Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Silver Spring MD
As a trainer, I can tell you that I place a lot of stock in certifications. If someone is a CPDT-KA, I will likely refer to them over someone who is not. The CPDT-KA examination and requirements are pretty thorough. My other certification, CBCC-KA, required about 5 years of full-time training experience, plus referrals, plus an extensive exam that took about 6 months and $1.5k worth of materials to study for. These certifications prove my background in scientifically-based dog training and behavior modification. If a trainer tells me they just don't need it because they already know everything, then I wonder why they don't just take the exam if it is so easy. Either their not financially successful enough to afford the exam, or they don't really know the material.
There are so many trainers out their with lots of "experience", but when you start asking them about learning theory, ethology, husbandry, etc, they wouldn't be able to give you accurate answers. I don't want someone like that working with my dog.
I also place a strong emphasis on continuing education and provide the seminars and workshops I've attended to all of my clients.
In addition to seeing certifications, continuing education, testimonials, and videos, I encourage all of my clients to contact me with any questions that they might have. If we're not a good fit at the first session (has happened once in 8 years), I'll give them their money back, no problem. I think those are all important things to look for in a trainer.
Good luck and good for you for trying to find the best trainer for your dog!
Iry, mixed breed, CGC
Max, GSD, CGC