PPAB offers the only Accredited Training Technician and Professional Canine Trainer  certification for professionals who believe there is no place for shock, choke, prong, fear or intimidation in canine training and behavior practices. 

PPAB also offers the only psychometrically developed examination for Training & Behavior Consultants who also support  these humane and scientific practices

The Pet Professional Accreditation Board Ethics

Section One -

The Non-Negotiables.

To be in any way affiliated with PPAB professionals must adhere to a strict code of conduct.

Accredited Professional s understand Force-Free to mean: No shock, No pain, No choke, No fear, No physical force based methods are ever employed to train or care for a pet.

Definition of Force

Any definition can never be so expansive and explicit that every possible situation is addressed. This is seen everywhere in life and most obviously in the US legal system where very often courts cannot agree on a single interpretation of what terms and definitions mean, including physical force.

Recognizing this we understand, in the context of our Guiding Principles and as a general framework, physical force to mean “any intentional physical act against a pet that causes psychological or physical pain, harm or damage to the pet.”


Certain equipment is covered above in our Non-Negotiables. Clearly the use of many (most?) harnesses, head halters, collars (non-choking) and leashes would not be considered physical force under this guiding definition if 1) they are used consistently with our Guiding Principles, 2) they are used as intended and designed and 3) they are not used in a way that is contrary to their design and intent, i.e. not used in a manner which would cause psychological or physical pain, harm or damage.

Section Two 

Professional Ethics

1.We always hold the pet’s welfare as our top priority. The pet is the vulnerable component in the consultation process as he/she cannot offer informed consent.

2.The professional’s role is one that is beneficial to the pet and never to his/hers detriment. Always seek to do no harm.

3.We do not condone or endorse any treatment by a pet’s owner that is physically or mentally cruel. We will opt out of a consulting agreement rather than attempt to manage an unethical course of action.

4.We only consult with clients who offer cases that we have the professional competence to deal with.

5.We only use procedures, protocols and training tools that are empirically-based and have a proven track record.

6.We always consider communications with our clients privileged. We will only break that confidentiality if a pet is being abused and the client cannot be dissuaded from using their current approach. We always act according to local and state laws in terms of reporting animal cruelty.

7.We recognize that the pet’s owner is responsible for their pet and the owner has the right to make decisions about the professional treatment of their pet.

8.We ensure that all communications are professional and based on fact. When discussing industry practices, trends or issues, members will limit discussion to practices and consequences rather than the individuals using them thereby ensuring informed, professional and civil exchanges that enrich members and the industry of force-free pet professionals.

9.Apply the following ethical principles to each situation we encounter:

  • Respect for the freedom and dignity of others.
  • Do no harm.
  • Do good.
  • Act fairly.
  • Be faithful to promises made.

The Pledge

We pledge to use our knowledge and skills for the benefit of pets and their owners.

2.We pledge to practice our profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the PPAB Ethics

3.We pledge to accept, as a lifelong obligation, the continual improvement of professional knowledge and competence.

4.We pledge to commit to the highest professional and ethical standards in any business practices and in the approach to pet training and pet care.

5.We pledge to always treat clients with respect, kindness and caring.

6.We pledge to work openly and honestly with clients who share these values in their relationship with their pet and who:

  • Enjoy working, playing and spending time with their pets.
  • Integrate their pets into their family and are willing to teach them how to live in a human society.
  • Recognize and understand the value, effectiveness and power of force-free training methods.
  • Are dedicated to optimizing the physical, social and mental well-being of their pets.

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