This morning I had the thrill of adding a few more initials after my name, those of CBCC – KA (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed.) And while that was a thrill, what is more thrilling are the changes happening in the profession of dog training. And it is about time!
Until 2001 there was no nationally recognized certification process available for dog trainers, leading to a great deal of confusion, misinformation and sometimes harm. And then the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers emerged and has been an innovative leader in the field, recently offering a hard-earned designation of CBCC – KA for those who qualify.
If you are considering searching for a trainer or are seeking certification there are a few important distinctions to keep in mind.
There is a HUGE difference between having a certificate and being certified. I know I know. Confusing. A person with a certificate from one of the many “training centers,” ” programs,”or “schools” has merely finished a program and granted a document to hang on the wall. There are no requirements for continuing education. And there is a huge difference between being assessed and simply completing a program.
On the other hand there are a very limited number of organizations recognized by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. They are:
- Certification for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT- KA)
- Animal Behavior Society (ACAAB , CAAB)
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (CABC)
- International Association for the Study of Animal Behavior (CCAB)
- American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB)
Check It Out
Take a second look at the training books your read, the television personalities you follow avidly, and those training blogs you are so fond of. If you are taking advice from them, double check those credentials. Yes, they might have “street cred” but do they really have the sort of credentials that assure you that their training philosophies are based on science and not myth? Choose carefully and your best friend will thank you for it!
Photo Credit: mattymatt on flickr