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Evidence Based Practice within dog training

09/07/2018 - Latest News

Firstly, may I welcome you to the UKCSD ‘Blog Section’ this area will be dedicated to the ‘Golden thread’ of the UKCSD programme which is, Evidence-Based Practice within dog training. Within this ‘News-Blog’ we will focus upon canine scent-work. Not always scent-work, but any interesting application of evidence-based practice within the dog training world. Where we as an education establishment will promote ‘Choice based, force free and positive training’ which is part of our mission statement;

“All dogs trained by the UKCSD will be treated humanely and ethically.  Instruction will be provided by appropriately trained personnel, only positive and force free methodologies will be used. Any equipment used will be subject to strict safety checks, any canine training aids that do not meet these exacting standards are banned from use at the college (Electric collars, pinch collars and check chains are prohibited). The welfare of the animals in our care will be of paramount importance at all times”

I think this small snippet from one of our training manuals will begin to describe our ethical stand point, and that of our partners and friends we choose to work alongside, the Pet Professional Guild, Bravehound and the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers.

Why a ‘News Blog’? I think we need to share ideas and information, some posts will be news, some training information, and some recommendations for academic papers, books articles etc. This will take the format of a chat (just the two of us!). It will not be a daily blog discussing what our dogs are doing but will be regularly up dated so we can introduce you to our trainers and our dogs. I will discuss our courses, and hopefully update those that are running in the future. Also, any really interesting questions that are asked on our courses I will discuss here. So, shall we start?
Evidence-Based ‘Dog training’.

This is something that I became familiar with during the last few years of my Police Career and with assistance from Sunderland University who introduced me to this phrase during my Doctorate. Evidence-Based Practice is an expression that is frequently used within the health-service and policing, but why dog training? To discover the use of evidence-based practice in the Canine Training world, take a look at ‘Dog Smart’ by Linda P. Case (2018). This is an excellent book and describes evidence-based practice really well giving examples at the end of each chapter. I will add this title to my book review a little later, it is one of the ‘recommended books’ for course members (Thank you Linda!!).
I think before I go on a definition is required;

Evidence-based practice (EBP) within Canine Training is the amalgamation of successful working experience coupled with systematic research and skill within the canine training process. Using the best proven ethical practice available to formulate successful training outcomes.

We as canine trainers bring our collected experience into this arena. However, owners and students also bring theirs, presenting us as trainers with their personal values, ethics, beliefs with a desire to achieve the required training goals.

To achieve these goals, EBP will provide the most optimal and ethically proven outcomes for successful canine training, combining education, experience and expertise. These aspects will combine relevant research and instructional skills to improve dog training, be it pet-dog, operational or assistance dog training.

With this in mind, our ‘News-Blog’ will provide this evidence to assist in your journey as a scent-work trainer or handler.

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