The Scoop 

Official Newsletter of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

"The CCPDT exists to be the industry leader in defining and maintaining competency in the dog training and behavior profession."


March/April 2014

Is It Spring Yet?




In this issue

Certificants Bark Back

Message From the President

Committee Call

On the Road with CCPDT

The Board Barks Back - Starr Ladehoff

Why Network?

Behavior Study Analysis - Effects of Two Training Methods on Stress

Call For Case Studies

New Contest!!!

Humane Hierarchy

Industry News




Dear Certificant,

Many of you have, like those of us here in Maryland, been struggling through weather challenges in recent months. While the Midwest, East Coast and even the South have been facing bone-chilling cold and traffic-snarling snowstorms, the West Coast is dealing with drought conditions not seen in decades, and Australia is looking at extreme heat.

I lived through the California drought of 1977 and remember the water-saving slogans ("Save water, shower with a friend," and "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down"). I also remember the devastating effects  on wildlife and domestic animals, especially livestock.  And while this year's snow, so far, hasn't been quite as bad here as four years ago's "Snowmageddon," I can see the toll it's taking on my own animal companions as well as those of my clients. In fact, during that particularly trying stretch of weather, colleague and friend Jenny Swiggart coined the term for this behavioral phenomenon, "snow aggression."

As of this writing, I have five consults scheduled over the next couple of weeks for intra-pack aggression; escalating levels of fighting between dogs in their own homes. These are all dogs who have lived together for years, and while in each case there has been intermittent tension between canines, every client says it has never been this bad. I am more than happy to help them through the rough patch so there are no lingering aftereffects of the increased tension between dogs. I am reminded, however, of something our shelter vet in California once said that vets shared amongst themselves in regards to demodex mange.

"Treat it quick," he said they would joke, "before it goes away on its own" (because in dogs with healthy immune systems, demodex is pretty much a self-resolving condition), "and your owners will think you are a miracle worker."

I hope all of your weather-related problem behaviors are self-resolving conditions - and all your owner-clients think you are miracle workers... Stay safe and warm - or cool and wet, as the desired status for your location may be. 


Warm Woofs,   


Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Scoop Editor


(and Bonnie) 

P.S. Check out the new contest in this issue of Scoop! Instead of a word-find it's a "news quiz." All the answers to the quiz can be found in this issue of Scoop. Winner of a $25 Dogwise gift certificate will be drawn from all the correct entries submitted. Who can't use a $25 gift certificate from Dogwise? 





Certificants Bark Back




Dear Editor,

I saw your story on Jackie Lockard in your "Industry News" column. I'm happy to report that "Moose's Law" was voted on in the New Jersey Senate today and passed, 37-0! All that's left is the Governor's signature.  (See Editor's Note at the end of this letter.)

Thank you for reporting on Moose and the tragic circumstances that led to his death at the hands of a self-proclaimed dog trainer's act of negligence and cruelty. Thankfully, Moose's death, while heartbreaking and untimely, was not in vain.

The extensive social media and newspaper coverage on the story brought forth others whose dogs had died or were injured while in Lockard's care, but sadly lacked enough evidence to bring charges. Other disclosures came out about her training methods and treatment of dogs, including her own, when owners were not present - methods that were completely contradictory to her stated training philosophy and pet care advice. This information revealed a historical pattern of cruelty and abuse to those who might otherwise have believed Moose's death to be an unintentional and unfortunate accident, and left no doubt as to Lockard's culpability and the seriousness of her acts. It also rallied huge support for the Workman family over the loss of their beloved Moose, and led to a visible and vocal show of support in obtaining justice for Moose in the court throughout Lockard's proceedings, leading to her conviction.

The outpouring of support, community involvement and publicity ultimately caught the attention of Assemblyman Troy Singleton and moved him to get involved and take up the case, drafting the legislation now known as "Moose's Law."

Moose's death exposed and punished an abuser who had flown under the radar for too long. The law created in his name will no doubt prevent countless dogs in the future from falling into the cruel hands of convicted animal abusers.

