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Code of Ethics

Code of Professional Ethics

Amended October 16, 2017

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) is a professional organization of individual trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education. The APDT created the Code of Professional Ethics to set forth guidelines for APDT members. As such any member who violates this Code or is proven civilly liable for or convicted of any of the violations below is subject to discipline, up to and including removal from and/or denial of membership. The Board in its discretion may terminate the membership for any member who displays gross and/or egregious misconduct or displays any behaviors that are a misrepresentation of APDT and/or its membership. Any member or member applicant who wishes to appeal the termination of his/her membership or refusal of his/her membership application and have APDT reconsider its action may do so by providing relevant information to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall review the relevant information in a timely manner and provide the member/member applicant with a determination based on its findings.

  • cruelty, abuse or neglect to animals or humans;
  • crimes against humanity including but not limited to any violent crimes (i.e. murder, kidnapping, assault or endangerment of the lives of others);
  • burglary, robbery, arson;
  • business fraud, plagiarism or copyright infringement, misuse or misappropriation of logos, trademarks, theft of intellectual property, slander or libel, shall have his/her membership terminated immediately;
  • failure to adhere to all applicable policies and by-laws of the APDT;
  • representing him or herself as an official spokesperson for the APDT without prior written approval of the Board of Directors shall have his/her membership terminated immediately as provided by the APDT by-laws;
  • practicing veterinary medicine outside of the laws within their jurisdiction.

Standards of Practice

Adopted September 27, 2016

The Standards of Practice for the members of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers provide a framework of principles to convey a collective vision of professionalism, skills and values. As a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), each individual member will undertake the following:

  • To understand and promote Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA)
  • To work on achieving the goals found in the APDT’s Body of Knowledge (BOK) required for those practicing as dog trainers and behavior counselors.
  • To continue professional development by reading relevant material; attending conferences, workshops and seminars; and pursuing other educational opportunities.
  • To refrain from representing dog training and behavioral information as scientific, unless the information is derived from peer-reviewed and published research.
  • To refrain from offering guarantees regarding the outcome of training.
  • To maintain professionalism at all times by:
    • Providing honest services
    • Treating all dogs and clients with respect
    • Respecting the privacy of member clients
    • Maintaining professionalism related to colleagues and other professionals and not condemning the character of their professional acts.