How to Find a Qualified Dog Trainer

It can be confusing to know who you can trust when you need help with your dog. Dog training is not regulated in the US. Anyone can claim to be a dog trainer, behaviorist, or “dog psychologist".

Finding the right fit can be challenging. These questions can help you understand the amount of effort, knowledge, and commitment that goes into those dedicated to staying current with their education and can give you confidence that whoever you choose has the experience necessary for your situation.

The following questions and links will help you find qualified professionals. In addition to trainers, you can find qualified veterinarians, dog walkers, groomers, and more by posing questions akin to these. Good candidates will be happy to answer. Whenever you don't get clear, concrete answers or feel uncomfortable, keep shopping.


How long have you worked with dogs and in what capacity?
Have you worked with all types of dogs and issues?
Do you have experience with my goals, my breed and my dog’s particular issues?
What is your formal education?
What continuing education are you currently doing?
Are you fully-insured for the services you provide?
Do you have credentials and are they current?
Do you enjoy people, teaching, and coaching others? A good trainer works hard to connect with people to build relationships.

You can also ask if they are background checked, and if they have other certifications, such as first aid or fear free certification, etc.


What ‘tools’ do you use or recommend and why?
What do you do if my dog gets something wrong?
What happens when my dog gets something right?
Do you consider your methods modern, following LIMA protocols, force-free, and science backed?
If you're seeking a trainer that prioritizes kindness and supports you and your dog's physical and emotional well being, some words that do not align are ‘pack’, ‘leader’, ‘corrections’, ‘dominance’, ‘alpha’.

Be wary of guarantees and anyone who says they can ‘fix’ your dog. Behavior can be complex and can take time to change.

About Me:

I specialize with Puppies & Recall Dog Training. In addition, I also work with dogs who are aggressive, fearful, and anxious. If I am booked or have a case that I know my colleagues have more knowledge about, such as a bite case with multiple dogs, I will refer you to the trainer who can best qualified to help you.

Inquire about the reputation of the trainer's organization in your community and whether they uphold an ethics policy if they are not affiliated with any of the organizations below. You should also be able to find your trainer on the organizations web page, if you can’t, then ask to clarify, they may be certified, but the organization has not updated.

    Two that I belong to are:

    CCPDT Certification for Professional Dog Trainers 

    IAABC International Association of Behavior Consultants

    I have done many courses with most of these organizations:

    Let's work together!

    I am available for Online or In-Person work. Please click below to learn more.

    Online Puppy Training & Dog Training 

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