Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)

Hanging With Hounds is the first company serving the Sooke Region certified as a BC SPCA’s AnimalKind accredited dog trainer.

The BC SPCA launched the program in January 2019. There are now four AnimalKind-accredited dog-training companies in the Capital Region.

The AnimalKind program sets out science-based training standards to ensure humane treatment for dogs. It provides a resource to help dog guardians find skilled dog trainers who can help build a healthy and positive relationship with their dog or address their dog’s problem behaviour, using science-based humane training methods, says the BC SPCA.

“AnimalKind provides peace of mind for dog guardians when choosing a trainer,” says Nicole Fenwick, manager, research and standards for the BC SPCA.

“We have developed evidence-based dog training standards and an auditing program that ensures we only recommend trainers who use humane, effective training methods instead of outdated techniques that cause fear and pain to their dogs.”

Sharon Labossiere, owner and trainer at Hanging with Hounds came to dog training as a second career after working a corporate job for years. She began by volunteering at a local shelter.

Labossiere quickly realized that if she wanted to have a positive impact on the lives of dogs, her experience just living with dogs was not enough.

Her journey took her to obtain the education, credentials and experience necessary to become a dog trainer.

“My goal is to help people understand their dog and normalize what is completely normal dog behaviour, not problem behaviour. By helping people understand their dog and help them learn how to reinforce the behaviours they want to see more of, people are happier, and so are the dogs,” Labossiere said.

“I learned of the AnimalKind accreditation program a few years ago while I was still based in Alberta. I was so impressed with what the BC SPCA was trying to accomplish, and I hope sincerely that the concept spreads to other regions.”


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