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Dr. Rosie DVM

Training Methods

How to find a qualified trainer or behavior consultant

Finding a good dog trainer or behavior consultant is more difficult than you might think. Dog
training is an unregulated field with no educational requirements and no required
credentialing. Outdated, force-based methodology can cause more problems than it claims to
help. Here are our tips for finding a qualified dog trainer or behavior consultant.

Transparency In Dog Training Video

How to Find a Reliable Trainer or Behavior Consultant for Your Pet

When looking for a trustworthy trainer or behavior consultant for your pet, consider the following steps:

  1. Consult Your Veterinarian: Start by asking your Fear Free Certified® veterinary team for recommendations. They often have trusted relationships with skilled trainers and behavior consultants in your area.
  2. Check Accredited Organizations: Look for trainers or consultants who are members of reputable, reward-based training and behavior consulting organizations. These organizations often have searchable databases of professional members. Some examples include:
  3. Research Online: Look for reviews and testimonials from other pet owners. Websites and social media pages can provide insights into the trainer or consultant's methods and reputation.
  4. Ask About Credentials: Inquire about the trainer or consultant's education, certifications, and experience working with animals similar to yours. Look for someone who uses science-based, positive reinforcement methods.
  5. Attend a Class or Consultation: Before committing, observe a class or schedule a consultation to see if the trainer's approach aligns with your goals and values. Pay attention to how they interact with animals and whether they create a positive, fear-free environment.
  6. Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, choose someone you feel comfortable with and trust to provide the best care and training for your pet.

Finding the right trainer or behavior consultant is essential for your pet's well-being and training success. By following these steps, you can ensure you're working with a professional who has your pet's best interests at heart.

Dr. Rosie DVM Certified Animal Trainers:

  • The Academy for Dog Trainers
  • Pet Professional Guild
  • The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
  • The Association of Professional Dog Trainers
  • The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
  • The Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior!directory/map
  • Peaceable Paws Academy
  • Animal Behavior College, ABC Certified Dog Trainer Database
  • Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training
Get Certified as reputable trainers and join our list!

Value Trainer & Behavior Consultant Credentials

For optimal results, it is advisable to select a trainer or behavior consultant who holds certification or has completed a graduate program from a reputable, reward-based educational institution. Most trainers and behavior consultants display their credentials on their website or in their professional title. If you do not find this information readily available, do not hesitate to inquire. It is recommended to choose professionals who have obtained certification or completed training programs from institutions that emphasize humane, reward-based methods

  • Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer
  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
  • Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC)
  • The Academy for Dog Trainers Graduate (CTC)
  • Victoria Stilwell Academy Graduate
  • Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT)
  • Certified Behavior Counselor Canine (CBCC-KA)
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA or CPDT-KSA)
  • Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT)
  • Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (Accredited) (PCBC-A)
  • Canine Training Technician (Accredited) (CTT-A)
  • Professional Canine Trainer (Accredited) (PCT-A)
  • Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT)

Trainer & Behavior Consultant Insurance

Ensure the trainer or behavior consultant has insurance coverage, which is typically standard practice in countries where it is available.

Understanding Trainer & Behavior Consultant Methods: A Comprehensive Guide

Ensure you thoroughly evaluate the methods and skills of a trainer or behavior consultant before committing. While credentials are important, they don't guarantee effective techniques or teaching abilities. Observing a few classes allows you to assess the trainer's or consultant's methods, equipment usage, interpersonal skills, and individual dog handling. This step is crucial, as punitive and force-based methods can increase stress and lead to behavioral issues, including aggression. In contrast, reward-based training and behavior consulting methods not only strengthen the bond between you and your dog but also are safer and more effective in the long run.

For a comprehensive list of criteria indicating qualified trainers and behavior consultants, refer to our Dr. Rosie DVM's Training & Behavior Consulting handout.

Training Handout PDF - (Coming Soon)