Choosing a Dog Trainer
Making the right choice for you and your dog
Anyone can decide to be a dog trainer and hang out their shingle. There is no licensing or regulatory body. So how do you know who is qualified and what standards they follow?
To assure you and your dog the best results, look for:
- Membership in a national professional organization, such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and/or the Pet Professional Guild;
- Certification by a nationally-recognized organization, such as the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT);
- A commitment to continuing professional education in a variety of subjects and techniques;
- Adherence to a strict Code of Ethics and Guiding Principles
- A phone conversation or meeting with the prospective trainer
Read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s tips for choosing a trainer
Also look for “red flags” in your assessment of prospective trainers:
- The trainer talks about wolf behavior more than dog behavior;
- The trainer has a focus on dominance and submission, or bases their methods on force;
- The trainer is not meeting the current standards of care in the dog training industry
Listen to your instincts. Only you can decide if this a trainer who shares your standards and will work with you as a partner in achieving your goals for you and your dog.