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APDT ETHICS STATEMENT
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers will be universally
recognized as the foremost professional organization of
humane dog trainers.
To provide education for trainers and the public.
To promote interactions among dog trainers and
other animal professionals.
To encourage members to use their knowledge,
skills, and training to achieve harmonious
relationships between people and dogs.
To encourage the use of positive reinforcement in
dog training and to minimize use of aversive
1. As a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
(APDT) I pledge to provide honest professional
services of the highest standards. I will strive to keep
myself informed of advances in my field. To the best
of my ability I will perform services within the
guidelines of the APDT Code of Ethics
2. Conviction of charges involving cruelty to or neglect
of animals shall be considered an automatic violation
of this Code of Ethics.
3. Members will treat all dogs with respect. Members
will work at developing and applying more positive
methods of training and make them an integral part
of training methods.
4. The practices of hanging, beating, kicking and all
similar procedures causing the dog great pain,
distress and imminent potential for physical harm are
inconsistent with humane dog training. These
procedures represent a serious violation of
professional ethical conduct and will not be tolerated.
5. When designing training and behavior programs,
members should take into account the physical and
psychological well being of the individual dog.
6. Members will refrain from giving guarantees
regarding the outcome of training because there is
no sure way to guarantee the cooperation and
performance of all parties involved and because the
knowledge of animal behavior is incomplete. This
should not be confused with a trainers desire to
guarantee client satisfaction with their professional
7. Members are encouraged to assess their own
knowledge, experience and qualifications, and work
within their professional limits.
8. Members will refrain from representing dog training
and behavioral information as scientific, unless the
information is derived from legitimate research or
data based findings.
9. Members will not engage in plagiarism, by
representing another person's work as their own, and
will reference sources of materials developed by
10. Members should be respectful of colleagues and
other professionals. Members shall refrain from
personally critical comments about other
professionals, and shall not unnecessarily condemn
the character of that person's professional acts in
such a manner as to be false or misleading.
11. Members should be respectful of clients, their
relationship with their dogs and their wishes
regarding the training of their dogs. Member trainers
should respect the right of clients to refuse the use of
methods with which they are uncomfortable.
12. Members should respect the privacy of clients and
hold in confidence all information obtained in the
course of professional services, unless otherwise
agreed upon in advance. Trainers should use their
discretion in revealing information regarding dogs
displaying potentially dangerous behavior.
13. No member shall represent himself or herself as an
official APDT spokesperson without prior approval of
the Board of Directors.
14. Members should strive to stay current in their field
through reading relevant material, attendance at
conferences, workshops and seminars and/or
utilizing other methods of academic continuing
15. Members will strive to incorporate education on what
it means to be a responsible dog owner into training
programs for individual dog owners and community