R.I.P. Moose...

Lia Strucich

Editor's Note: Moose's Law would have given judges discretion to bar people convicted of animal cruelty in any state from obtaining or owning pets or from working in New Jersey in animal care jobs, such as veterinarians offices, dog training centers, rescue groups, kennels or groomers. On January 21, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decline to sign the bill into law, so sadly, despite Lia's optimistic enthusiasm, this protection is still not in place for New Jersey animals.

We love hearing from you! Send your reader comments to:




Message From the President

by Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT


President's letter - March 2014 




Dog training and behavior professionals certified by the CCPDT who seek an opportunity to volunteer their time, experience, and passion for dog training in return for minimal compensation, and working for the common good.  


The CCPDT is holding a Call for Candidates to fill one open position on the Board of Directors. Board service is a serious commitment, and we are looking for individuals who can take an active role within the organization.


Board members are responsible for setting strategic goals for the CCPDT; approving programs and policies that adhere to the organizations mission; and participating in individual committee work. 


If you can....

1.     Be prepared and keep commitments

2.     Work independently without direct supervision

3.     Voice your opinion while remaining professional

4.     Be judicious in your decision making

5.     Remain strategically engaged, but operationally distant

6.     Have experience working on other boards


 You could be a great board member!


The official Call for Candidates has been sent via email to all current CCPDT certificants. You will also find details on our website at This is an excellent way for you learn about the certification process.


Please note: All application packages must be submitted by email to  by 5 pm EDT Friday, March 7, 2014.




Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT  









Committee Call 

The CEU Request Committee

By Julie Buesser CPDT-KA, CEU Committee Chair
Board Member, CCPDT


The CEU Request Committee is charged with overseeing the approval of events that qualify for continuing education units for CPDT and CBCC certificants.


As Committee Chair my goals for this quarter are: 

·        to recruit volunteers who want to be involved in this process

·        to develop a vetting process for speakers/hosts/courses

·      to review the current CEU policy and make recommendations to the board on how it could be improved


The CCPDT is provided with limited information about the course curriculum. My hope is that the committee can develop a stronger, more efficient, process for handling CEU requests and approvals. If you are interested in joining the CEU Request Committee please contact me: 





On The Road with CCPDT
by Cissy Sumner, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA
CCPDT Board Member


For the fourth consecutive year, I had the pleasure of representing the CCPDT at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando Florida. Also helping staff the booth were Jenna Webb and Pat Miller. This conference is attended by more than 16,000 veterinarians, practice managers, technicians and assorted support personnel. We spoke to veterinarians from Iceland, Hungary, Brazil and the United Kingdom as well as the United States, all searching for knowledge and the latest in vet

NAVC - a BIG Conference!

erinary medicine and related fields.


NAVC provides a great opportunity to spread knowledge about our organization. Because the audience comes from all over the world, it is a source of pride to tell interested parties ours is an international certification. This creates quite a bit of interest from many attendees. Visitors were also impressed by the fact that our certificants need continuing education units. These factors lend credibility to our organization.


Another reason I like to attend NAVC is to learn about new veterinary products. Three in particular caught my interest this year:


Apoquel is a new medicine to treat allergies in dogs. It was previously available only through dermatologists, but is now been released to all veterinarians.  


  Zylkene is a nutraceutical recently released in the United States. It uses a calming agent derived from casein, a milk protein. Zylkene can be used for short or long term stress and anxiety.  


Also new on the market is Nexgard. This is an oral flea and tick medicine. Upon reading the fine print I found it claims to be effective on American Dog Ticks. This product would be worth investigating, but I suggest you make sure it works on ticks common in your area.


Another benefit to attending this conference is the opportunity to hear lectures by notable veterinary behaviorists like Dr. Debra Horowitz and Dr. Karen Overall. They present innovative information in the field of canine behavior, and separate fact from fiction.


Veterinarians and vet techs learn and practice their low- stress handling skills with dogs and cats in Dr. Karen Overall's hands-on lab at NAVC.


