Why be certified?

Did you know there is no official means of regulating the dog training industry? Did you know that means anyone could wake up today and say they are going to become a dog trainer? There is a lot of advice available out there (internet, neighbor, stranger in the store) some good and a lot bad and everyone has their input on how you should train a dog. Just ask the Facebook community a dog training question and everyone has an answer, again some good and a lot not so good. Ask an electrical question to the same Facebook community and you will more likely be pointed in the direction of a master electrician and have far fewer “tips” offered up.  

Certification CouncilFor Professional Dog Trainers

Certification CouncilFor Professional Dog Trainers

There are many certifications for dog trainers but they are special to the particular school where you have obtained them from. I am CPDT-ka certified which stands for Certified Professional Dog Trainer -knowledge assessed. Why does that matter? It’s because of what I had to do to become certified and what I have to do to maintain it. I had to acquire 300 hours of training within three years to be able to sit for an exam. Topics of the test covered a broad range of learning theory, husbandry, dog training techniques and instruction. I also needed to send in referrals from a veterinarian and client.  

“The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (http://www.ccpdt.org/), established in 2001, is the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession. The CCPDT is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices.”


I’ve been professionally training for almost 15 years and have been certified since 2011. To maintain my certification I must acquire a minimum of 36 hours of CEUs and recertify every 3 years. Having to obtain the units means I’m staying up to date on the most recent scientific findings as it pertains to dog training. 

I put this out there so you can be aware of who you are seeking out to train your dog. Like I said there are many certifications available to dog trainers but not all of them are created equal.

Just because I painted the entire interior of our newly constructed house doesn’t make me a professional painter. Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer but do your research, ask questions, and get the best for you and your dog.