Accessible Version

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.