NAVC is a great way to educate the veterinary community about our organization. Every year more people who visit our booth are already familiar with CCPDT and the importance of certification in the training and behavior field. This is without a doubt a worthwhile  event for us to take part in, and a place where we can help to increase the value of your certification.


Assistant Executive Director Jenna Webb staffs the CCPDT booth at NAVC 2014. Board members Cissy Sumner, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA, and Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, also worked at the booth during NAVC week. 




The Board Barks Back 

by Starr Ladehoff, CPDT-KA 

CCPDT Board Member 


As a young girl I remember going to Sea World and at about age seven, I told my parents I'd be on the Sea World stage someday. Fast forward to the early 80s where I found myself with a Golden Retriever named Comanche. While I had been raised with a St. Bernard who was virtually my babysitter and best friend, Comanche was the first dog I learned how to train. I was soon hooked on dog training. Not knowing anything, I did what my trainer asked of me and yet something didn't quite fit for me. I became a traditional trainer after apprenticing for a couple of years and I was successful at competition. Then, my dream job became a reality and I got to work with marine mammals. My eyes were opened to cutting edge training techniques which forever changed my world. I crossed over to using these techniques with dogs and the transformation for me personally was one of extraordinary significance. I was more enthusiastic than ever before about training and behavior. I soaked up scientific journals and articles; I couldn't get enough. 

Starr and Denali

Starr Ladehoff, CPDT-KA, and Denali


After over 20 years in the business, I found the CCPDT. I had never before felt I needed a certification as I was successful already. Yet after speaking to a CPDT-KA and reviewing other professional websites, I knew this was the way to go.  Thankful that this was an independent certifying body not requiring a membership, I was anxious to see if I had what it took. After I passed, I wondered what the benefits for me would be. It didn't take long for me to start receiving the benefits of this certification. Benefits came in the form of help from the Yahoo Group and getting to know some other certificants personally at the conferences. The veterinarians in my area had always referred to me but the certification added more credibility. The discounts received for some professional memberships and conferences are helpful too.


Professionally, I have moved from doing basic manners and major problem solving to psychological service dog training and therapy animal training. I became a Pet Partner (formerly Delta Society) with my Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Lady and then again with my White Anatolian Shepherd, Denali. We visit hospitals and schools as volunteers. Recently, I had the opportunity to become a licensed Pet Partners Instructor and Team Evaluator, two very rewarding positions.


Personally, I am currently owned by 13 animals including horses, alpacas, dogs, cats, and a retired performing parrot. I find training and behavior so rewarding that I hope to always continue with it and learn. While I'm attending graduate school for equine-assisted mental health, I hope to incorporate all that I know into my future occupation as a therapist and have my therapy animals beside me.


I'm grateful for my experience as a board member for the CCPDT. I've found the work we've done as a group challenging yet rewarding. I've made connections with so many people, both on the board and off.  I couldn't be happier with my experience. I'm excited to see what the future holds for the CCPDT and all of us as certificants.








Why Network?   

 by Terry Cuyler, CPDT-KA   



As I have gone about contacting trainer networks in recent months for this column, I have come across several that were created but ultimately fell apart. I thought perhaps it might be helpful to examine what keeps a group together.


The first thing that seems to bind a group together is a passion for training in a humane way. Not all groups limit their members to positive training methods only, but training values seem to bond them together.Many have told me how much it means to them to be able to talk with other like-minded trainers when they see so much punishment-based training being used in their communities. 


Successful networking also involves mutual referrals.Veterinarians, groomers, and dog walkers/sitters are valuable additions to a networking community. Some networks border municipalities or even states; having a widespread community of trainers or other canine professionals makes it so much easier to refer. 


Networks also benefit from regular physical meeting times with agendas. The agenda can be e-mailed to members prior to meetings or created at the end of a meeting in preparation for the next one.Facebook pages also support networks, both as an informal meeting place and as a marketing tool.


