Qathet-based dog trainer receives BC SPCA accreditation

Sandy Middleton’s business is the second in the region recognized by the AnimalKind program

Training and Behavior of Dogs’ Best Friends is the latest dog training business in the qathet area to receive AnimalKind accreditation from BC SPCA.

According to a press release, AnimalKind Accreditation recognizes dog training companies that use evidence-based positive reinforcement training methods and are committed to high animal welfare.

“In British Columbia, dog training is unregulated and anyone can claim to be a dog trainer, regardless of their education or credentials,” said Nicole Fenwick, manager, research and standards for the BC SPCA. “Dog sitters could end up handing over their dogs to someone who uses outdated techniques that negatively impact the bond between sitters and their dogs. By recommending only AnimalKind-accredited trainers, BC SPCA can connect dog sitters with expert, humane trainers.

Sandy Middleton, owner and trainer at Best Friends Dog Training and Behavior, explained the importance of using humane training methods.

“I train using positive reinforcement because I can’t imagine inviting a dog into my life and my home and then treating it mean,” Middleton said. “There is no place for hurting or scaring dogs in the name of training or for any other reason. I never want to betray a dog’s trust by using aversive methods or equipment. isn’t just mean, it’s ineffective, and aversive techniques actually cause many dogs to become fearful and aggressive.

Middleton became a dog trainer as part of her second career. The retired Capilano College instructor attributes her interest in dog training to her own dogs, Sophie and TT.

“My dog ​​Sophie had become reactive to other dogs, and I was looking for ways to help her with that,” Middleton said. “I loved Sophie so much, and it hurt to see her bark and growl at other dogs. I wanted to change that. And my dog ​​TT was a feral pup that I adopted. TT came home with me at seven months, frightened by his own shadow.

To receive AnimalKind accreditation, companies go through a rigorous auditing process that ensures their training methods meet AnimalKind science-based standards for dogs.

“We are thrilled that Best Friends Dog Training and Behavior is now part of the AnimalKind community,” Fenwick said, “and that more Sunshine Coast dogs will benefit from working with these amazing trainers who are so committed to the well-being of children. animals.”

Paw in Hand, which received the same recognition in 2019, moved from Squamish to the qathet region in 2021.

“I am happy and proud to be accredited by the AnimalKind program,” Middleton said. “I’m honored to be listed among all the wonderful trainers in British Columbia who do such a great job demonstrating the power of humane, scientific training and helping people and their dogs live their best lives together. “

The BC SPCA launched the first set of AnimalKind standards – for wildlife and rodent control businesses – in 2018. Through a partnership with the UBC Animal Welfare Program, the BC SPCA, the Vancouver Foundation and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies provided funds to establish the program. .

The AnimalKind Standards for Dog Training, the second set of standards developed, was launched in January 2019.

For more information on AnimalKind accreditation, visit

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