Two Prince George businesses are the first companies in the north to join the BC SPCA’s list of AnimalKind accredited dog trainers.
The BC SPCA launched this program to accredit dog-training businesses in British Columbia in January 2019.
The first companies to become AnimalKind certified were based in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.
The AnimalKind program sets out science-based training standards to ensure humane treatment for dogs and peace of mind for their owners. There are now 17 AnimalKind accredited trainers in B.C.
“As one of the first AnimalKind accredited trainers in northern B.C., I am confident and eager to show the world that there is a better way to train your dog that does not involve punitive training techniques,” says Sit Pretty Pet Services owner and head trainer Vanessa Charbonneau, in a news release.
“Using positive reinforcement training techniques, we can teach our dog, big or small, how to behave in any given scenario. By eliminating the use of fear and pain during training we can develop a close, trusting relationship with our dog.”
Sit Pretty Pet Services offers classes in Prince George, Fort St. John and online.
Cassie Young Dog Training also serves Prince George and offers humane dog training services, including classes in the popular new canine sport of scent work.
“Due to the ever-growing requests for services, I feel strongly that the north is ready for a positive way to interact with their dogs. I am committed to using positive, reward-based training methods which are kind and gentle, force-free and evidence-based,” says owner and head trainer Cassie Young.
Dr. Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer for the BC SPCA, says they receive hundreds of calls every year from dog guardians seeking guidance on how to find a good dog trainer.
“The dog training industry is unregulated. Many trainers say they are using humane methods, but until now we’ve had no way to assess this or to make a referral,” says Dr. Dubois.
"The goal of AnimalKind is to create a community of animal-related businesses that are committed to using science-based, humane standards, and to help consumers find companies that support good animal welfare.”
The SPCA launched the first set of AnimalKind standards – for pest control companies – in 2018.
Through a partnership with the UBC Animal Welfare Program, the BC SPCA, Vancouver Foundation and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies provided funding to establish the program.
“It’s wonderful to have AnimalKind trainers available as a resource for dog guardians in the community and to promote a culture of humane dog training in the region,” says Alex Schare, animal centre services manager, BC SPCA North Cariboo District Branch in the release.You can learn more about AnimalKind accreditation, or find a trainer near you online.