Pet Professional Guild Announces Corporate Partnership with Zigzag Puppy Training App
App will be valuable tool for PPG members to use in their businesses and puppy owners from their homes; PPG Canine Committee to provide tech support
As part of the new partnership, the PPG Canine Committee will provide technical support to help users with app navigation and FAQs. In cases where additional support from a trainer or behavior consultant is requested or needed, the puppy owner will be referred to the PPG Member Directory to help them find a professional in their area.
Phase 2 of the corporate partnership will be rolled out in the coming weeks. During this phase, the app will be made available to PPG members for FREE, along with a member affiliate program. This will enable PPG member users to refer their clients to the app as a support tool for their own training programs and curriculums.
To support the August 30 app availability, PPG president Niki Tudge will host Zigzag head of program Lorna Winter and PPG Canine Committee chair Judy Luther in a live discussion on September 3, 2021 that will be streamed via PPG's public Facebook page. The pair will discuss and outline PPG's support role for the app and how PPG members can benefit from using it, as well as discuss the many advantages for puppies and their owners.
The early stages of puppyhood are critical for a dog's healthy cognitive and life skill development, but according to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing Paw Report (2019), 60% of dogs in the UK get no formal training, while 12% of dogs never get any kind of training, socialization or life skill development at all. This can lead to a variety of behavior problems, and risks creating puppy parents who feel overwhelmed, leading to the possibility of relinquishment and, consequently, increased strain on shelters and rescue centers and, ultimately, the number of dogs facing euthanasia.
Zigzag aims to break the cycle and prevent this from happening by acting as a digital coach which guides puppy guardians through the ups and down of early puppyhood. A personalized plan based on modern, scientific, and positive only training methods is provided, while ensuring the training is fun and stress-free for both puppy and owner. Zigzag is currently the only digital coaching app that focuses purely on this early puppyhood phase.
The actual life skills are taught via step-by-step video tutorials and exercises over the course of eight-12 weeks. Users are given three to five daily tasks, seven days a week, that are adapted to their puppy's breed – from preparing for puppy's arrival, to learning potty training, name recognition, mouthing, manners, recall, fetching, and more.
"I've been a qualified behaviorist and trainer since 2009 and, year-on-year, through all the behavior and training networks I'm a part of, we see more and more issues with dogs being unable to cope in our world," said Zigzag's Lorna Winter. "These often require serious – and often long – behavior modification programs, or even euthanasia in some cases. Yet many of the issues being presented could easily have been prevented with fairly minimal training and education during those early months of development when the dogs were still puppies. With physical puppy classes, we only ever manage to reach a tiny percentage of the puppies being born each year around the world, so it was our vision to find a way to bring all the amazing expertise we have in this industry – and get that out to millions of puppies and guardians, rather than the few hundred we usually may be able to influence.
"Just hearing some of the feedback from those guardians who feel immensely overwhelmed, unsure and stressed at the start, to then seeing them flourish and have wonderful little puppies who are coping well in the world, drives me to continue to be the best we can possibly be for them all. We are very excited about the future and strongly believe that by working together collaboratively, we can all help reach millions of new guardians and promote the highest level of education and support, that ultimately leads to improved welfare and hopefully reduces abandonment and euthanasia."
"We are thrilled to partner with Zigzag as part of our ongoing mission to broaden our reach among dog owners to ensure they get up-to-date, science-based information and education to help them make the right choices for their pets' training needs," added PPG's Niki Tudge. "Importantly, Zigzag's Guiding Principles, with their focus on positive reinforcement training methods and their understanding that dogs are sentient beings who have individual personalities and preferences, align with those of PPG, whereby members commit to do no harm and always hold the pet's welfare as the top priority.
"Zigzag will be a valuable tool for our members to use in their businesses, so they can reach more puppy owners as well as provide the potential to bring them more clients. If I were newly launching my dog training business today, I would fully integrate it into all my curriculums. The content is professional and easy to use, and it's a great resource for professional dog trainers as they strive to provide good quality education and support tools for puppy owners. The app has untold benefits for all parties, while also allowing for dog training professionals to inject their own creativity and ideas into how they implement it into their businesses."
About the Pet Professional Guild
The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is a 501(c)6 international member organization founded on the principles of force-free training and pet care. Its membership represents pet industry professionals who are committed to science-based, humane training and pet care philosophies, practices and methods. Pet Professional Guild members understand force-free to mean that shock, prong, choke, pain, force, or fear are never used in training, managing, or caring for a pet.
The Zigzag app acts as a digital coach which guides puppy guardians through the ups and down of early puppyhood with a personalized plan based on modern, scientific, and positive only training methods. It is the only digital coaching app to focus purely on the early puppyhood phase. Its goal is to help make effective coaching accessible and enjoyable for new puppy guardians worldwide, so every dog home can be a happier home. It is designed to complement existing training systems, given that from a welfare perspective, there is no alternative to real-life socialization and teaching dogs how to successfully manage the dogs, people, situations, environments etc. that they may encounter during their daily lives. Longer term, Zigzag is passionate about working with guardians and trainers to learn, through data, what puppy development really looks like at scale, and feedback those learnings into the industry. While it can be difficult to conduct ethical research studies in this area, with millions of puppies going through training programs that provide deep levels of data, improvements in how the app can support puppies and guardians can be made quickly and easily, with questions answered, and gaps addressed.