Local dog training company Pooch Positive Dog Training has become the first in the City of Richmond to receive BC SPCA AnimalKind accreditation.
For Rebecca Jennings, owner and head trainer at Pooch Positive, the recognition is a testament to her commitment to dog welfare. Jennings says, “Gaining this accreditation means I train in a scientifically proven way and that my standards are as excellent as those of the BC SPCA. It is an honour to be the first trainer to gain accreditation in the city of Richmond.”
The BC SPCA created the AnimalKind accreditation program to help dog guardians choose dog trainers who use humane training methods by recognizing companies that are committed to dog welfare. Nicole Fenwick, manager, research and standards for the BC SPCA, says, “In B.C., anyone can call themselves a dog trainer and offer their services without any education or experience.” In this unregulated environment, it is easy for dog guardians to unknowingly work with a trainer who might put the welfare of their dogs at risk. Fenwick says, “Companies that receive AnimalKind accreditation have undergone a rigorous auditing process to verify they follow AnimalKind dog training standards, making it easier for guardians to know who to trust.”
Jennings’ evidence-based approach to training incorporates the science of positive reinforcement, canine learning and behaviour. She is passionate about helping humans understand their animals. Jennings explains, “When you read a dog’s body language and see what they’re trying to say feels like a superpower.” Jennings shares that passion with her clients, “I teach people about canine body language during lesson one. I believe it is really important the human can recognize what the dog is trying to say. It has to be a two-way street of communication.”
The BC SPCA launched the first set of AnimalKind standards – for wildlife and rodent control companies – in 2018. Through a partnership with the UBC Animal Welfare Program, the BC SPCA, Vancouver Foundation, and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies provided funding to establish the program. AnimalKind standards for dog training – the second set of standards developed, were launched in January 2019.
Learn about accreditation, what to look for in a trainer, or find a trainer near you at AnimalKind.
Pooch Positive Dog Training offers services in Richmond and Steveston.