Speaking of marketing, some networks have even evolved fliers and other materials that market all members of a group. This kind of collaboration is noteworthy in a profession that has a penchant for suggesting that one trainer has all the answers.


Lastly, successful trainer networks delegate jobs such as preparation of meeting agendas, management of Facebook pages and Yahoo groups, and tasks such as taking meeting notes, managing finances (if there is group money), correspondence, and group communications. 


If you're feeling alone out there in the big wide world of training and behavior, check out the other professionals in your area by using the search function of organizations such as the CCPDT, APDT, and Pet Professional Guild. Reach out to your fellow trainers. You can all benefit from pooling resources, putting your minds together work on a problem, referring cases to each other, taking advantage of potential educational opportunities, and simply having sympatico colleagues with whom to talk - and vent.


We are looking for more trainer networking groups that our certificants are members of to highlight in this column each issue of Scoop. If you are a member of a trainer networking group and would like to be included in Scoop, please let us know at:






Behavior Study Analysis

by Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA 


Effects of Two Training Methods on Stress-Related Behaviors
of the Dog [Canis familiaris] and on the Dog-Owner Relationship


An important argument in favor of reward-based dog training methods is that, compared with methods based on punishment and/or negative reinforcement, they result in less stress to the dog and produce a stronger bond between the human teacher and the canine student. As much as this may seem like common sense, we need to test it against close observation. (Casual observation and common sense tell us that the sun travels from east to west across the sky every day!)


The French team of Stéphanie Deldalle and Florence Gaunet conducted a preliminary study of dogs ("Effects of Two Training Methods on Stress-Related Behaviors of the Dog [Canis familiaris] and on the Dog-Owner Relationship," accepted manuscript, Journal of Veterinary Behavior 2014; copy kindly provided to me by the authors) at two training schools, one relying on negative reinforcement and the other on positive reinforcement.


The target behaviors were a sit and walking on leash without pulling. In beginners' classes in the R- school, the sit was elicited by a sharp tug upward on the collar combined with pressure on the dog's hindquarters, and the reinforcer was relief from these two aversives. When dogs pulled on leash while walking, the owner exerted and maintained steady pressure until the dog returned to heel position. (The study authors explained [private communication] that the owners did not jerk the leash as we in the U.S. might expect of an old-fashioned trainer.) In the R+ school, dogs were rewarded with food for performing the sit, and with praise for walking on leash without pulling. (Perhaps other certificants will be as surprised as I was by the use of praise alone as a reinforcer in teaching polite leash walking. I have never found praise sufficient to reinforce this difficult and unnatural behavior.)

 Much less R- and R+ were used in the advanced classes; the class trainer had verified the dogs' mastery of the basics taught in the beginner classes.


The dogs were compared with respect to two categories of behavior: stress signals and attentiveness to the handler.


As Deldalle and Gaunet point out, dogs might show signs of stress while learning new behaviors or when they first find themselves in an unfamiliar situation. And we can expect human handlers without much training experience to sometimes behave in confusing or inconsistent ways, which in turn could lead to stress-related behaviors in their dogs. To avoid confusing those possible stressors with stressors actually related to training methods, the authors studied only advanced classes. The dogs in these classes had attended at least 5 training sessions and most had attended more than 20. (However many sessions a dog had attended, the trainer assessed them as sufficiently skilled for the advanced class.)


During the sit exercise, the observer watched for mouth licking, yawning, scratching, sniffing (air or ground), trembling, and whining, as well as for low posture and for the direction of the dog's gaze. Low posture was defined as including at least two of the following: tail lowered, ears positioned backward, and legs bent. While the dogs walked on leash, the observer watched for low posture and for direction of gaze.


Dogs' attentiveness toward humans - and, specifically, their looking at us - has been studied fairly often and the evidence so far suggests that gaze is a good marker not only of attentiveness but of social bonds. So gaze during both the sit and the leash-walking exercise was taken as an index of the quality of the relationship. Finally, the researchers counted avoidance behaviors such as looking away, turning away, and stepping away during the sit exercise.


