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Dog Training Certification: Why,Where, and How

dog training certification
6 min read

Have you ever considered becoming a professional dog trainer?
Did the question,
Where can I get my Dog Training Certification, ever crossed your mind?
If yes, then this article is the right one for you

Perhaps you did a really good job with training your puppy into a well-disciplined adult doggo, So now you seek to do this full time for a living. Or maybe dog training has been a lifelong hobby for you for so long that now you want to take it to another level.

Either way,

If you ever fancied making a career training other people’s beloved dogs, you should know that it is a very different thing but also a wonderful line of work in a booming industry.

In this article, We gonna take you through the process of becoming a professional dog trainer. We gonna answer all the questions regarding Dog Training Certification that you might have.

So without further ado let’s start, Shall we?

Dog Training Certification Programs

You may already know that there are no college degree programs to prepare people for careers in dog training, but there are specific courses helpful in understanding the science behind animal behavior.

A course in psychology can go along way to provide you with some insight into principles of animal learning like reinforcement, punishment, motivation, and conditioning.

It’s always a good idea to read a book or two by authorities in the field and from online resources, such as the Animal Behavior Resources Institute.

The following are training programs and internships that offer certifications to enhance a trainer’s credentials.

I probably should mention that certification is not a requirement for dog trainers. However, dog trainers pursue voluntary certifications to show potential clients and employers that they have reached a certain level of knowledge and training.

Here are some of the most popular certification program options for those hoping to work in this business

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

At the top of our list is The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers or The CCPDT. As Dog Training Certification validity goes, this is considered the best-known program for dog trainers.

The CCPDT offers two certification levels: CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA. In November 2013, there were 2,386 CPDT-KAs and 121 CPDT-KSAs worldwide. Exams are administered each spring and fall to qualified applicants.

Here are what is required from each candidate to get his/her certification

The CPDT-KA (Knowledge Assessed)

  1. Documentation of at least 300 hours of dog training within the last three years
  2. Passing a 250 multiple choice question exam
  3. Submitting an attestation statement from a CPDT member or veterinarian
  4. Signing a code of ethics.

The CPDT-KSA (Knowledge and Skills Assessed)

  1. Holding a current CPDT-KA credential
  2. Passport photo
  3. Video of four designated training exercises (using four different and unfamiliar dogs)
  4. Video of the candidate coaching three clients with different dogs
  5. Maintaining continuing education requirements.

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants or the IAABC employs a system of two-level canine-focused certifications: The first one is Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC), The second one is Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC).

In order to keep a trainer’s certification current, The applicant should continue education hours after getting his certification

Here are what is required from each candidate to get his/her certification

ACDBC (Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant)

  1. 300 completed hours of animal behavior consulting with clients
  2. 150 hours of education
  3. Two case studies
  4. Species-specific knowledge
  5. Assessment skills
  6. Letters of recommendation

CDBC (Certified Dog Behavior Consultant)

  1. Three years (500 hours) of animal behavior consulting with clients
  2. 400 hours of education
  3. Three written case studies
  4. Discussion of four case scenarios
  5. Questions relating to species-specific knowledge
  6. Assessment skills
  7. Letters of recommendation.

Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP)

The Association of Animal Behavior Professionals or The AABP offers a Certified Dog Trainer program (AABP-CDT).

Here are what is required from each candidate to get his/her certification

AABP-CDT (Certified Dog Trainer)

  1. 300 hours of professional training within the last five years
  2. 30 hours of supervised skills development
  3. Proof of insurance
  4. Proficiency exam
  5. Two references.

The AABP also offers a Behavior Consultant certification that you can apply for

Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI)

The Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor or The CBATI program is available in several countries around the world such as The United States, Europe, and Australia.

The CBATI program is designed for trainers working with aggressive and fearful dogs. Once you get it, The Certification is valid for as long as three years.

Here are what is required from each candidate to get his/her certification

Certified BAT Instructor

  1. 200 hours of training experience
  2. Submitting a practical skills assessment on video
  3. Passing a written exam with essay components.

Once a trainer completes a five day BAT Instructor course, He/She does not have to pay the $300 exam fee.

International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)

The International Association of Canine Professionals or The IACP offers to its candidates a Certified Dog Trainer certification (IACP-CDT).

Here are what is required from each candidate to get his/her certification

IACP-CDT (Certified Dog Trainer)

  1. Two years of experience in dog training
  2. Six months of membership with the IACP.

Candidates who pass the CDT exam, become eligible to take the CDTA (Certified Dog Trainers Advanced) exam which includes a video evaluation of the trainer’s skills.

National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI)

The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors or The NADOI is the oldest certification organization for dog trainers. The NADOI was established in 1965.

Dog training certification

Here are what is required from each candidate to get his/her certification

  1. Minimum of five years experience in obedience training (with at least with two years as a head instructor)
  2. Experience in working with at least 100 dogs
  3. Documentation of time spent teaching groups for at least 104 hours or private lessons for at least 288 hours
  4. Passing a written essay test.

The NADOI offers Additional specialty certification areas such as Utility, Tracking, and Basic Agility.

Karen Pryor Academy

The Karen Pryor Academy or The KPR has a six-month Dog Trainer Professional program that leads to the KPA-CTP (Certified Training Partner) designation.

The program includes both online coursework of approximately 10 hours per week and four intensive weekends of hands-on learning with a professional trainer.

The Tuition for The KPA-CTP is $5,300 but some scholarship funds are available.

The Certification Council for The Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) do count The KPR courses as a continuing education credit

That’s it

I hope this helps and answers all the questions you might have in mind.

Good luck on getting your dog training certification.

If you like this article, share it with a friend

And as always if you enjoyed what you read here and want to read more check out my other articles on The Top 4 Effective Gun Dog Training techniques or Dazzling dogs with hair.

If you have any tips or questions regarding the subject, Feel free to tell me in the comments section and I promise you I will respond ASAP.

Have a nice day and Read you next time.

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