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South Surrey dog trainer earns BC SPCA AnimalKind accreditation

Program aims to ensure trainers understand the human-animal bond
Bianca Steinmetz – Dog Training & Behavioural Consulting – and Izzy. (Contributed photo)

A South Surrey-based dog trainer who made it her mission to strengthen relationships between dogs and their owners through science-based, humane training has earned BC SPCA AnimalKind accreditation.

The organization announced Bianca Steinmetz’s achievement in a news release Tuesday (March 15), lauding the accreditation as “a convenient way to find reward-based dog trainers who understand the role evidence-based training methods have in strengthening the human-animal bond.”

Born and raised in Germany, Steinmetz is owner of Bianca’s Dog Training & Behavioural Consulting, located at 16124 9 Ave.

According to the release, her training journey began more than a decade ago. She worked at a doggy daycare before owning a dog walking service. Deciding to get the education and credentials needed to become a humane dog trainer led her to open Bianca’s Dog Training & Behavioural Consulting.

Receiving the BC SPCA AnimalKind accreditation is her latest success.

READ MORE: Humane dog trainers at the core of BC SPCA’s special accreditation program

Steinmetz grew up with German shepherds, but it was her own dog Luna, a border collie Labrador mix, who sparked her interest in dog training.

“Luna was a patient teacher. We started learning from each other by observing, and as time went on, we developed a language that was ours,” Steinmetz said in the release.

That relationship cemented Steinmetz’s passion for making an impact in the way humans and dogs interact.

“If we can admire our dogs for who they are and treat them with respect, if we can see the connection with our dogs as relationships vs. ownership, then we can start to understand each other’s language and begin to bond and work with each other.”

The BC SPCA created the AnimalKind accreditation program to help dog guardians find dog trainers who use science-based humane training methods and are committed to high animal welfare.

Working with trainers who use outdated techniques can cause harm to dogs,” Nicole Fenwick, BC SPCA manager of research and standards, said.

Steinmetz agrees.

“The dog training industry is still unregulated, and anyone can call themselves a dog trainer without any formal education to understand dogs,” she said.

“AnimalKind provides resources and guidance for people that need help. They are trusted to ensure their dog’s best interest is at heart, and the guidance they provide is based on science. Being accredited through AnimalKind offers all of this. Their screening selection and auditing process are second to none. My wish is that this would become the standard for all trainers to undergo.”

Steinmetz’s company is the latest to receive the AnimalKind accreditation.

On the Semiahmoo Peninsula, Ocean Park Dog Training, at 101-2430 King George Blvd., is also accredited.

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

AnimalKind standards for dog training – the second set of standards developed – were launched in January 2019.

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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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