The Association of Professional Dog Trainers


Dog Trainer Certification

Updated: November 24, 2013

Are the same certifications required for Premium Professional membership as was for the previous Professional Membership level?

We will no longer require these certifications. However, in order to list these certifications on your trainer search record, you still will need to verify them with the APDT office first. Only these certifications will appear on your initial trainer search entry as well. A member's full trainer search entry can list all of the designations and degrees as you wish in detail.

In order to qualify as one of these listed certifications, the criteria is that the certification:

  • Must be independent of any school or training program;
  • Require Continuing Education Units to maintain certification;
  • Must be specifically related to dog training and/or dog behavior; General certifications in animal behavior will require evidence of specific work and study with dogs.

List of Current Certifications

Additional Questions and Answers

Dog Training and Behavior Certifications and Certificates: What’s the Difference?

Certificate Programs are educational programs designed to teach you a certain set of skills or knowledge. Upon graduating from the program, you receive a certificate, which is also often known as a certification. Examples of certificate programs include the Karen Pryor Academy, Animal Behavior College, San Francisco SPCA, and more. The main focus of a certificate program is education and the educational process begins and ends with the program (from enrollment through graduation.)

A Certification has a different focus – that of assessing skills and/or knowledge. Certifications are run by organizations that are independent of the actual educational process and their sole goal is determining if you meet a set of criteria demonstrating the attainment of a level of skill/knowledge. A certification is designed to show that you have met a set of standard skills/knowledge in your profession. In order to maintain a certification, further education from independent organizations is required, usually in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  Examples of certifications are the CPDT-KA (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers) and the CDBC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants).

For an excellent discussion of the differences between certificate programs versus certification, visit the CFRE web site here.

For a listing of the various certifications, titles, designations and certificate programs used by trainers and behavior consultants, visit this page.

APDT Chronicle of the Dog

Chronicile of the Dog

The quarterly APDT Chronicle of the Dog keeps APDT members abreast of contemporary pet dog training techniques and provides a lively forum for discussion of dog training and behavior issues.

Annual Conference

Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show


Date: Oct. 18-21, 2017
Location: Richmond, VA.

Richmond Marriott.
Richmond, VA.

APDT Foundation

The corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The purpose of the foundation is to raise funds for scientific research and of education  of dog trainers.

Visit Foundation website

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