APDT UK: Leading the Way

The following is a position statement that can be found on the APDT UK’s website: http://www.apdt.co.uk/press.htm.

Reprinted here with permission.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the UK’s largest professional pet dog training body, is joining the fight to have the use of electric shock collars banned under the new Animal Welfare Bill.

The APDT has a very strict code of conduct for its members, ensuring that dogs are trained only in a positive and humane way. Electric shock collars are totally at odds with this code, training dogs using pain and fear.

The Kennel Club has been heading the anti-shock collar campaign in the UK, and the APDT is proud to support them in their goal — along with an ever-growing number of professionals and members of the dog-owning public who agree that there is no place in a humane society for such aversive and painful methods of training.

Modern dog training has thankfully progressed far from the days when punishment was the most common method of teaching dogs, in the same way as education has progressed from caning children in schools. The APDT acknowledges that there is no behaviour or training problem in dogs that is best dealt with by delivering an electric shock into a dog’s neck. All problems are best solved using up-to-date reward-based training methods and responsible dog ownership, following the APDT’s motto of “kind, fair and effective.” The APDT further recognises that not only are these collars inhumane, but their use can give rise to far more serious problems than the ones originally being treated — often causing serious aggression or debilitatingly fearful behaviours, as they tap directly into a dog’s natural “flight or fight” response.

A spokesperson for the APDT said, “We are totally committed to having these barbaric pieces of equipment consigned to dog training history. It is our professional opinion that it is totally unacceptable to train dogs using such inhumane devices, and a complete ban should be implemented as soon as possible. Dogs are meant to be man’s best friend — and you don’t cause your best friend pain and fear in the name of education.”

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