Your Happy Dog Coach
Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

As a Professional Pet Dog Trainer, with a Certificate through Good Dog Academy, I specialize in positive reinforcement methods, and I am committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct in my practice. I recognize the importance of promoting the well-being of dogs and fostering positive relationships between dogs and their owners. To ensure the welfare of the animals in my care and maintain the integrity of my profession, I pledge to adhere to the following code of conduct:

  1. Promote Positive Reinforcement: I will use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards-based training, to encourage desired behaviors in dogs. I will refrain from using aversive methods, such as punishment or physical force, that may cause fear, anxiety, or harm.
  2. Prioritize Animal Welfare: I will prioritize the welfare and well-being of the dogs under my care at all times. I will provide for their physical, mental, and emotional needs, ensuring they are treated with kindness, respect, and compassion.
  3. Continued Education: I will stay informed about the latest developments and advancements in dog training and behavior science. I will pursue ongoing education and professional development opportunities to enhance my skills and knowledge as a trainer.
  4. Honesty and Integrity: I will be honest and transparent in my interactions with clients, colleagues, and the public. I will accurately represent my qualifications, experience, and the methods I employ as a dog trainer.
  5. Respect Client’s Goals and Values: I will listen attentively to my clients’ concerns, goals, and values regarding their dogs. I will work collaboratively with them to develop customized training plans that align with their preferences and priorities.
  6. Maintain Professional Boundaries: I will maintain professional boundaries with clients and refrain from engaging in any behavior that may be perceived as inappropriate or unethical.
  7. Confidentiality: I will respect the privacy and confidentiality of my clients and their dogs. I will not disclose any sensitive information shared with me during the course of training sessions without explicit consent.
  8. Humane Treatment of Animals: I will advocate for the humane treatment of all animals and speak out against practices that cause unnecessary suffering or harm.
  9. Lead by Example: I will strive to be a positive role model for other dog trainers and members of the community, demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of positive reinforcement methods.
  10. Professionalism: I will conduct myself in a professional manner at all times, maintaining a clean and safe training environment and communicating clearly and effectively with clients and colleagues.

By adhering to this code of conduct, I affirm my commitment to promoting the well-being of dogs and upholding the principles of positive reinforcement, ethical training.

  1. The values of Your Happy Dog Coach include:
    • Prioritizing physical and emotional safety. When needs for safety, belonging, and satisfaction are met, empowered pro-social behavior emerges.
    • Practicing kindness to all, including dogs, oneself, clients, and other pet professionals (even those who disagree).
    • Maximizing dog’s agency – the ability to opt in or out of activities – as much as is possible for the wellbeing of the animal.
  1. In person and online, I agree to empower healthy behavior: that which meets the individual’s need and does not conflict with needs of the individual or anyone else, and arrange the environment to provide opportunities to explore healthy behavior with naturally occurring reinforcement, whenever possible.

  2. In person and online, I agree to use and recommend only equipment that allows for maximum comfort and agency (while still safe) and does not harm the animal in body or mind. Long leashes, fences, muzzles, etc. can be used to ensure safety, as a portable physical barrier to keep the animal from getting too close to a trigger.
    If any necessary safety equipment is aversive to the animal (muzzle, harness, etc.), I will change the situation and/or take the time to use cooperative care protocols to acclimate the animal to that equipment before using it, whenever possible.
    I also agree to avoid using equipment or techniques that elicit an alarm/startle reaction, and/or that change behavior by causing (or threatening to cause) pain, discomfort, and/or fear. Intimidation and behavior suppression do not align with my values. This includes, but is not limited to: electronic shock collars/equipment, spray/citronella collars, anti-bark collars, prong collars, ‘alpha rolls,’ and check/choke chains, etc.

    [Note: some clients may already be using these; a transition process to stop wearing the current gear is allowed. I will do my best to make the transition away from aversive tools as safely and quickly as possible.]
  1. I agree to keep learning, because animal care is constantly evolving.

  2. In person and online, I agree to work in a professional manner, as well as collaboratively with other pet professionals for the greater good. I also agree to treat all humans with respect, regardless of ethnicity, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, etc. We are more similar than we are different. Our basic needs are all the same, yet our environments are not. I will look for the kindest way to behave.
    Further, I agree to do my best to behave with kindness, honesty, and care for the greater community, as a professional and individual. This includes practicing consent for potentially intrusive interactions in personal and professional settings and actively setting boundaries on unhealthy interpersonal behavior.