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Dog Whisperer Training Mishap Stirs Up Questions About Training Ethics & Safety


Philadelphia, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/17/2016 --A recent episode of the popular Cesar 911 — a National Geographic show centered on dog training and rehabilitation by "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan — is stirring up controversy due to an incident that occurred during a training exercise between a dog and a pig.

During the segment the dog, whose aggressive behavior towards pigs was the focus of Millan's training, bit a pig, drawing blood. An animal rights activist who saw the episode is pursuing charges of animal cruelty. Millan is denying these charges, claiming that it was a hiccup in a process that ultimately resulted in the rehabilitation of the dog — a claim that has yet to be independently verified.

If an incident such as this can occur during training by a world-famous "expert," what kind of safety standards are everyday dog trainers following? How can the average dog owner ensure the safety and well being of a misbehaving dog?

Right now in the U.S., anyone who wants to work with dogs can call themselves a dog trainer or behaviorist. Specific training isn't necessary, and accreditation is not required.

Bradley Phifer, President of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers speaks about the dangers of this situation, saying that "viewers are only shown an edited segment of his entire process, and undoubtedly this segment is meant to drive ratings, however, Mr. Millan has long been criticized by dog training and behavior professionals for his archaic techniques. This incident demonstrates why certification standards are important; they ensure that professionals have demonstrated a level of knowledge and adherence to a code of ethics."

Phifer added that "professional dog trainers have the responsibility to not only train the dog, but to do so in a manner that does not create a safety risk to the public (or other animals). The CCPDT's Humane Hierarchy serves to guide its certificants, and other dog training professionals, in their decision-making process during dog training and behavior modification. Additionally, it assists the public in understanding the standard of care that should be applied by dog training and behavior professionals when determining the order of implementation for training practices and methodologies."

With this system of standards and training in place, CCPDT hopes to improve the lives of both dogs and their families, while minimizing the risk of safety and ethical violations during training and behavior modification exercises.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is the leading accredited independent certifying organization for the dog training and behavior profession. The CCPDT leads in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices. Thousands of dog training professionals worldwide maintain the CCPDT's certifications as a mark of high professional distinction. The organization is dedicated to providing professional standards that support and promote excellence in the dog training and behavior profession, and seeks to connect dog owners with trained, knowledgeable and certified trainers who have been provided with professional credentials through our examination processes.

You can find out more about the CCPDT and their exams at their website,

Alexandra Golazsewska
Alexandra Go, LLC