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How to Choose a Dog Trainer

(click to access links below)

AVSAB How to Choose a Trainer Handout

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior 

Companion Animal Psychology by By Zazie Todd, PhD 

How to Choose a Dog Trainer by Nicole Wilde

How To Find A Reputable Dog Trainer by Chelsea Murray

Position Statements from The Pet Professional Guild

Find a Dog Professional

When in doubt, please ask if they follow American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Humane Dog Training Position Statement, which recommends that only reward-based training methods are used for all dog training, including the treatment of behavior problems.


Check for certifications: CPDT-KA, TC, IAABC, KPA CTP, VSA-CDT, PCT, Fear-FreePMCT

Check for memberships: APDT, PPG, IAABC

Alphabet Soup: What Does That Dog Training Certification Mean? (

Dog Professionals

Pet Professional Guild

The Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC)

Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT)

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA)!directory/map

Professional Canine Trainer (Accredited) PCT-A

Pat Miller Certified Trainers (PMCT)

Victoria Stilwell Academy (VSA-CDT)

Fear Free Certified Professionals

Veterinary Practice, Groomer, and Trainers specialized in managing and handling dogs alongside a veterinary team.

Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorist (DACVB)

DACVB can assess and treat your dog for behavioral issues, diagnose medical conditions, provide behavior modification plans, and prescribe pharmaceutical treatments. The purpose of medication is to improve your pet's physical and mental health, so that they are able to remain under threshold during normal life events in order to be emotionally able to learn new behavior(s). 

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB)

Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (ACAABs)

This certification requires a PhD in biological or behavioral science with an emphasis on animal behavior and 5 years' experience in applied animal behavior. They cannot prescribe pharmaceutical treatments; however, they may work with your dog's veterinarian. They are actual "behaviorist".  

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC)

Warning, anyone can call themselves a "behaviorist" because the dog training industry is unregulated. A CDBC is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). They are trained to assess dog behavior issues, identify the root cause, and create a training or treatment plan to modify unwanted behavior(s). They work with your veterinarian to see if your dog's health is impacting their behavior. They cannot prescribe medication. 

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA®)

These advanced trainers provide behavior consultations and e certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. 

Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (Accredited) PCBC-A

This certification is offered through the Pet Professional Accreditation Board.

Other Certifications

Family Dog Mediation® certification

Kim Brophey CDBC, CPDT-KA, is an applied ethologist created Dog L.E.G.S.® (Learning, Environment, Genetics, & Self) model. "LEARNING—your dog’s experiences and education; ENVIRONMENT—the many aspects of your dog’s external world; GENETICS—the DNA that designed your dog inside and out; SELF—the unique interior world of your dog: health, development, age, sex, and individuality" 

Malena DeMartini

is the world’s leading separation anxiety training expert.

You can have a consult with a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) and also offers an online course. 

The Loose Leash Academy

Talk to a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) certified by Malena DeMartini.

Separation Anxiety Dog

Moira Hechenleitner DVM, CSAT offering remote support in English or Spanish!




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