About Don Hanson

No Pain, No Force, No Fear!

About Don Hanson

Don Hanson has loved dogs for as long as he can remember. After a 17-year career in the medical device industry, Don and his wife joined the ranks of pet care professionals when they purchased the Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, Maine, in 1995. Since then, Don, his wife Paula, and their team of pet professionals have been offering pet-friendly boarding, daycare, grooming, training classes, behavioral consultations, and the sale of wholesome pet food and quality supplies to pet lovers in the greater Bangor community. ForceFreePets.com is Don’s mechanism for sharing his knowledge, experience, and passion beyond Bangor, Maine.

Don Hanson Pet Professional Accreditation Board CertificateDon is credentialed by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) as a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant-Accredited (PCBC-A). He also holds a credential as a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP) by the Bach Foundation.

Don has been very active in the pet community, serving on the Bangor Humane Society Board of Directors from 1996 to 2011, including five years as president. 

He was recruited to serve on the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Education Committee in 1998. This group developed the first certification exam for professional dog trainers in 2001. He was elected to serve on the APDT Board of Trustees for nine years (2002-2007, & 2011-2013) and served three years as the Board Chair (2007, 2011, & 2012). In October of 2014, Don was selected as the APDT Dr. Ian Dunbar Member of the Year.

Pet Professionals Guild LogoIn early 2015 Don discovered The Pet Professionals Guild (PPG), an association committed to pain-free, force-free, and fear-free pet care. The PPG philosophy aligned perfectly with what Don had been calling “pet-friendly” pet care. Since neither the APDT nor any other pet care professional association was as forward-thinking and ethically sound as the PPG, Don resigned from his APDT membership and became a member of the PPG. Don believes so strongly in PPG’s mission that all members of his staff at ForceFreePets and Green Acres Kennel Shop are enrolled as members as soon as they have completed their staff training. 

Don currently serves on the PPG Board of Directors and Steering Committee and as the Chair of the PPG Advocacy Task Force and Shock-Free Coalition.

Pet Industry Advocacy International Logo In April of 2022, Don became one of the four founding directors of Pet Industry Advocacy International (PIAI). PIAI is a coalition of informed, ethical, and humane organizations committed to professionalizing the pet industry through ethics, consumer protection, and professional competency.  

Don Hanson teachingCommitted to continuing education, Don attends a variety of conferences, seminars, and webinars every year.  He has also presented workshops on pet behavior, dog training, pet nutrition, and Bach Flower Remedies in Canada, the Caribbean, Japan, and throughout the US.

Since becoming the co-owners of Green Acres Kennel Shop in 1995, Don and his wife, Paula, have emphasized that providing validated and helpful information to clients and the public was crucial for Green Acres’ mission. Through ForceFreePets.com, Don is working to implement that mission beyond Maine. His podcast (The Woof Meow Show) and his blog (Word, Woofs, & Meows) are now part of ForceFreePets.com.

Don is an avid writer, and a list of his publications can be found at https://forcefreepets.com/about-don-hanson/publications/