Dogs in the negative-reinforcement-based class showed significantly more mouth-licking and yawning during the sit exercise than dogs in the class based on positive reinforcement. There wasn't a significant difference between the two classes with respect to scratching, sniffing, trembling, or whining, but when

all the stress behaviors were considered, significantly more dogs in the R- class displayed at least one of them.  

Two dogs from the R+ class lip-licked; the researchers point out food was used as a lure in that class, so perhaps this lip-licking related to anticipation of food rather than to stress. There's no way to know.


As for leash walking, significantly more dogs in the R- class had low posture, and fewer of the R- dogs gazed toward the handler/owner.


Differences with respect to avoidance behaviors were not clear-cut - three dogs in the R- class looked away or otherwise showed avoidance, compared with no dogs in the R+ class. This difference wasn't statistically significant.


The researcher observing the classes also recorded differences in owner behavior. Surprisingly, 8.33 percent of owners in the R+ group gave the leash a single jerk as part of the sit exercise. In the R- class, 30.77 percent of owners jerked the leash. This seems like a big difference, but it turns out not to be statistically significant.


There was also no statistically significant difference between the two groups in the number of owners giving a single leash jerk to initiate walking together. It might be interesting to know how exactly "jerk" was defined and whether it was possible to tell how much force the owners were exerting. If we could measure the force, would we see a difference? This question arises for me because I will sometimes use a gentle tug on the leash to signal my dog that it's time to get moving. I believe that I'm exerting minimal pressure, but of course I don't know what an outside observer would perceive. On the other hand, probably all us trainers have had clients who find it extremely difficult not to yank that leash, perhaps out of habits learned in olden days.


What about treats? No owner in either group gave their dog any treats during the leash walking exercise; in the sit exercise, more than two in five owners reinforced the sit with a treat. These were advanced classes, so maybe it's not surprising that even the R+ students used so few food reinforcers.


The authors wisely stress the limits of their study. The sample is small both in number (24 dogs in one class, 26 in the other) and in duration. Only two dog training schools participated. And the same person selected the schools and performed the observations. Also, only one person attended classes and noted behaviors. She was a trained and skilled observer, but in many studies behavior is videoed so that a second skilled person can also log behavior to serve as a check on accuracy. Gaunet and Deldalle believe (personal communication to me) that video would have been intrusive and would potentially have changed the handlers' behavior, because of the knowledge that a permanent record was being made. This is a valid point, though given how many people post intimate and even embarrassing details of their lives on Facebook and other social media sites, and how accustomed we all are to the ubiquity of cell-phone cameras, I'm not sure that self-consciousness presents the same problems as even a decade ago. In addition, if the researcher conducting the observations was predisposed to favor R+ training methods, her perceptions of the dogs' behavior may have been affected.


I know of only two other "real-time" studies - that is, research based on direct observation rather than retrospective owner reports - of dogs' body language in the context of training and the long-term behavioral picture associated with different training methods.[i] Retrospective reports are generally less accurate than direct observation, because memory is fallible and because observers may be inexpert. So, despite its possible limits, the Deldalle and Gaunet report is a valuable addition to the literature on links between various training methods and dogs' behavior. That literature is almost uniform in finding that reward-based training is correlated with less aggressive behavior and even with better compliance by dogs. Further studies might attempt to include more dogs, and ideally (in my view, at least) the classes would be recorded so that behaviors could be watched by more than one observer and the results compared for accuracy.


Though it seems probable that the R- in the class studied was more harsh than most certificants would find acceptable, modern trainers often use mild R- that seems unlikely to elicit distress in most dogs. For example, many clicker trainers use a combination of R- and R+ to teach dogs to give way to gentle leash pressure. Dog-aggressive dogs can learn to relieve the stress they experience in the presence of other dogs by withdrawing rather than by aggressing. It would be helpful, in discussing the effects of R- on learner dogs' behavior, to know exactly what R- is involved.  


