At its heart, the UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter is a code of conduct, ethics and methodology. Its signatories are comprised of many of the UK’s leading behaviour and training organisations who have come together under the Charter’s umbrella to work in unison for the benefit of dogs, dog owners and the wider profession.
In an unregulated industry, dog owners can often struggle to find a suitably accredited professional to help them and their dog. While there are many excellent professionals working nationwide, there are also many who continue to use outdated and aversive methods without any oversight or recourse.
The UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter’s aim is to ensure dog owners that its signatory organisations and their members will adhere to the most modern, scientifically-proven, positive methodology. In addition, Charter organisations pledge to take full accountability for their members with transparent working practices, codes of conduct and (should it be necessary) robust complaints procedures. Because of this, the public can have full confidence that the professional with whom they choose to work, will not use any equipment designed to cause pain, fear or a startle response.
Working together to help the nation’s dogs and their people
The Charter aims to make a clear statement regarding the future direction of the dog behaviour and training industry in relation to professional standards, tools and methodologies. The welfare of the dogs lies at the heart of its mandate, making clear representation as to what is, and isn’t, acceptable in a modern, progressive profession.
It also seeks to provide assurance to the public, other professional bodies, and Government Agencies that signatory organisations are committed to open, transparent and robust complaints and grievances procedures that can be supported by independent arbitration if needed.
It is hoped that the Charter will give assurance and accountability to the public and other relevant bodies. Displaying the Charter symbol will show that the dog professional is a member of a Charter organisation, and has aligned themselves to the ethical and welfare and conduct obligations that are at the heart of the Charter.
GETTING HELP - FINDING A CHARTER PROFESSIONAL
The Charter represents canine professionals throughout the United Kingdom and covers a wide range of skills and specialisms - including both training and behaviour.
If you need help with your dog, look at the individual organisations’ websites to find which organisation best suits your needs, and then search their directories of accredited professionals to locate someone in your area.
Pet Dog Trainers
COAPE Association of Applied Pet Behaviourists and Trainers
International Canine Behaviourists
Modern Dog Trainers
Victoria Stilwell Academy
The Pet Professionals
CHARTER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
In order to ensure there is fair, transparent and independent oversight of complaints and grievance, the Oversight committee has been set up. This committee is made up of a board of respected individuals from a broad background, who have no current affiliation with any signatory body. They will be tasked with looking at submitted evidence should a complaint or grievance need arbitration. This committee will look at the evidence in relation to the codes of the signatory organisation and the expectations laid out in the Charter Document.
The oversight committee currently comprises of:
• Rabbi Dr Charles H Middleburgh
• Dr Kathy Murphy BVetMed DPhil CVA CLAS MRCVS
• Hon David Newall
• Dr Motje Wolf
• Robin Hargreaves BVSc MRCVS
• Gemma Bowkett LLB PGDip(LP)
Complaints & Grievances
If you feel you have a complaint or grievance against an individual professional who is covered by the Charter your first action should be to contact their member organisation (see links above). They will have clear details on their website as to their complaints and grievance procedure. Evidence will be requested, and they will deal with the matter initially and report their findings and action to be taken, if applicable.
Should you disagree with the outcome or require it to be investigated further, you can ask for an appeal to be made to the independent Charter Oversight Committee. They will request any relevant evidence including the initial ruling, and will investigate the matter fully before making a final decision. The committee will contact you within 14 days of the case being raised to confirm the procedure has been started. They will then provide updates every 14 days until a final decision has been made.
If you wish to contact us about the Charter (or regarding a complaint), please send us a message.
JOINING AND SUPPORTING THE CHARTER
To become a signatory to the charter:
If you are a UK dog behaviour or training member organisation that supports and monitors your membership and would like to enquire about becoming a signatory to the charter, please read the ‘Eligibility’ form below and then click ‘Make an Enquiry’ and someone will be in touch to discuss this with you.
The UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter is a private, limited, not for profit company registered in England and Wales with company number 13694377.
Registered address: 76 Manchester Road, Denton, Manchester M34 3PS.