What is the Pet Dog Ambassador Program?
The Pet Dog Ambassador (PDA) is a program for dog guardians to test their knowledge, skills and ability to manage their canine companion in real life settings. Its aim is to acknowledge the hard work and commitment that guardians and their dogs undertake to make their shared lives enjoyable and recognizes these efforts from a puppy’s very early training. The program aims to encourage guardians to continue training and developing new skills, abilities and knowledge.
All dog Guardians who have reached the legal age of accountability in their country (usually 18 or 21 years) are encouraged to become actively involved in the Pet Dog Ambassador Program. The program is suitable for all, including Guardians and/or dogs with a disability or special needs.
Junior candidates are those who have not yet reached the age of legal accountability. Junior candidates may, with written permission from a parent or Guardian, enter the PDA Program with a dog considered suitable by a PDA instructor or assessor. The assessor has the choice of whether or not to assess junior candidates. The assessor can also stipulate from what age they will assess junior candidates.
These are dogs of any breed or mixed breed aged from four months. Dogs with special physical needs can also be assessed with exercises being adapted if necessary. It is mandatory that dogs have a veterinary health check before taking part in the assessment. Most dogs will be suitable for the Program. However, where fear and/or aggression may prevent a dog taking part in all of the exercises, a program will be developed by the Pet Professional Guild to also acknowledge the hard work that guardians of these dogs need to undertake. Watch this space for any update on the reactive dog program.
Tangible evidence of success
As well as the pride in the hard work that they do, successful dog and guardian teams are awarded certificates and medallions at every level.