Experts speak out about dog training rules and regulations in Wisconsin
ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - After a dog trainer in Black Creek closes his business after a shocking video goes viral alleging animal abuse, local dog trainers speak out.
As Action 2 News reported, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department confirms there’s an active investigation on the trainer.
“The number of certified, credentialed trainers in the area really, really is the minority. And the reason that it’s the minority is because nobody has to,” said Maggie Keippel, owner of Practical Obedience Custom Dog Training.
In Wisconsin and nationwide, there is no regulation of the dog training industry, meaning there’s no minimum education requirements, credentials, or experience in order to be a dog trainer.
“This isn’t an isolated incident, this is something that happens all of the time. And so we need to start to bring light to the other stories that don’t have proof and figure out a way that we can better regulate or manage these stories so it happens to less and less and less dogs,” said Keippel.
Maggie Keippel is a certified behavior consultant at Practical Obedience Custom Dog Training in Ashwaubenon. She urges community members to vet potential trainers carefully, “you can start to look at websites and see are they just talking about experience, do they have any credentials, what do those credentials actually mean? So then go that extra step and say ‘What does this certification body doing? What does this stand for,’ and that sort of thing. But then also when you meet with a trainer, asking the questions ‘What happens when my dog makes a mistake? What are you going to do? How do you respond to that? What are you going to do when my dog gets it right?’”
Keippel says while there are no state level certifications offered, there are many organizations out there offering proper obedience training certifications.
“The gold standard is the Academy for Dog Trainers, which is a 2 year course that I went through and graduated with honors through. So there’s certainly coursework like that, obviously they’re not all equal but there’s a starting point. And then there’s also several certifying organizations, where you take a test, you do case studies, you prove that actually understand the science of how dogs learn and aren’t basing your training methods on old myths and old beliefs,” said Keippel.
For tips to find a credible dog trainer, click here.
To find a member of Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin in your area, click here.
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