Code of ethics

The International Working Dogs Association Code of Ethics is a set of guidelines and professional practices to which all members agree to conduct themselves at all times. A Code of Ethics assures the public and other professional bodies that Professionals affiliated or certified by International Working Dogs Association will act responsibly, ethically and professionally in all activities they undertake.
Our Code of Ethics is designed to assist our professionals in the ethical challenges of their work and elevate the level of professionalism in dog training and behavior consulting.


Members of the International Working Dogs Association (IWDA):
• must uphold and promote the Code of Ethics at all times
• must commit to ongoing learning and continued professional development
• 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
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 pratice

Members of the International Working Dogs Association (IWDA) will abide:
• To operate without discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, physical limitation, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, religion, or political beliefs.
• To assist clients in establishing realistic, training and behavior goals.
• To understand and fully comply with the IWDA Policies.
• To use training methods based on accurate scientific research
• To always provide for the safety of clients and animals in training programs.
• To act with honesty and integrity toward clients, respecting their legitimate goals and the autonomy of their choices.
• To refrain from public defamation of colleagues, respecting their right to establish and follow their own principles of conduct.
• To provide truthful advertising and representations concerning certificant qualifications, experience, performance of services, pricing of services and expected results.
• To use properly authorized logos and credentials provided by IWDA
• To obtain written informed consent from any client prior to photographing, video or audio recording training session.
• To maintain and respect the confidentiality of all information obtained from clients.
• To be aware of and comply with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards governing professional practices.
• To keep accurate and complete records of clients; to ensure secure storage and, when appropriate, confidential disposal of such records.
• To continue professional development as required for maintaining the IWDA credentials.

Business pratice

Members of the International Working Dogs Association (IWDA) will abide:
• Keep accurate and complete records of all clients and dogs for a minimum of 7 years.
• Credit the work of others appropriately where publication or broadcast of such work is made.
• Be prepared for consultations following the most current International Working Dogs Association guidelines.
• Never use any false or misleading statements in any advertising material with regard to qualifications, endorsements or past performances.
• Be fair and honest in assessing the needs of both the client and dog.
• Ensure that all local, state and federal occupational health and safety laws and requirements are being met at all times.

Relationship with other professionals

• Members shall maintain a spirit of cooperation with other trainers and Association members and they shall not criticise other trainers or Association members in public or to clients.
• Members must not infringe upon another trainer’s signature mark, copyright, business name or slogan.
• Members shall refer to other Association members when they themselves are unable to provide a service.
• Members shall promote, protect the interests of the Association.
• No Member shall represent him/herself as an official Association spokesperson without prior approval of the IWDA.

Ethical issues

• If a Member is unsure about a particular course of action he must consult the committee for guidance and advice.
• If the demands of an organisation or client with which the Member is affiliated conflicts with this Code, Members must clarify their ethical responsibilities and either resolve the conflict or terminate the professional relationship.