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East of England Positive Canine Professionals code of Practice

Proposed at inaugural meeting 29 June 2013

Members of the group would be required to sign up to this code and expected to abide by it. Any member not complying could be asked to leave the group following a decision by the committee.

Although the group includes dog trainers, it is also intended to include other professionals in the dog welfare and care field, including groomers, walkers, sitters and those involved in rescue. It is a group for individuals rather than organisations.

Any comments to Jane – info@dogstartraining.co.uk


The group aims to promote positive reward based approaches to training and interacting with dogs. We are committed to educating dog owners in the use of training methods which are based on scientifically researched principles and sound learning theory. The group includes dog trainers and other professional practitioners in the field of dog welfare and care.


Members will recognise their responsibility to clients, clients’ dogs and society in general and conduct themselves with integrity as professional practitioners. Their actions or advice should not knowingly cause psychological or physical distress or damage to any of these.

The welfare of clients and their dogs is paramount.

Members shall respect the views and independence of others and shall not publicly denigrate their conduct or opinions.

Members shall not seek to attract business unfairly or unprofessionally or conduct their practice in any way which would discredit the reputation of Positive Essex Dog Trainers.

Members are responsible for continuing their personal and professional development by undertaking further training and study and acquiring knowledge of new theory and practice.

The training methods and/or equipment advised, employed or sold by members shall be consistent with the principles of kindness and fairness to both clients and dogs.  For this reason, coercive or punitive techniques and/or equipment should not be used, recommended, advertised or sold by members

The training techniques employed and advised by members are assumed to be the application of scientifically based research and knowledge and to result from practical experience of the use of non-compulsive methods.

Members will have public liability insurance where appropriate.

Members will not bring the Group into disrepute.


The committee of the Group shall advise and give directions on all matters of principle and of conduct of members and any complaint or dispute arising therefrom shall be dealt with by reference to the Code of the Group.

Membership will be terminated if a member is found guilty of cruelty or other crime(s) against an animal(s).


The following gives examples of equipment and techniques which are covered by the code of practice and which may not be used by any trainer or practitioner in their work with animals – the list is not exhaustive but provides examples:

Check/choke chains

Prong collars

Electric shock devices in any form

High frequency sound devices which are designed to startle

Pet corrector – emits a hiss of cold air

Dog stop – emits a high pitched sound

Remote controlled spray collars

Automatically triggered spray collars

Antibark collar – emits spray directed onto dogs skin (including new product jet master)

Training discs

Liquid sprays

Loud noises e.g. rattle cans/bottles/Chains/keys

Throw stick/chain

Strong smelling substances e.g. smelling salts/ bite back

Pinching – ears/feet/toes


Biting (of dog)

‘Alpha roll’

Any manhandling that causes pain or discomfort

Code of Practice
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