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Industry Standards

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Developing the Industry Our Clients Deserve

Although the study and practice of animal behavior has roots going back thousands of years, the professional practice of behavior consulting and training has only recently begun to develop standards and processes of credentialing. The general public is likely to be more familiar with media gurus in the field than with expert practitioners. In most countries, there are no competence, education, or licensing requirements to take animal behavior clients. The IAABC and other industry-leading organizations seek to improve animal welfare, consumer protections and client outcomes by spearheading the development of industry best practices and standards of professionalism.

The Joint Standards of Practice

 The leadership of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) are pleased to announce the adoption of a Standards of Practice, a unified code of conduct, and code of ethics.
Strong professional ethics, education, and expertise within our profession are crucial to the wellbeing of the animals and humans we serve. The Standards of Practice is a set of cross-association guiding principles that will allow practitioners to understand what it means to be a competent, ethical professional in our field, and offers recourse to those rightfully demanding excellence in the field.
These shared standards provide a framework of principles, professionalism, skills, and values in positive reinforcement-based training. As members/certificants, each individual will undertake the following as a condition of membership/certification:

  • To understand and promote Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) training and behavior work
  • To continue professional development by reading relevant material; attending conferences, workshops and seminars; and pursuing other educational opportunities
  • To review and understand source material and academic texts for information
  • To abstain from representing training and behavioral information as scientific, unless the information is derived from peer-reviewed and published research
  • To refrain from offering guarantees regarding the outcome of training and behavior work
  • To always maintain professionalism through:
    1. Providing services honestly
    2. Treating animals and clients respectfully
    3. Valuing and preserving the privacy of clients
    4. Maintaining professionalism with colleagues and other professionals.

Member Testimonials

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  • Here I get support, information and training on current, evidence-based knowledge. A great community of international consultants offers great exchange on each relevant topic to support each other helping animals, their owners or even organizations that take care of animals of different species.

    By Sylvia Czarnecki, Certified Horse Behavior Consultant

  • I am proud and honored to be certified by, a member of, and educator for the IAABC. I consider the organization to be the industry standard for well-rounded, quality, ethical animal behavior information that is disseminated in a supportive, effective, collaborative environment. The IAABC works very hard to produce not only quantity of educational resources, but also quality.

    By Katenna Jones, Certified Dog & Cat Behavior Consultant

  • As a member, I get to network with experts in my field all over the world. This allows me to expand my knowledge in cat behavior as well as shelter behavior. As the feline behavior manager in an open intake shelter, this opportunity to learn from the best has allowed me to ensure the mental health and behavior needs are met for the cats in our care. The IAABC is the "go to" place for people all over the world to find experts in animal behavior. As a certified member my profile is available for the public to view. Since I earned my certification, I've seen my private business almost triple.

    By Lisa Stemcosky, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant

  • IAABC has been an invaluable learning tool for both myself and staff. As a shelter professional, the webinars provide relevant and up to date information to be used in multiple formats. The online convenience allows for continuing education, minus the travel.The mentorship programs are nothing short of amazing, including the pricing . This organization is always looking forward and growing.

    By Amy Schindler, Shelter Behavior Affiliate

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