The Problem of Finding Help For Your Problem Dog

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:


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




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3 Responses to “The Problem of Finding Help For Your Problem Dog”

  1. Cyndi 27. Jun, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment and well deserved! Great article too, I always tell people who ask me about training/trainers that just about anyone can claim to be a “dog trainer” and they may not have any qualifications or experience so make sure the trainer you go to has a philosophy and values that match your own. Trust your gut feeling too – if it’s telling you that what the trainer wants you to do or the method being used isnt good or correct, dont do it!

  2. Elizabeth Deitz 27. Jun, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I couldn’t agree with you more Cyndi! Follow your instincts! I can’t tell you how many times I have found in retrospect that I if I had just listened to my gut feelings I could have avoided some trouble. I think it is especially true when finding a trainer for your dog. It has to be a good fit for everyone or it just doesn’t work very well. That isn’t to say that you have to agree on everything…in fact I think discussing differences is a great way to learn. But if something is said that makes you go “hmmmmmmm. Really” I would suggest taking a second look.
    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Amy@GoPetFriendly 29. Jun, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Congratulations, Elizabeth! That’s a great accomplishment and one that I know you’ve worked hard to attain. Way to go!

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