Philosophy on training tools for dogs

Acme Canine’s Position Statement on Training Tools

(adapted from the International Association of Canine Professionals positions)

Acme Canine strongly opposes legislation that bans or limits the humane use of any training tool. Our conviction that limiting the humane use of training tools would result in a higher incidence of nuisance and dangerous dog behavior and more dogs being surrendered to already overburdened public shelters.

Dog training is a very diverse field with a single common thread: communication.

Dogs are trained for many different tasks such as assisting the disabled, police work, herding, hunting, protection, competition, and companionship. Professional trainers achieve these training goals by using various tools to communicate with the dog, both at close range and over long distances. Done effectively, this communication increases desirable behaviors and reduces the incidence of problem behaviors in dogs.

Any efforts to ban or limit training tools would hinder this communication, and our ability to train dogs would suffer. Working dogs would no longer achieve highly specialized tasks, and families with pet dogs would have fewer options available to correct behavioral problems.

The desired result of any training program is to produce a dog that performs its tasks not only reliably but with enthusiasm and joy. An experienced, professional trainer is knowledgeable about their trade tools and has been schooled on how best to use them to effectively and humanely communicate with a dog.

Training tools, when properly utilized, are safe and humane.

It is broadly acknowledged among canine professionals that any training tool or method, improperly applied, can be abusive. Any person who causes physical injury or emotional trauma induces behavioral problems or otherwise harms dogs in a profound and/or lasting manner is already subject to prosecution under existing local laws.

Trainers who misuse tools, by applying them in an abusive or harmful manner, either through ignorance or malice, are not only acting unlawfully but will not be successful in maintaining behavioral changes over a period of time. These are the people who will be subjected to criminal prosecution for animal abuse under existing local laws. Acme Canine fully supports the enforcement of such laws and the prosecution of these individuals.

Acme Canine advocates the education of canine professionals and the public in the correct, humane use of all training tools. The community’s benefit is reducing problem behaviors and enhanced relationships with dogs as companions, assistants, and working partners – a relationship that dogs and humankind have enjoyed for thousands of years.

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