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    Entries in Dog training (1)

    Tuesday
    Jun022015

    Finding a Trainer... What Do All the Letters mean?

    What's in a name and what do all those letters after a trainer's name mean? Well when it comes to dog training... those letters mean a lot. You wouldn't trust your dog's healthcare to anyone other than a properly certified veterinarian, and you shouldn't trust your dog's training to anyone other than a properly certified dog trainer.

    CPDT-KA trainers have to have at least 300 hours of trainer experience, recommendations from a veterinarian, a client, and a colleague before they are eligible to test for certification. In addition they have to pass an independent and scientifically based exam that measures skills such as instruction, animal husbandry, ethology, learning theory, equipment, business practices, and ethics. Certifications are reviewed every two years to ensure that trainers remain up-to-date with canine behavior and training. 

    It takes years of education and hands on training to become a good dog trainer but unfortunately some "certified trainers" only spend two weeks in classes before jumping head first into the training world. Using this type of trainer can be stressful for owners and pets alike. It is recommended that you find a trainer who has a certification recognized by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). The APDT is a professional organization committed to the betterment of trainers through education, they provide a list of certifications that meet industry standards on their website, you can access it here

    One easy tool to find a trainer in your area is the APDT Trainer Search tool that allows you to search based on zip code. This tool can provide you a list of trainers in your area along with their contact information and website if they have one.

    Be weary when visiting a trainer's website, they may post logos from well-known associations, including the APDT, without actually being a member. Anyone can cut and paste a logo to make a website look fancy, but it is important to speak directly with the trainer to make sure they are who they say they are and that they are knowledgeable about their profession. 

    Finding the right trainer can still be confusing if you don't know the right questions to ask. A trainer needs to be a good fit for you and your dog. The APDT recommends that you ask the following questions when interviewing a trainer:

    What method of training do you use?

    What is your educational background in the area of dog training (and behavior if applicable)?

    What is some recent continuing education that you have attended?

    What equipment do you use?

    What kind of follow-up do you provide to our clinic on your work with our clients?

    Can you provide a list of clients we can contact for references?

    Do you belong to any professional associations, and if not, why not?

    What are your credentials and do you have any certifications?

    What sort of services do you provide for pet owners? Do you provide specialized services? (i.e. therapy dog training, competitive dog sports training, service dog training)

    If you still have questions about choosing a trainer, Canine Consulting is here to help. Contact me through the website or through email.