A Comox Valley dog trainer has been recognized for her outstanding work in the industry.
AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Courtenay’s K9 Kind Dog Training & Behaviour Consulting, owned and operated by Carrie Lumsden.
K9 Kind joins six other Vancouver Island training businesses, expanding the community of accredited humane dog trainers for Island residents. Lumsden is the only trainer in the Comox Valley to receive the AnimalKind accreditation, and the only one north of Parksville.
AnimalKind provides a trusted resource to help dog guardians find a skilled dog trainer who can help them build the relationship with their dog or address their dog’s problem behaviour. The SPCA launched the first set of AnimalKind standards – for pest control companies – in 2018. A partnership includes the UBC Animal Welfare Program and the BC SPCA, with funding support from the Vancouver Foundation and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.
“Dog training is an unregulated field – it’s ungoverned, and there is no accountability,” said Lumsden. “So a certification such as this helps owners navigate to choose a certified and qualified dog trainer. It protects them from not just dominance-based trainers, but uncertified, under-educated positive enforcement trainers, who could give misleading advice.”
Lumsden has been a dog trainer for 15-plus years and says positive reinforcement training is proven to be the best method.
“K9 Kind uses science-based training methodologies, letting go of the old dominance model,” she said. “Reward-based training is hands down the most effective and safe way to train while growing the bond between owner and dog.”
It is easy for families with dogs to be overwhelmed by the amount of information found online. AnimalKind makes it easier for people to make informed consumer decisions and to connect dog guardians with training companies that have been audited and meet the BC SPCA’s high-welfare standards.
The BC SPCA launched the AnimalKind program for dog training companies in January 2019 in response to the hundreds of calls the organization receives each year from people seeking guidance on how to find a dog trainer. AnimalKind sets out science-based training standards to ensure humane treatment for dogs and peace of mind for their guardians.
“We accredit trainers who use positive, reward-based methods. They go through an auditing process to make sure they meet the standards. With AnimalKind accredited trainers, dog guardians can have peace of mind knowing they are choosing a humane trainer recommended by the BC SPCA,” said Fenwick.
“To be AnimalKind accredited, I have to come to the plate with my education credentials already in place,” said Lumsden, who is CCPDT-certified (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers). “So the AnimalKind accreditation ensures that whoever is part of that program has obtained quality education in the first place.”
The AnimalKind accreditation is also a means of accountability.
“That’s a big difference – with AnimalKind, if the client dislikes something that I am doing, they can actually phone and make a complaint, whereas with [uncertified trainers], they can sort of do whatever. It’s the kind of accountability that was completely unheard of in the dog training world before this.”
There are currently 23 AnimalKind accredited training businesses in B.C. with many of these also offering online training services.
Learn more about AnimalKind accreditation, or find a trainer near you at www.animalkind.ca
–With files from BC SPCA