So, your pooch has selective hearing.

The BC SPCA is offering a new accreditation program for dog trainers in the province.

The AnimalKind program uses science-based training standards and Doctor Karen van Haaften said this new program is a good thing because, at this point, anyone can be a dog trainer.

“You don’t have to have any education to call yourself a dog trainer, you don’t have to have any experience, any ability, you can just go out and hang a shingle on your door tomorrow and call yourself a dog trainer. Which doesn’t mean that there aren’t wonderful, very effective, very evidence-based dog trainers working in BC, it just means that they very often get drowned out by a lot of trainers that don’t have any education in the field,” said van Haaften.

The AnimalKind program standards were developed through scientific research, feedback from international animal behaviour and dog training experts, along with consultations with 36 dog trainers.

The BC SPCA is hopeful the AnimalKind program will give accredited businesses a fair shake in the market.

“What we’re trying to do is clarify for the public what all these different criteria mean,” said van Haaften. “We want to do the vetting for dog guardians so that they know, when they’re reaching out to an AnimalKind accredited trainer that that professional has the education, the experience, ethical business practices, that they’re using methods that are going to be good and effective for your dog. That’s the work that we’re trying to take off of the dog guardians.”

Cowichan Canine Behaviour and Training in Duncan is one of the first six companies in the province to become AnimalKind accredited.