Open Letter to Hillsborough County Commissioners, FL ref Choosing a Dog Trainer

There are numerous professional organizations that offer membership and credentials in the field of animal training and behavior. Few, however, hold their members to a strict code of conduct which involves the application of their trade through scientific protocols and the objective to cause no harm.  Unfortunately, the pet training industry is entirely unregulated, meaning
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Basic Facts about Heartworms and Prevention

By Niki Tudge Many pet owners are unaware of the significant affect heartworms can have on their pet’s health. Heartworms are solely transmitted by mosquitoes which leave animals in the south, and especially Florida, at risk year round.  After biting an infected dog, the mosquito injects circulating microfilaria (the worm larvae) into another animal where
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An Open Letter to Pet Industry Representatives Regarding the Use of Shock in Animal Training

Pet Training, Management and Care: We Now Know Enough to Stop Shocking our Pets Copyright Pet Professional Guild Click here  to download a PDF version of this open letter    Shocking pet dogs remains a common, if controversial, training practice worldwide. In this open letter, Pet Professional Guild (PPG) combines decades of research, the opinions of certified
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What is the difference between escape and avoidance behavior?

Escape & Avoidance Behavior  First what is positive and negative reinforcement ? Positive reinforcement is defined as the occurrence of a behavior followed by the addition of a stimulus or the increase of a stimulus which results in a strengthening of the behavior. Negative reinforcement in contrast is defined as the occurrence of a behavior followed
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A CHECKLIST – A few strategies for hiring the best!

by Niki Tudge Focus on hiring only the best. Make sure you have a written job description. Don’t limit your sources for good employees. Avoid hiring someone who averages more than one employer every two years. Use a rating system so that early candidates are not forgotten in the interview process. Where possible, promote from
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The Effects of Using Aversive Training Methods in Dogs – A Review by Dr. Gal Ziv

By Niki Tudge  As a professional in the pet industry and one who is heavily invested in the promotion of force-free animal care, training and management I am always looking for new research and findings to help in the aged debate about dog training methods and their efficacy.  Since its inception in 2012, PPG’s position has been that
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