Another subject of particular interest is whether there are observable differences in the kinds of attention dogs give their handlers, depending on the training method used. Dogs are often watchful when uneasy, and most behavior consultants have encountered hypervigilant dogs who constantly scan their surroundings, with tense overall body language. A comparison specifically of the direction of gaze and of facial expressions of dogs trained mostly with aversive methods and dogs trained mostly with non-coercive, non-aversive methods might be revealing.


My sincere thanks go to the study's authors, Stéphanie Deldalle and Florence Gaunet, who patiently clarified many points and responded to my numerous questions.


Jolanta and Juni

Jolanta Benal and her dog Juni

Jolanta Benal is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant-Knowledge Assessed, a Pat Miller Certified Trainer, and the author of The Dog Trainer's Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet (St. Martin's/Griffin, 2011). From 2009 to 2014 she hosted the podcast The Dog Trainer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Teaching and Caring for Your Pet. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Jolanta sees clients in New York City and volunteers with the Pet Help Partners program to prevent relinquishments of companion animals.


[i] The other two studies are Schilder, M. B.H. and J.A.M. Van der Borg (2004), "Training Dogs with Help of the Shock Collar; Short and Long Term Behavioral Effects",  App. Anim. Behav. Sci. 85, 319-34 ; and Schalke, E., J. Stichnoth, S. Ott, and R. Jones-Baade (2007), "Clinical Signs Caused by the Use of Electric Training Collars on Dogs in Everyday Life Situations" App. Anim. Behav. Sci. 105, 369-80.  





Call For Case Study Submissions 


We are seeking case studies from certificants to publish in alternate issues of Scoop.  Authors of cases selected for publication will be paid 15 cents per word. You can refer back to the January/February issue for details on how to present your case study. Here are some brief tips:


1. Respect client confidentiality. Do not include client or dog names. You may "change the names to protect the innocent" if you would like to be able to refer to client or dog throughout the article.

2. Article should be 1,000 to 1,500 words.

3. Protocols utilized for training or behavior modification should follow the Humane Hierarchy as described elsewhere in this newsletter.

4. Article should include an outcome - at least far enough into the modification program to describe the effect of the intervention/protocol.

5. Submitted articles will be peer reviewed and may or may not be selected for publication. 

6. Submit to:

7. Authors of articles selected for publication will be paid at a rate of $.15 per word. Payment will be made following actual publication.

8. Deadline for submission for May/June issue is April 1, 2014. 









Welcome to our Scoop contest. Last issue's challenge was to find  17 words printed in purple and make them into the *correct* sentence. We had 23 entries last month - 21 correct ones. The winner of last issue's contest and recipient of a $25 Dogwise gift certificate is: Bob Ryder, PMCT, CPDT-KA owner of Pawsitive Transformations in Normal, Illinois.  Congratulations, Bob!


 The correct sentence was: "People have been asking me if I was going to have kids, and I had puppies instead."   


Bob also identified the author correctly as Kate Jackson.


We are starting a new contest this issue! Answer the 6 Scoop News Quiz questions below. Winner of the $25 Dogwise gift will be selected randomly from all the correct entries submitted. Send your entry to:

Entry deadline is April 15, 2014. One entry per person. Contest open to CCPDT certificants only. Correct answers will be published in next issue.

Winner of the March/April contest will receive a $25 gift certificate to DogWise (WooHoo!!)


1. What governor declined to sign a bill that would have prevented convicted animal abusers from working with animals?

2. What is the application deadline (date) for CCPDT Board candidates?

3. What are three new products (and their purposes) that were highlighted at the 2014 NAVC conference in Orlando, Florida in January?

4. Who are the two French scientists who conducted a comparison study on training methods and stress in dogs?

5. Where does Positive Punishment fall in the Humane Hierarchy?

6. What animal rescuer faces legal trouble over his efforts to rescue dangerous dogs, and in what state was his rescue organization located?

There you go... have fun!!




