Dog Trainer Certification
As a way of recognizing our members who have demonstrated their professionalism by attaining certification and as encouragement to those who have yet to do so, the APDT has established a "Professional Member" classification.
Professional Membership is only available to members who have earned related certification(s) from an approved organization that is recognized by the APDT Board of Directors. At present, this list includes seven approved designations from five different organizations. The list below will be reviewed by the APDT Board at least once a year and designations will be added or deleted as appropriate.
Remember, you must possess at least one of the certifications below in order for your APDT Professional Membership to be approved.
|Professional Designation||Approved Organization|
|CPDT-KA - Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed||Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers|
|ACAAB - Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists||Animal Behavior Society|
|CAAB - Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist||Animal Behavior Society|
|CABC - Certified Animal Behavior Consultant||International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants|
|CDBC - Certified Dog Behavior Consultant||International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants|
|CCAB - Certified Clinical Behavior Consultant||International Association for the Study of Animal Behavior|
|DACVB – Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists||American College of Veterinary Behaviorists|
Dog Training and Behavior Certifications and Certificates: What’s the Difference?
We are often asked by the membership why certain “certifications” are not included in the criteria for APDT Professional Membership. The reason involves an explanation of the difference between a certificate program and a certification.
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.