Great Debate: Should training people to work with dogs include some form of regulation?

As the demand for professional dog trainers continues to rise in the UK, the industry faces a critical question: should training people to work with dogs include some form of regulation? Is it time to establish minimum standards for this profession?

Currently, anyone can advertise themselves as a dog trainer, as no specific qualifications or standards are required. This lack of oversight raises several concerns. Some think that this should be stopped, and that accredited programmes and standards should be introduced to ensure that all dog trainers meet certain competency levels.

Without regulation, they argue, there’s a risk that individuals who are adept at marketing themselves on social media but lack genuine expertise could dominate the field – potentially leading to subpar training practices and even harm to dogs and their owners.

However, there are also arguments against implementing such changes. Critics argue that regulation could stifle innovation and diversity in training methods. The current system allows for a variety of approaches, catering to the different needs of dogs and their owners. There is also concern that increased regulation could lead to higher costs for trainers, which might be passed on to clients, making professional dog training less accessible.

Additionally, some believe that market competition naturally weeds out incompetent trainers, as word-of-mouth and reviews help owners find qualified professionals.

What do you think – should training people to work with dogs include some form of regulation?

Tell us what you think here, or write to [email protected] with “Great Debate” in the subject line.

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