The Humane Hierarchy


Here is the oft-referred to Humane Hierarchy(1) (from our website - ) to which our certificants are expected to adhere:


Purpose: This position statement serves to guide certificants of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) in the decision making process during dog training and behavior modification. Additionally, it will assist dog owners and dog care professionals in understanding the standard of care to be applied in the dog training industry in determining training practices and methodologies and the order of implementation for applying those training practices and methodologies.


Position of the CCPDT: The standard of care for CCPDT certificants is that the Humane Hierarchy be used when making decisions regarding training protocols and behavior interventions. This use should occur regardless of whether the certificant is performing the training or setting up a protocol for the dog owner or another professional to implement.


The Humane Hierarchy, as adopted by the CCPDT, is as follows:


Hierarchy of Procedures for Humane and Effective Practices


1. Health, Nutritional, and Physical Factors:

The certificant should ensure that any indicators for possible medical, nutritional, or health factors are addressed by a licensed veterinarian. The certificant should also ensure that potential factors in the physical environment are addressed. 


2. Antecedents:  

The certificant should redesign setting events, change motivations, and add or remove discriminative stimuli (cues) for the problem behavior.


3. Positive Reinforcement:  

The certificant should employ approaches that contingently deliver a consequence to increase the probability that the right behavior will occur, which is more reinforcing than the problem behavior.


4. Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behavior:  

The certificant should reinforce an acceptable replacement behavior and remove the maintaining reinforcer for the problem behavior.


5. Negative Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, or Extinction

(these are not listed in any order of preference):

a. Negative Punishment - The certificant should contingently withdraw a positive reinforcer to reduce the probability that the problem behavior will occur.

b. Negative Reinforcement - The certificant should contingently withdraw an aversive antecedent stimulus to increase the probability that the right behavior will occur.


c. Extinction - The certificant should permanently remove the maintaining reinforcer to suppress the behavior or reduce it to baseline levels.


6. Positive Punishment: The certificant should contingently deliver an aversive consequence to reduce the probability that the problem behavior will occur.


Please direct any questions regarding this standard of care to our administrator at


(1) Adapted from What's Wrong With This Picture? Effectiveness is Not Enough, Susan Friedman Ph.D., Good Bird Magazine, Volume 4-4; Winter 2008. 





Industry News



DES MOINES, IOWA: Des Moines Service Dog Trainer Sues Drake University


A lawsuit against Drake University brought by a Des Moines service dog trainer who was allegedly asked to keep a dog out of classrooms is under review by the Iowa Supreme Court. Nicole Shumate brought the lawsuit against the university in 2011 after professors and administrators at the university's law school tried to stop her from bringing a service dog- in-training to class while she was a student between 2006 and 2009. Shumate heads an organization, Paws & Effect that trains and places the dogs, and argues that Iowa law allows owners and trainers to have the dogs in public places.


The Iowa legislature didn't specifically make service dog trainers a protected class under the law, the university has argued. Rather, the case would be better suited for criminal courts under Iowa law that makes denying access to a service dog a simple misdemeanor.


The Court of Appeals judges in November, however, said that filing a civil lawsuit was appropriate. The Supreme Court justices will now review whether the case can move forward in civil court.


Shumate has said she hopes pursuing the case will bring attention to issues of service and service dogs' rights. Many of the dogs trained through Paws & Effect are placed with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.


Link to article: 


February 22, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO: J&J Dog Supplies Sold to Ray Allen Manufacturing

Ray Allen Manufacturing, a 66-year-old Colorado Springs-area company that makes dog training products for law enforcement agencies and the military, has purchased the assets of J&J Dog Supplies, a Midwest manufacturer of professional dog training equipment.


The Colorado company's products include body suits, protective sleeves, hand-crafted leather collars and leashes, videos and kennels. They're sold mostly in the United States - via its catalog and website - to dog handlers, police, the military, homeland security and drug enforcement agencies, correctional institutions and professional security companies.

