was amazing. I actually cried when we finished up there. I loved everything about them - except for their price - it was a big exxy - but I liked Dianne and Pete and Scottie ADORED them - Especially Pete who was always forth coming with a good massage :) http://www.procanine.com.au/about.html

Then we tried two local dog training clubs both were dismal (places 2 and 3). One was very much stuck in the past and it was horrible being there. I wanted to leave half way through the lesson (and should have). To their credit -they were showing me something I'd never done before and scottie yelped (he can be a bit of a pansy at times) but they went right off at me "never cause your dog to scream, what did you do to him?" & so on and so forth made me feel like shit - but I gave them points for being protective of their doggy clients.

The other place was OK - but I never clicked with them and found it too disorganised. You just kind of milled around waiting for your go on what ever was set up some agility, jumps, kids toys for touch, rally-O. To be honest I had a bit of a personality clash with the head trainer too.

Then there was two places I went to do some classes - not "training" as in once a week walking around a field sitting and staying - but classes in a dog sport.

Another personality clash at place number 4 - with the trainer taking my class (sense a theme here?) a bit of an argument over treats - where she made me empty my treat pouch and break the treats "into at least half" before I could come to class. She also liked to check my treats after that. However, I didn't go back because they could never get around to running stage 2 of the class and I eventually found another provider who offered a better offering with clear progression up the stages. Plus, ah, that particular facility started getting a lot of bad press and I decided to not support them anymore.

Place number 5 was incredible. I can't say enough good things about place 5. I'd still be there if not for the move. Really caring, well organised, clear progression, well rounded classes. Staff who are amazingly well qualified from all walks of life. Just such a pleasure to be associated with. I think the big things about place 1 and 5 - they have people who are willing to put their face and name to *some* qualification. Ideally that quali would be something real - that you can google and find info on - like the NDTF or others.

And now we're at place 6 - unfortunately the woman who takes the classes doesn't appear to have any formal quals. But she's totally lovely, generous to a fault and knows her stuff (long term owner, breeder and so on). I adore her so that helps and we just go to do lappies of the park. It's more for Scottie to get out and have mental stimulation more than anything else now. Her "about me" page reads like ... a dating site I think. Some info on her, her home town, her dogs, other interests ... not a word on any qualifications :( But she accommodates us I approached her and said I have an elderly dog, it's really just enrichment for him, I'm willing to pay casual rates can you help and she could / did. So I can't complain. And as I said - she has a lifetimes worth of experience and she helped / talked me throug options for our S.A. problems too.

As I've said - I pick this type of training based on how I like the person. I never leave Scottie unattended in these places and I think that's the other difference. The biggest risk we run is a loose dog getting him in one of these scenarios - no more or less risky than a walk at the park.

If I was looking for a trainer to help me with a serious problem (other than our SA) or looking to leave my dog at one of those places where you leave your dog for intensive training I'd probably be asking my vet and places like here (and before leaving Sydney) my doggy friends from real life and I'd be researching the crap out of them before I even stepped foot on the property to inspect it. But then I'm like that with boarding kennels and other places too ...

Anyhow - that was a long ramble and I really wanted to be in bed ages ago ;)

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Nothing wrong with a ramble!

I am pretty happy with my place. They rotate the trainers around but they all have the NDTF minimum then all these other little random certifications depending on interests. Sounds like trainee trainers get rotated around between dog training schools (I don't know which ones)

I got them by word of mouth from word of mouth XD the other places I considered was a local place that meets the councils rules for a discount - but when I visited I was really put off by everyone milling about and dogs all over when when I went and watched my current one most ppl kept to their own spaces and they seemed better able to accomodate reactive dogs. The other place I considered was all booked out so I can't comment on what they'd have been like (I mentioned checking out the place I am at now and nothing bad was said)

Back then I wasn't thinking about certifications though, more what I had heard from others and what I saw in person. It's been a bonus that they're all so helpful in their own way. I've only felt like how Mrs. RB link said - about apprehensive and not understanding the trainer - a couple of times. Most times feel supported and questions answered no matter how dumb XD

But I think I would like to see some kind of regulation. A pipe dream maybe. I read online that Germany has dog trainer exams on the basics. I'm sure bad ones would still get through but some kind of quality control.

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I read online that Germany has dog trainer exams on the basics.

I'd like dog owners to pass a test too.

When is it ok for your dog to be off lead?

When is it ok for your dog to approach a dog you don't know?

What must you provide for your dog at home?

Must your dog be registered - who with?

If your dog is not desexed... precautions and breeding questions

How often should your dog be vaccinated and wormed... (more than one answer but I don't want to see "never")

stuff like that. that other dog owners don't seem to know

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I read online that Germany has dog trainer exams on the basics.

I'd like dog owners to pass a test too.

When is it ok for your dog to be off lead?

When is it ok for your dog to approach a dog you don't know?

What must you provide for your dog at home?

Must your dog be registered - who with?

If your dog is not desexed... precautions and breeding questions

How often should your dog be vaccinated and wormed... (more than one answer but I don't want to see "never")

stuff like that. that other dog owners don't seem to know

Check this out. Not quite a pet ownership test but a nice little incentive.

My new home town:

A preferred owner will be accorded a substantial reduction of registration fee provided that the following criteria have been met each and every subsequent year.

http://www.pncc.govt.nz/local-regulations-and-licences/dogs-and-other-animals/animalcontrol/preferred-owner-scheme/

Simialr from Auckland

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/en/licencesregulations/dogsandanimals/registration/pages/dogownerlicence.aspx

And this, totally different - but in the theme of regulated trainers - a program which is standardised. Very clever idea - you can progress through the levels and, of course, the assessors all have to meet the same standards.

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I read online that Germany has dog trainer exams on the basics.

I'd like dog owners to pass a test too.

When is it ok for your dog to be off lead?

When is it ok for your dog to approach a dog you don't know?

What must you provide for your dog at home?

Must your dog be registered - who with?

If your dog is not desexed... precautions and breeding questions

How often should your dog be vaccinated and wormed... (more than one answer but I don't want to see "never")

stuff like that. that other dog owners don't seem to know

I would like that - reminds me of all the hoops to adopt a dog! XD It'd be easy for people to fudge their answers but at least they have had these things cross their mind - as many I think they probably do not even cross their mind (i.e. when is it ok for your dog to approach is never a question I had to answer)

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