Do You Need Qualifications To Be A Dog Trainer?

dog trainer education Sep 17, 2020

You want to start your career in pet dog training to become a dog trainer. It's your dream job! You love dogs, and they love you, and you want nothing more than a career that will help dogs and their families to live richer fuller lives. 

The big question is, "How does one become a certified professional dog trainer?" You want to know what it takes and how you get started so let's look at how you can get started as a dog training professional. 

In Canada, no rules or regulations govern the education requirements to be considered certified and become a dog trainer. However, dog owners are becoming more aware that dog trainers need professional education and certification. They are starting to research and seek out qualified dog training professionals only. They look for credentials showing that the trainer they choose can effectively help them reach their goals using training based on science and knowledge.

Here are some critical questions for you to consider when researching potential schools that offer dog training programs that lead to becoming a certified professional dog trainer. 

  1. A reputable program should have a written Code of Conduct. Be sure to read through this carefully to ensure it aligns with your values. 
  2. Can you speak directly with instructors and administrators to answer your questions? The answer should be yes; both should be accessible to the student. 
  3. Does the program offer a student handbook and outline of program expectations? If not, how are students guided through the criteria for grading and graduation? 
  4. Can the dog training school offer you referrals from previous graduates? It can be valuable to speak with graduates of the program and ask them questions about any concerns you may have. Does the school you are researching have testimonials? Reading reviews of students who have completed the program can provide insightful information.
  5. Does the program you are considering have both theory and practical components? Selecting a program with both parts is essential to help you feel confident when you start your career. Broad-based theory knowledge and custom, individual feedback on your practical skills will give you the tools you need to help dogs.
  6. Is the program affiliated with other associations or groups? Knowing who you are being certified by and the associations they are aligned with will help you choose a school you are comfortable with.
  7. Does the program offer a flexible schedule? Will you be able to continue to work at your regular job and still have time for family and friends and to dedicate to your schooling? Is the program full or part-time, and how long will it take you to complete? Will the program require you to travel? These are all questions you may want to consider before you register. 
  8. Does the program require prerequisites? If so, do you meet them? 
  9. Does the program require you to have a dog to work with? How will you meet the program's needs if you don't have a dog? Can you borrow a friend or family member's dog? Foster a dog from a rescue group or animal shelter? 
  10. Do the instructors have valid, current credentials? It is essential to learn about the education and experience of the people teaching you and ensure they are qualified. Ensure that you can access research instructor credentials before registering for the program. 

Below are some dog training certification resources, links and information about associations that will help to guide you in your research, take some time to research each.  

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) offers independent exams across North America to certify that dog trainers have achieved a minimum standard of knowledge (or knowledge and skills). CCPDT is not a school but a council that evaluates a dog trainer's abilityd by offering a standard exam to prepare you for a career with dogs. 

To earn CCDPT certifications, individuals must meet strict requirements, including passing a written exam and providing a log of 300 hours of physically training dogs. Applicants are required to use humane training practices, follow a Code of Ethics and continue taking courses to maintain their certification working with dogs. 

The National Commission accredits the CCPDT for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA provides impartial, third-party validation that a program has met recognized national and international standards for developing, implementing, and maintaining certification programs.

The Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT) is an education-focused association of members. Members are individuals with interest in the goals of the organization, including a Code of Ethics. Annual membership dues are required to participate, and members continue to be part of the organization as long as they continue to pay their yearly dues.  

Becoming a member of CAPDT does not make you a qualified or "certified" dog trainer. It gives you access to several benefits like discounts on dog products, a discount on business insurance, a quarterly newsletter, a private member's Facebook page, lists of how to train behaviours for dogs, free webinars and more.

Here are a few well-known associations that specialize in training dogs that you may want to research.

If you want to learn more about Good Dog Academy's Professional Pet Dog Trainer program, then click here and let us help you get started on the professional education you require to succeed in your dream career with dogs. 

Happy Training!

Good Dog Academy's PPDT Program

Embark on a fulfilling journey to transform your passion for dogs into a rewarding career with Good Dog Academy's Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate Program!

With our engaging curriculum, you'll delve into 22 theory courses, practical skills development with over 50 videos, and direct mentorship from industry experts.

Plus, our Bundle package offers extra perks like the Dog Walker Certificate and Scent Work Webinar Series, making your educational experience even more enriching.

Embrace the opportunity to learn at your own pace with our flexible payment plans and become a certified dog trainer. Your exciting path to professional dog training starts here – enroll now and unleash your potential! 🐾🎓



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