PETA, the pet advocacy group, says the training industry is rife with deception.
In a new report, PETA says there are more than 10 million training centres in the US and over a billion dollars spent annually by trainers to teach dogs.
“The industry has done nothing to stop the rampant misrepresentation and manipulation of the animals it is trained to help,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.
“It is time to end this sham, and stop these deceptive practices before they destroy dogs and other pets.”
The report also calls on the training companies to remove the names of their trainers from advertisements and put the training products on a register to be monitored by animal welfare groups.
It also recommends that the government audit training centres and training facilities to identify any problems.PETA’s report follows a similar one by the Humane Society of the United States.
In October, it published a scathing report about the training facilities where dogs were trained for pet shows, which include PETA and the National Association of Pet Dog Trainers (NAPDT).
“The problem of puppy training centers is far more widespread than we previously realised,” NAPDT CEO Richard Erikson said at the time.
However, the NAPT’s latest report, which it called “shocking”, said the number of dog training facilities is growing.
“We are finding puppy facilities are being used by puppy mills, puppy factories, and pet food companies to produce puppies for pet stores, pet food manufacturers, pet stores and pet pet stores,” said the report.
“There is widespread abuse and exploitation of dogs in puppy training facilities, and we find it highly disturbing.”
The study found puppy training centres that have been investigated in the past by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were found to have no protocols to ensure that dogs were not kept in conditions of forced confinement, abuse or neglect.
The puppy training industry also has an extensive record of animal abuse and neglect.
A review of the US Animal Welfare Act found that between 2000 and 2013, the number for training facilities inspected by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was at least six times higher than the number in the entire training industry.
The report found that training facilities had a number of policies and procedures that were in violation of federal animal welfare laws.
In fact, there were no requirements for dogs to be trained to walk on lead or to follow a human trainer or a trained animal.
PETA says it has identified over 1,000 dog training centers, but that only about 20 of them were inspected by animal authorities and only a handful were deemed “compliant” by the animal welfare agency.
In some cases, the animal care industry said the dogs had to be removed from the facility and put into animal care centres, but these facilities often didn’t have the proper facilities or the training to ensure their dogs were in good health.
“The puppy trainers are telling us their dogs are going to be so great, they can’t be as good at what they are supposed to be doing,” said Newkirks.
“What are they going to do when they don’t know if they are going out on the street with puppies and they have to be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?”
The NAPTA says it is concerned about puppy training companies that claim to be certified and are not, and are working with the US Government to ensure they are.
“These puppy trainers have been identified and are being held accountable for the practices they are perpetuating in the puppy industry,” said NAPBT President Richard E. Eriksson.
A number of pet dog trainers, pet store owners and pet store vets told RTE they were not happy with the new report and said they would be speaking out if they found any more problems.
This article originally appeared on RTE.ie