Erin Jones PhD, MSc, 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 (CPDT-KA) 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 challenges), I became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC). I am now also an Accredited Animal Behaviour Consultant (IAABC-ADT) with Companion Animals New Zealand.
I moved to Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2016 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 embraces my extensive dog related research, seminars, mentorships, and writing related work.
I moved to New Zealand in 2018 where I have since completed my PhD at the University of Canterbury as a part of the New Zealand Centre for Human Animal Studies. My research primarily focuses on the human-dog relationship, humane training and the ethical components of canine consent. I continue to work independently and collaboratively in the field.
In addition to my academics and behaviour consultation work, I am the Science Content Editor for the IAABC Foundation, creating and supporting animal behaviour related educational material for members and certificants and editing the IAABC Foundation Journal. I also teach a few flagship courses available online through the IAABC Foundation.
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. My book, Constructing Canine Consent: Conceptualising and adopting a consent-focused relationship with dogs is due for publication in February 2024 with Taylor & Francis. Other free articles, webinars and podcasts are available in Resources.
My Certifications, Accreditations & Degrees:
- 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
TEACHING and BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION PHILOSOPHY
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.
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