South Okanagan dog training company Wei With Tails has received BC SPCA’s AnimalKind accreditation, becoming the only dog training company in the region to hold the distinction.
Sandy Wei, owner and trainer at Wei With Tails, is happy to receive the recognition. Wei says, “I am very proud to be a multi-certified dog trainer in the AnimalKind accreditation program and in supporting the voiceless humanely. It means dog guardians and the community can trust that I operate and hold the same high standards and ethics as AnimalKind. I can continue to function with integrity inwards and, now, outwards with this ultimate stamp of approval.”
Dog training is unregulated in B.C. Nicole Fenwick, manager, research and standards for the BC SPCA, says, “Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. In such an environment, it is difficult for dog guardians to know who to trust.” AnimalKind accreditation recognizes dog training companies that are committed to promoting animal welfare and using evidence-based positive reinforcement training methods. Fenwick explains, “Through AnimalKind accreditation, the BC SPCA wants to let guardians know which trainers prioritize dog welfare and help prevent guardians from unknowingly hiring a trainer who uses outdated training techniques that will negatively affect the bond between them and their dog.”
Wei started her career as a dog walker in 2016, and after years of education and mentorship, she opened Wei With Tails. She says, “I am a huge advocate of dog training based on evidence, compassion and choice. I developed a dog training philosophy committed to bridging our lives with our dogs in a trusting manner that includes meeting where the dogs are, and not where we want them to be.”
According to Wei, the relationship between guardians and dogs benefits from the change in perspective. Wei says, “by addressing their needs and approaching our relationship with dogs from a place of ‘look what I can do for the dog’ and not ‘look what I can make my dog do,’ our training journey and partnerships with our dogs will progress much further and deeper.”
Companies that receive the AnimalKind accreditation undergo a rigorous auditing process that ensures they follow AnimalKind dog training standards. Fenwick says, “It is encouraging and inspiring to see trainers like Sandy work to raise animal welfare in their industry. Wei With Tail’s commitment to science-based training methods and their understanding of the human-animal bond will greatly benefit dogs and their guardians in the South Okanagan.”
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 AnimalKind accreditation, what to look for in a trainer, or find a trainer near you at animalkind.ca.