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 the confidence that who you choose has the experience necessary for your situation.

The following questions and links will help you find qualified professionals. These questions are geared to trainers, you can also ask similar questions to find qualified veterinarians, dog walkers, groomers and more. 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? 

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

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.

If a trainer you want to hire does not belong to an organization listed below, ask if their organization is well-known in your area and do they have an ethics policy that is being adhered to? 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 and 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.

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