The Benefits of Dog Behavior Certification

By BobJ Mar 26, 2023
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Dog behavior certification provides pet parents with a trained professional to assist them with their dogs’ behavioral issues. These professionals are educated in animal behavior and learning principles, along with providing science-backed tools to manage, modify, and prevent problematic behaviors.

There are various certifying entities, such as schools (like the Karen Pryor Academy), independent training-based organizations and veterinary institutions. VSA recommends seeking independent certifications over school-issued ones since they tend to be more rigorous and objective.

Certification Requirements

If you’re considering a career as either a dog trainer or behavior consultant, earning certification can be an excellent way to show your expertise and gain an edge over competitors in your industry. Certification offers several advantages over other credentials – it helps demonstrate expertise, allows for easier networking opportunities, and allows for the growth of new ideas.

Many organizations provide dog trainer certification programs, which typically involve taking a course online and passing an exam. These certifications can also help you hone additional skills in your area of expertise such as aggression or resource guarding issues.

A dog trainer is an individual who has studied canine behavior and training theory and how to apply it to dogs. This could include basic obedience instruction as well as more specialized skills such as house training or behavior modification for resource guarding or handling issues.

Schools teaching dog training have created their curriculums and designed graduation certificates, with anyone who passes the course and pays the tuition being considered a certified trainer. Unfortunately, not all individuals awarded these certificates are capable of providing high-quality services.

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Training Methods

Trainers of dogs use a variety of training methods. Some are scientific in nature, while others are simply practical.

Positive reinforcement is a popular training method. This involves rewarding your dog for doing something you want them to, such as sitting or down. Rewards may come in the form of food treats, praise or petting your pup.

Force-free training is a popular training method that avoids physical punishment and other aversive tools like bark collars or chains with prong collars. Instead, force-free trainers employ humane, gentle techniques to encourage good behaviors and routines.

Organizations such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT) certify dog trainers whose techniques use positive reinforcement. When searching for a certified trainer, be sure to ask what approach they use before hiring them.

Certification Exams

Dog behavior certifications are an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities in dog training. These exams provide a thorough evaluation of your understanding of canine learning theory, ethology, various dog training techniques, as well as your capacity for instructing others on how to train their pups.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) offers several certifications. CPDT-KA, or Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, is the highest level certification available and requires 300 hours of experience working with group or private dog training classes along with the signature of a current CPDT member confirming your expertise and ethics statement.

The IACP-CDTA, or Certified Dog Obedience Trainer Assessment, is a certification exam offered by the International Association of Canine Professionals that evaluates dog obedience trainers on confidence level, timing of rewards, methods of correction and other factors. This standardized assessment measures different factors such as confidence in teaching techniques.

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Continuing Education

Dog trainers may opt to pursue a variety of continuing education opportunities, including professional certifications. This could be beneficial in progressing your career, learning new skills and listing them on your resume to attract hiring managers.

Some of these opportunities can be completed virtually, while others require more in-person attendance. Ultimately, your choice between taking an online or in-person course will depend on your objectives and schedule.

A quality training course should cover topics like animal behavior science, communication techniques and client expectations. Furthermore, it will instruct you how to employ positive reinforcement methods in training.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) offers several levels of dog behavior certification. Each level requires a certain amount of experience and knowledge exam to pass, plus certified dog trainers must continue their education and uphold an ethical code to keep their certification current.

By BobJ

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