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Position Statement on Regulation in Animal Training and Behavior

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) strives to standardize and support the practice of animal training and behavior consulting, and maximize the effective use of reinforcers to modify animal behavior.

Scientific research has clearly established that best practices in animal training and behavior require positive reinforcement-based strategies, competent evaluation of effectiveness, and the ability to communicate effectively with both human and animal clients. Further, these strategies must be founded on established principles of learning and assessment.

The absence of meaningful requirements in the field means that best practices need not be adhered to by those choosing to forego the necessary education and assessment of their own skills. The lack of such standards has been shown to increase the risk of relinquishment to shelters, the emergence or worsening of aggression and other serious behavioral issues in animals, and fails to protect trainers, the public, and the pets in their care.

For this reason, the IAABC supports the regulation of animal training and behavior consulting based on the Joint Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics established in 2018 by the leading training and behavior organizations in the United States. Thoughtful, meaningful, and consistently applied standards will serve to better the care and training available to owners seeking help for their beloved pets.

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