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The Pet Dog Trainers of Europe (PDTE) was founded in 1998 by Norwegian dog expert Turid Rugaas, who has been at the forefront of canine communication for many years.

We have members all around the globe, allowing us to share knowledge, experience and skills.

Our members share a philosophy and approach that honours dogs and our connection to them.

We oppose methods that cause pain and discomfort or rob dogs of their natural instincts.

We believe understanding how dogs view the world and communicate deepens and enhances our relationships with them. 

Our members uphold a strict Code of Ethics and are encouraged to commit to ongoing learning through our networks and programs.

Watch our 20 year anniversary video below to find out more.

Our mission

To build an accessible, dynamic community of dog professionals who promote progressive and ethical approaches towards dogs and their humans.

Our vision

A world in which dogs are understood, respected and treated with kindness and empathy.

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

Members of the Pet Dog Trainers of Europe (PDTE): 

  • must uphold and promote the PDTE Code of Ethics at all times 

  • must commit to ongoing learning and continued professional development (eg. seminars, webinars, research) and help to educate others 

  • must actively promote responsible and ethical training and overall welfare of dogs 

  • should not practice in a professional capacity when they are not in a fit mental or physical state 

  • must have insurance for professional indemnity and public liability when working with dogs and clients 


Submissions for revisions to the Code of Ethics shall be accepted at any time and the Code of Ethics will be reviewed and voted on annually by the general membership. 

Training practices

Members of the PDTE should:

  • use humane and relevant training techniques, ensuring that each dog has appropriate choices and opportunities to act out normal dog behaviour 

  • never use or encourage physical or psychological punishment on dogs 

  • be open-minded about new training ideas, research and equipment and make decisions based on ethical research

  • teach responsible training, care and welfare and encourage choices for dogs. Emotional and physical welfare must be paramount, and the needs of each dog must be taken into account at all times. 

  • promote appropriate equipment, including well-fitting harnesses that allow unrestricted movement and are comfortable, as well as long flat leads with a minimum of 3 metres (unless the law in a country/city dictates otherwise) that allow freedom of movement

  • discourage the use of collars (with lead attached), half-check collars, choke chains, slip leads, headcollars, prong collars, spray collars, e-collars, flexi leads, short leads (less than 1.5 metres), cages, crates and any equipment that restricts normal movement, choice, causes pain, shock, fear or restricts breathing 

  • discourage repetitive and arduous games, activities, competitions and exercise (for example retrieve, fetch, being asked to sit repeatedly, traditional obedience, agility) that may cause physical and/or emotional stress, hyperactivity and obsessive behaviour. Always take into account the age, health and individual preferences of the dog to decide on the appropriateness of activities.

  • refrain from giving medical advice, diagnosing or claiming to treat medical conditions. Where possible work with veterinary professionals, and refer to them if you suspect any health issues.  

  • treat clients and dogs with respect and behave in a professional manner regardless of individual abilities or breed of dog 

Business practices

When working professionally PDTE members should:

  • keep accurate records of all clients and their dogs, as appropriate, for the length of time required by the country they work in 

  • credit others appropriately when using their work 

  • not make unrealistic or false claims to clients or the general public in terms of what can be achieved 

  • never knowingly support or endorse the inhumane treatment of dogs in any way 

Full and Associate Members of the PDTE may use the PDTE logo on their business materials.

Relationship with the PDTE and other trainers

Being part of the PDTE community requires members to:

  • represent the PDTE in good faith and not endorse or promote any products, services, events or technique as being connected to the PDTE without written consent from the PDTE Board 

  • foster friendly and collaborative relationships with other PDTE members, and refrain from criticising other members publicly, including on social media 

  • not encourage or solicit clients away from another trainer 

  • refer clients to another trainer or behaviourist when more specialist skills are required 

  • raise any concerns about membership directly with the Board, and always behave courteously and respectfully 

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