Erin Jones MSc, PhD, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, CDBC, CANZ-ABC/ATI
Originally from Canada, I spent the majority of my life working with a variety of nonhuman animal species, but began specializing in dog training and behaviour while working at Companion Veterinary Clinic in Alberta, Canada under the mentorship of Jessica Benoit. While working there, I first became a certified professional dog trainer with the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), teaching puppy classes and offering one-on-one training sessions. Later, while focusing more on behaviour modification plans for dogs experiencing issues of fear, anxiety, aggression (among other behavioural maladaptations), I became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC). I am also an Accredited Animal Behaviour Consultant with Companion Animals New Zealand.
I then moved to Nova Scotia, Canada, while completing my Master's degree in Anthrozoology at Canisius College. This is where the Merit Dog Project first came to fruition (formerly Merit Professional Dog Training and Behaviour Consultation). The name change encompasses more than just behaviour consultations, but also my extensive dog related research, seminars and writing related work.
I moved to New Zealand in 2018 where I am completed my PhD at the University of Canterbury as a part of the New Zealand Centre for Human Animal Studies. My research focuses on the human-dog relationship, humane training and the concepts surrounding canine consent. My research agenda examines a dog-centric approach to including dogs in research.
In addition to my academics and behaviour consultation work, I am the Education Initiative Lead and Science Content Editor for the IAABC, creating and supporting animal behaviour related educational material for members, certificants and the general public. I also work as the Animal Training and Behaviour Accreditation Manager at Companion Animals NZ.
I formerly wrote weekly dog training and behaviour articles for K9 of Mine, occasional "Ask a Behaviour Consultant" articles for Journey Dog Training, and contributed frequently to other dog-related media such as PetMD. I am also a sessional tutor at the University of Canterbury and run behaviour related seminars for community dog lovers both online and in person.
Certifications and Accreditations
- Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAABC)
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT)
- Accredited Animal Behaviour Consultant (CANZ)
- Accredited Dog Trainer (IAABC)
- Accredited Animal Training Instructor (CANZ)
- BSc. in Psychology
- Pg. Dip. in Animal Welfare
- MSc in Anthrozoology
- PhD in Animal Studies
It is important that dog training practices are based on the most current science. I pride myself with following the code of ethics set forth by the IAABC and the CCPDT to use the most minimally invasive techniques possible when working with any nonhuman animal. I emphasize the importance of building a strong relationship founded on both consent and communication. I am here to help your dog navigate this human centric world in the most effective and compassionate way possible. I will never use or recommend the use of shock, choke or prong collars on your dog.
I am happy to help you with anything from building a stronger bond, improving your understanding of dog behaviour and helping you build a compassionate and respectful relationship with your dog.
Highly qualified expert help for you and your dog without the use of fear, pain, force, or intimidation.
Start on a road to a better relationship.
Learn how to help your dog better navigate their environment, and feel safe and confident.
I am currently only booking remote (virtual) sessions and will no longer be offering in-home services. I primarily work with dogs who are experiencing fear/anxiety or co-operative care learning. Space is limited so please contact me for availability.
Please refer to APDTNZ Membership Directory or CANZ Accredited Trainers/Behaviour Consultants if you are looking for someone to work with you and your dog in person.