Code of conduct


Members of the public and in particular Dog Owning Citizens are the source of our strength and influence as a Professional Organization. From the work and integrity of our members and the services they provide, people will determine our reputation and ability to make an impact upon our profession and the well being of dogs and their owners. The obligation of members to those we represent and serve will best be achieved through a common Code of Conduct to guide our professional business practice. Therefore compliance with this Code of Conduct is a requirement for all members.

Each individual member of the Association of Balanced Dog Trainers shall:

  1. Conduct their business in a professional manner, honestly and with trust and respect.
  2. Assist in maintaining the honor and reputation of the Association and their Profession and avoid any form of fraud, deception or impropriety.
  3. Serve their client or customers competently and proficiently with proper care and attention.
  4. Use professional judgment on behalf of each client or customer without regard to personal interests or interests of other clients or the desire of another person(s).
  5. Not undertake any service or employment for which they are not competent.
  6. Determine their ability to be of professional assistance to a client. Should the expertise required fall outside the realm of the member’s capability he/she shall seek appropriate answers and/or support, or refer out to a fellow professional with the necessary experience and ability.
  7. Continue to further their education and increase their knowledge, skills and experience to stay current and be able to increase the well being of themselves, the profession, clients, customers, dogs, the dog ownership community and other affiliated bodies.
  8. ABDT members may not seek to deprive any canine professional of their ability to conduct their business by seeking to restrict or ban accepted and established tools of the trade, or by seeking to restrict or ban accepted and established techniques and practices within the industry through calls for boycotts, restrictions, bans, or other actions designed to interfere with free marketplace participation of a canine professional in their business. Accepted and established tools of the trade include, but are not limited to, leashes, harnesses, training collars, slip collars, prong collars, head halters, remote electronic collars, and electronic pet containment systems. Accepted and established techniques and practices include, but are not limited to, those techniques and practices described in published books, videos, and professional seminars. A personal preference shall be allowed in the individual member's choice of methods, equipment and techniques within their own practice.
  9. Give his/her client an honest opinion when consulted, and avoid bold, confident and false assurances to obtain employment, sales and/or status.
  10. Not give false information to the Association. Doing so shall be considered grounds for lifetime dismissal.
  11. Accept that individual members fees charged to the community shall be a matter between the member and their client.
  12. Conduct themselves in a business like and professional manner while maintaining empathy and understanding for the needs of the client, customer and dog.
  13. Use professional judgement and where it is considered of benefit to the client and/or dog, engage in consultation with other professionals to seek advice and assistance. All communications between professionals with regard to clients shall be responsible, respectful, and effective while remaining confidential endeavouring to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the professional/client relationship.

Any member who has been convicted in court of cruelty to dogs or inhumane treatment of animals shall be terminated from the Association of Balanced Dog Trainers and all privileges withdrawn.