DEBATE: Should there be regulations for dog trainers?

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 9th, 2011, 3:39 pm

Should there be some kind of regulations for dog trainers? Some standard test they all have to pass? If so, what should the test consist of? Who should decide what the test consists of? If not, why not? Discuss!
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Postby Tubular Toby » January 9th, 2011, 3:53 pm

Initially, I want to say no. For a few reasons. Depending on which agency or association was in charge of the test would have a huge impact on my answer. There is no way the test would be unbiased, and with as many styles of training there are, how would you design a test to compensate for this?

In a perfect world, people would be educated and choose a dog trainer based on this principle. Yes, right now anyone can call and market themselves as a dog trainer. But as a potential client, you should educate yourself to know what sort of credentials you want your trainer to have, what experience, what training style. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all training method, as we all know. A test would require that all trainers fit neatly inside a designated box, and frankly, I don't like that.
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Postby plebayo » January 9th, 2011, 3:58 pm

Tubular Toby wrote:Initially, I want to say no. For a few reasons. Depending on which agency or association was in charge of the test would have a huge impact on my answer. There is no way the test would be unbiased, and with as many styles of training there are, how would you design a test to compensate for this?

In a perfect world, people would be educated and choose a dog trainer based on this principle. Yes, right now anyone can call and market themselves as a dog trainer. But as a potential client, you should educate yourself to know what sort of credentials you want your trainer to have, what experience, what training style. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all training method, as we all know. A test would require that all trainers fit neatly inside a designated box, and frankly, I don't like that.


THIS.

It is unfortunately really easy for someone to say "I am a certified dog trainer!" anyone can go to the Animal Behavior College, take the ONLINE course, pass it and thusly be a "certified" dog trainer. However like Kristen said, how could you possibly make a "test" or "regulate" training because there are so many different methods out there.
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Postby FAB dogs » January 9th, 2011, 4:49 pm

I feel there should be some kind of regulation but what, I don't know. I often wonder about the so-called PetSmart trainers that, when they're not training, are stocking shelves and running the cash registers. Just doesn't give me much confidence in their abilities. Yet so many people take their dogs through PetSmart training.

But I also believe people should do a little research on their own when looking for a trainer. When I was looking for a training club in my area, there were two fairly local. One 30 minutes away and one 40 minutes away. The website for the closer one indicated that on the first night of class, for family dog training, to bring a choke collar. Seriously? No evaluating of the dogs, just a choker right off the bat? What is this the 1970's? :) I went ahead and chose the club 40 minutes away that emphasies positive reinforcement training methods. But I can't help but wonder how many people join the other club and don't think twice about using chokers because they don't know any other way.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 9th, 2011, 5:14 pm

Buyer beware...
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Postby furever_pit » January 9th, 2011, 5:49 pm

No. I don't believe that more red tape and regulations improves much of anything really. There's so many different styles of training and different training goals that it would be really hard to develop any kind of unbiased system. Would pet dog trainers be held to the same standards as those who train police k9s? What about people who train search and rescue dogs? What about dock diving? Would someone who trains pet dogs be expected to handle and train say a dominant handler aggressive KNPV dog? Would some trainers be punished because of the type of dog they like to train and work with? Would certain techniques not be allowed to be used because of the current need to be political correct? Who decides what training methods are allowed or not allowed?

I think it boils down to consumer responsibility. People want everything easy, they want some organization to do the research for them and tell them who to go to see. If you want to train your dog, go look at some trainers. It's really not that hard. Sure you (general you, not anyone in particular) may make some mistakes along the way, I sure know I did, but you will learn from it and be a better trainer and handler because of it.
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Postby mnp13 » January 9th, 2011, 7:59 pm

No way. I want to say yes because it would help stop crackpots from calling themselves trainers, but who would pick the credentials? And who would decide what kind of training was "ok"? I think mandating choke collars is just as irresponsible as saying no one can every use them.
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Postby DemoDick » January 9th, 2011, 8:30 pm

furever_pit wrote:I think it boils down to consumer responsibility. People want everything easy, they want some organization to do the research for them and tell them who to go to see. If you want to train your dog, go look at some trainers. It's really not that hard. Sure you (general you, not anyone in particular) may make some mistakes along the way, I sure know I did, but you will learn from it and be a better trainer and handler because of it.


Regulatory agencies inevitably have the worst possible effect on consumers: they make them complacent.
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Postby furever_pit » January 9th, 2011, 8:52 pm

Gosh darn, you put things so much better than I do Demo!
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Postby Tubular Toby » January 9th, 2011, 8:53 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:Buyer beware...


Everything I was trying to say in two words... haha
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Postby amazincc » January 10th, 2011, 9:31 am

TheRedQueen wrote:Buyer beware...


Ditto.

When I DID look around for a trainer, at various time, I pretty much came to the conclusion that most of them know next to nothing about dog behavior. :rolleyes2:
I am now very glad that I listened to my gut and PBT, and didn't subject any of my dogs to their very questionable "training methods"... ugh.

(My evaluated by a *trainer* and deemed "potentially-very-aggressive-waiting-to-be-a-disaster-and-dangerous" Sepp was an absolute perfect dog around MY wheelchair after I broke my leg.) :D
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