FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -The BC SPCA’s list of AnimalKind accredited dog trainers has grown by two companies serving northern B.C.
Sit Pretty Pet Services offers classes in Prince George, Fort St. John and online. “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.
“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,” said Charbonneau.
The BC SPCA launched this innovative program to accredit dog-training businesses in British Columbia in January 2019. 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.
Cassie Young Dog Training 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 the owner and head trainer Cassie Young.
“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.
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.”
Dr. Karen van Haaften, the BC SPCA’s senior manager of behaviour and welfare and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviourists, says scientific research across North American and Europe unequivocally supports the use of reward-based training. “Reward-based training is not only effective, but it protects the physical and emotional health of your pet and the special bond that you share. We hope the AnimalKind accreditation program will be a resource to help dog owners find the right trainer for their dog.”
To view Sitting Pretty Services; CLICK HERE
To view more on AnimalKind accreditation; CLICK HERE