Ethics for Professional Animal Consultants



Do you ever feel that you are caught in the middle? Between a dog with major behavior problems and an owner who wants instant results? Between a client and a breeder who is giving what you think is inappropriate advice? Between your own views about the treatment of companion animals and the cultural norms of your community? If so, then this course is for you. For all of us who work with families and their pets, these clashes of values—ethical dilemmas—are inevitable. Just as we need skills and experience to work with those pets, we need to become adept at handling ethical challenges as well. The approach outlined in this course will help you to become as skilled at ethical decision making as you are behavior consulting.

The goals of this course are:

  • To familiarize you with some of the common ethical dilemmas that members of our profession face;
  • To help you learn systematic ways in which we can resolve these problems; and
  • To assist you in navigating some of the current moral issues in training such as professionalism and certification, training methods and the ownership versus guardianship debate.

This course is an in-depth remote course comprised of interactive discussion sessions between training colleagues. The discussions are led by Jim Barry, CDBC, CPDT-KA, author of The Ethical Dog Trainer: A Practical Guide for Canine Professionals, which is the principal text for the course. There are two online quizzes to help you determine if there are areas you need to revisit.


Jim Barry

Jim Barry is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and does group and individual instruction and behavior consultations in Reson, Virginia.   His academic background includes degrees in philosophy and science policy from Georgetown and George Washington Universities.  Prior to becoming a dog training instructor he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, where, among other duties, he taught ethics courses for new employees.  On retiring from government, he joined the faculty at George Mason University, where he taught ethics, management and politics and authored a book on international ethics.  He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland, where he develops training programs and consults with corporations and government agencies on ethical standards.  In his dog training activities, Jim is particularly interested in working to keep dogs with families and in applying positive methods to training hunting dogs. Jim is the author of “The Ethical Dog Trainer,” and co-author of “Positive Gun Dogs: Clicker Training for Sporting Breeds.”

Refund Policy: The course fee will be refunded, in its entirety, so long as the enrollee requests a refund in writing no later than the 14th day after the course is purchased. Alternatively, the enrollee may request an exchange or credit toward a different course, instead of a refund.