J&J, founded in 1965, manufactures products for dog-training clubs, schools, kennels and individual trainers, which are primarily used in dog training, agility and obedience competition. Its products, also sold via catalog and over the Internet, include toys, agility tunnels and bars, obedience jumps, dog houses, books, CDs and videos.


Even though much of J&J operations will move to Colorado, the company's brand, catalog and website will remain intact. J&J now will operate as a division of Ray Allen Manufacturing, according to company officials.


Link to article:



BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: Dogs Can Interpret Human Emotion


It should come as no surprise to anyone who works with dogs to hear that a new study has determined that dogs are sensitive to cues of emotion in human voices. Reported in Current Biology, researchers suspect the area of the brain responsible for voice and sounds in both dogs and humans evolved at the same time, 100 million years ago, when the two species shared common ancestors.


"Dogs and humans share a similar social environment," Attila Andics, of MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Hungary, said in a press release. "Our findings suggest that they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information. This may support the successfulness of vocal communication between the two species."


For their study, researchers trained 11 dogs to sit still in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The researchers than analyzed the brain activity of both dogs and humans as they listened to 200 different dog and human sounds, ranging from crying to playful barking and laughing.


While the brains of both dogs and humans responded most strongly to noises produced by their own species, they processed emotionally-loaded sounds in similar ways. For example, both species experienced a greater activation of the brain's primary auditory cortex when hearing happy sounds.


Some differences were noted as well: Dogs responded more strongly to non-vocal noises, compared to humans.


Link to article: 



PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON: Beleaguered Dangerous Dog Rescuer in Court 


Two months to the day after leaving Clallam County on a "desperate flight" with a semi carrying 124 dogs, Steve Markwell, former director of the now-closed Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks,Washington, was back in court Friday to face charges of fraud brought by a former donor.

Sherie Maddox filed suit against the sanctuary in November, claiming breach of contract and misuse of a restricted donation. Maddox says a $50,000 donation she gave to help build a new shelter for the dangerous-dog sanctuary was used instead to fund operations.

Friday's hearing before Clallam County Superior Court Judge George L. Wood was on a motion for a default judgment brought by Maddox's attorney, Adam Karp of Bellingham. Markwell claimed he had not been served notice of the suit and asked Wood for time to respond to the motion. Wood granted Markwell one week to find an attorney to represent the sanctuary, which dissolved at the end of 2013.

After weeks of heavy protest against the conditions at his sanctuary, Markwell packed the dogs -- many of whom he said he saved from court-ordered death -- into the 53-foot trailer and left Forks on Dec. 21. Markwell and the dogs arrived at the Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation shelter in Golden Valley, Ariz., on Christmas Eve, where he turned the dogs over to New York-based Guardians of Rescue.

Many of the dogs have been adopted out to various rescue agencies around the country. As of mid-February, 45 dogs reportedly remained at the shelter in the desert near the Arizona-Nevada border southeast of Las Vegas.


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THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA: Hollywood Animal Trainers Losing Business


Many veteran animal trainers in the Southern California film industry view themselves as an endangered species. They cite the growing use of digital effects, the flight of film work from Southern California, and mounting pressure from animal-rights groups.


The use of animals in film and television productions has become increasingly controversial. HBO in 2012 shut down production of its drama "Luck" after three horses died during production. The horse deaths renewed debate in the industry about the use of animals on film sets and the role of the American Humane Association, the group charged with safeguarding the welfare of animals in entertainment.


Some animal trainers have found novel ways to adapt to the digital revolution.


A company called GreenScreen Animals of Santa Monica, Calif., has found a lucrative niche supplying stock footage, shooting video of wolves, lions, bears and other big-game animals on a giant green screen stage, which can then be rendered as a forest, mountain, parking lot or school crosswalk.


Teamsters Local 399 has seen at least a 50 percent drop in the number of animal wranglers over the last decade, according to Ed Duffy, the union's business agent.


About 20 trainers have left the business or retired in the last three years because there wasn't enough work to go around, Duffy says. The union now has 90 trainers and 21 wranglers, most of whom live in Southern California.


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