Chirag Patel and Robert Hewings join Pet Professional Guild British Isles Special Counsel

Respected animal trainers and educators partner with PPGBI to support its ongoing mission to promote force-free, positive, scientifically-sound dog training methods worldwide

May 29, 2018 / PRZen / TAMPA, Fla. — The Pet Professional Guild British Isles (PPGBI) has announced the appointment of leading animal training and behavior specialists Robert Hewings and Chirag Patel to its Special Counsel with immediate effect. PPGBI’s Special Counsel comprises an elite group of leading pet industry specialists who both endorse and support PPGBI and its Guiding Principles  and have the expertise to contribute to the education and engagement of force-free pet care and training methods. Hewings and Patel join existing PPGBI Special Counsel members Victoria Stilwell, Helen Phillips, Karen Wild and Kamal Fernandez.

Hewings is a highly experienced canine trainer who, in 2016, retired from the British Metropolitan Police after 30 years. During that time, he spent 25 years as a police dog handler and nine years as a full-time trainer with the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment, where he headed the training for SWAT dogs and was active in the instruction and development of all aspects of police dog and handler training. Hewings said he is “immensely proud to be part of an organization that has championed education, care and science-based force-free training within the pet industry.” He is set to make his US debut later this year, when he will host the Let’s Coach Scent Work! practical workshop at PPG’s Tampa, Florida headquarters on October 20-21.

Patel, meanwhile, holds a Bachelor’s in veterinary sciences from the Royal Veterinary College, London and a post-graduate certificate in clinical animal behavior from the University of Lincoln under veterinary behaviorists Prof. Daniel Mills and Helen Zulch. He previously worked at the university as head trainer, where he clicker trained rats and degus for odor discrimination and indication. He is currently working on a Master’s in applied behavior analysis at Queens University, Belfast and is a long-term supporter of PPG, having presented at past educational events in Tampa, Florida and Kanab, Utah in the United States. He will also hold sessions at PPG’s upcoming inaugural Australia summit in Sydney on July 27-29, 2018, and the recently-announced PPG Canine Aggression Safety and Education seminar in Portland, Oregon, USA on April 26-28, 2019.

“Working with Chirag Patel and Robert Hewings is an enormous honor,” said Niki Tudge, president of PPGBI’s parent organization, Pet Professional Guild (PPG). “When we collaborate with professionals as a team we are so much more effective at reaching our audience and having a positive impact on the lives of pets.” Added PPGBI membership manager Louise Stapleton-Frappell: “Both Patel and Hewings are highly respected in the field of force-free training and behavior and we have been fortunate to have cemented an excellent working relationship with them both since the launch of PPGBI. We look forward to continuing to share their knowledge, experience and support.”

PPGBI’s Guiding Principles state that no shock, pain, choke, prong, fear, physical force or compulsion-based methods are ever employed in the training of or caring for a pet. Its ongoing goal is to address the needs of the pet-owning community and force-free pet professionals in the region, and to educate pet professionals and owners alike that forceful and aversive methods are outdated, scientifically unsound and, ultimately, ineffectual. Established in 2012, the organization has gone from strength-to-strength, reporting continuous growth in membership numbers, and hosting a number of successful educational events for members in the region.

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About The Pet Professional Guild British Isles
The Pet Professional Guild British Isles was launched in April 2015 as an overseas branch of the US-based Pet Professional Guild, a 501(c)6 a member organization founded on the principles of force-free training and pet care. Its membership represents pet industry professionals who are committed to force-free training, pet care philosophies, practices and methods. Pet Professional Guild members understand force-free to mean that shock, pain, choke, fear, physical force, and/or compulsion-based methods are never employed to train or care for a pet.

About Robert Hewings
Author of the recently published Introduction to Canine Scent-Work and head of learning and development for the United Kingdom College of Scent Detection (https://www.ukcsd.com), Robert Hewings is a highly experienced canine trainer. In 2016, he retired from the Metropolitan Police after 30 years, including 25 years as a police dog handler, and nine years as a full-time trainer with the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment, where he headed the training for SWAT dogs and was active in the instruction and development of all aspects of police dog and handler training. Hewings also played an active role in the instruction and development of the Canine Training Instructor program, authoring two training manuals, and designing coaching programs. He has instructed all police canine search disciplines, including explosive search and narcotics, supported by practical experience gained at many large events, including the 2012 Olympics, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and protecting the British Royal Family. Hewings holds a Bachelor’s in canine training and behavior, a Master’s in professional practice police dog training, and a Ph.D. in canine scent detection. After his retirement, he took on new challenges, including university lecturing, where he specialized in assistance dog training and practical assistance dog training using scent-work within epilepsy alert, diabetes alert and post-traumatic stress disorder alert.

About Chirag Patel
Chirag Patel has a Bachelor’s in veterinary sciences from the Royal Veterinary College, London and a post-graduate certificate in clinical animal behavior from the University of Lincoln under veterinary behaviorists Professor Daniel Mills and Helen Zulch. He previously worked at the university as head trainer, where he clicker trained rats and degus for odour discrimination and indication. He is currently working on a Master’s in applied behaviour analysis at Queens University, Belfast. He is passionate about applying behaviour science in animal care and consults with pet owners, organizations such as Kong and Guide Dogs for the Blind UK, and zoos. Patel also gives seminars internationally, writes for popular dog magazines and blogs, works part-time as an assistant head of canine training and behaviour at Dogs Trust, and is the scientific advisor for the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums Training Group. He started his own training and behavior consultancy, Domesticated Manners (https://www.domesticatedmanners.com) in 2004. Previously, he managed the Training and Behaviour Centre at Dr. Roger Mugford’s Company of Animals.

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Source: Pet Professional Guild

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