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Code of Ethics

I. General Statements


  1. Membership in the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (hereinafter referred to as "the Association") must represent a commitment to upholding and promoting the highest standards of ethical practices both as described herein and, where this Code omits, as good faith and good conscience should dictate.
  2. Members should hold as their first priority as trainers, the welfare of all dogs with which they come in professional contact and the quality of the relationship between client and dog.
  3. Among the Association’s stated purposes is to provide a forum for its members to share ideas and information and to better educate themselves as professional trainers. To this end, members should actively seek to learn and to help educate their peers, recognizing that continual broadening of all members’ knowledge can only benefit our clients and their dogs.
  4. Members of the Association should, where appropriate, actively promote responsible and ethical: training, breeding, selling and stewardship of dogs.
  5. The Association, as a body, shall provide a forum for trainers and their clients to voice concerns, complaints or thanks, and a system, where appropriate, for disciplinary action.
  6. Submissions for revision to the Code of Ethics shall be accepted at any time, and the Code will be reviewed and voted on annually by the general membership.

II. Training Practices Members of the Association shall strive to:



  1. Employ and promote only humane techniques in the training of dogs.
  2. Discourage and reject gratuitous or non-instructive physical or psychological punishment of dogs, instead advising or instructing clients, where appropriate, on humane, instructive means of communication with their dogs.
  3. Discourage and reject inhumane or unkind physical or psychological treatment of dogs (as distinct from punishment in item #2)
  4. Refrain from dispensing drugs and medications or medical diagnoses, instead referring all such work to a qualified veterinarian.
  5. Keep an open mind with regard to new training ideas, techniques and equipment and continue to educate themselves in their field.
  6. Treat all clients and their dogs in a responsible and professional manner, regardless of their ability or breed, and,
  7. Act within all local laws.

III. Business Practices Members of the Association shall strive to:



  1. Keep accurate and complete records of all clients and their dogs, as appropriate and for an appropriate length of time.
  2. Credit the work of others appropriately where publication or broadcast of such work is made.
  3. Be prepared for classes or consultations.
  4. Refrain from promising unqualified "guaranteed methods" or "secret cures".
  5. Refrain from using, in advertising, promotional materials or other communication, any false or misleading statements or misinterpretations, including, but not limited to, using titles or degrees or diplomas to which the member is not entitled; using inaccurate claims of past performance; using or implying bogus endorsements.
  6. Stress in the publication or broadcast of training advice, where appropriate, that such advise is provisional and that active training cannot be fully provided by telephone, in a broadcast or in a published article and that certain problems are best suited to the personal attention of a dog trainer or other professionals in the field.
  7. Refrain from offering commissions, rebates or kickbacks in return for referrals where such practice falls outside the Code of Ethics of any organization to which the second party belongs.
  8. Be honest and forthcoming with accurate information regarding the quoting of fees, and refrain from charging for "hidden extras".
  9. Keep class sizes to a number which allows appropriate attention to be given to all class members.
  10. Refrain from knowingly supporting or promoting, whether by advise or referral or transaction or financial contribution, the inhumane breeding of dogs, such as so-called "puppy mills" and their retail associates.
  11. In the case of a person with serious need and without appropriate financial ability, help absorb the cost or refer the person to a trainer or organization willing to help absorb the cost.
  12. Be fair in assessing the needs of clients and their dogs and forthcoming with such assessment, providing in advance, where possible, a realistic estimate of time and cost to satisfy such needs (for example; not to "stretch" training to sell unnecessary classes or consultations).
  13. If certified, approved, accredited or any similar wording implying a degree of proficiency is used in any advertising, shall clearly state in all advertising the certifying body OR shall restrict the advertising to any letters that may be added after their name to indicate the degree of proficiency obtained, and,
  14. Act within all local laws.

IV. Relationship with Association Members and Other Trainers Members of the Association shall strive to:



  1. Represent the Association in good faith, while refraining from public or private promotion or endorsement of any product or service in the name of the Association without the express written consent of the officers of the Association as directed by the membership.
  2. Maintain a spirit of co-operation with other trainers and Association members, and refrain from criticizing members and other trainers in public or to clients.
  3. Refrain from infringement upon another trainers’ signature mark, copyright, business name or slogan.
  4. Avoid knowingly soliciting other trainer’s clients, except where some arrangement of co-operation is made.
  5. Refer clients to other Association members with approximate expertise where they themselves are unable to provide service.
  6. Consider and protect the interests of the Association and its members, and,
  7. Act within all local laws.



CAPPDT- October, 1994
Revised - March, 2000
Revised - May, 2001
Revised - May, 2004
Last modified: July 23, 2009