Find a Great Trainer

Many people don’t realize that the U.S. pet training profession is unregulated. Anyone can hang up a sign and say they’re “professional.” To us, that’s scary! Before you sign up with a trainer or obedience classes, we strongly recommend that you to check their credentials and experience – as well as their training approach. Look for a trainer who has one or more of the following certifications, which show that the trainer 1) understands dog behavior, 2) has been tested for training knowledge and ability, and 3) has significant hands-on experience. Double-check that s/he uses “all-positive,” “all force free,” or “all R+” methods. If the trainer uses a “balanced” approach, or “fits the approach to each dog,” this means they use some punishments. Not recommended!

  • Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) – Find a trainer
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CCPDT-KA) – Find a trainer
  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC-Certified Member) – Find a consultant
  • Note that a trainer with Fear-Free Certification is a big plus. This extra credential means that s/he has studied anxiety, fear and stress in pet animals, and strives to keep classes comfortable for your pet.