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BC SPCA launches new accredited dog trainer program

WATCH: The BC SPCA is starting a program to accredit dog training businesses in an industry that isn't currently regulated. Anne Drewa has more.

The BC SPCA is launching a program to accredit dog training businesses in an industry that is currently unregulated in the province.

“Many trainers say they are using humane methods, but until now we’ve had no way to assess this or to make a referral,” said Dr. Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer for the BC SPCA.

The program is called AnimalKind and uses standards that are humane and reward-based.

READ MORE: Licensed Langley dog trainer caught in lengthy bylaw battle

“With our new accreditation program, we can confidently recommend AnimalKind companies that have been audited by the BC SPCA,” Dubois said.

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The BC SPCA says the new AnimalKind standards were developed after a thorough review of scientific research and feedback from international animal behaviour and dog training experts.

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“We know now that rewards-based training is the most effective and most humane type of training out there and if used appropriately it can work wonders in changing dogs behaviour,” BC SPCA senior manager Karen van Haaften said.

Van Haaften adds research showed dogs trained with aversive methods often continued to exhibit stress behaviour such as a tense or lowered body posture when a verbal cue such as “sit” was given, even when the command was no longer accompanied by the punishment.

There are accredited dog training services in North Vancouver, Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan.

More information about AnimalKind accreditation is available at the BC SPCA website.

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