As an animal lover, the CCPDT understands how important it is for you to find an animal training and behavior professional that you can trust has the knowledge necessary to meet the needs of you and your animal. Animal training and behavior modification is a science but it is not a regulated science. There is no licensing and no oversight. With the CCPDT designations, you can gain the confidence you need to choose an animal behavior and training professional for your animal.
Begin your search for an animal behavior and training professional by looking for the CCPDT designations. Those certificants holding Knowledge Assessed (-KA) designations indicate that the animal professional has experience; references from a veterinarian, client, and colleague; and has passed a comprehensive, psychometrically sound examination. Those certificants holding Knowledge & Skills Assessed (-KSA) designations additionally indicate that this animal professional has passed an objective skills based assessment.
Next, meet with the professional. Are they professional in their appearance and in their marketing materials? Can they knowledgeably and clearly answer questions regarding animal training, animal behavior and their training methods? Do you feel comfortable with them personally? Are they patient and thorough in answering your questions? Do they have experience in working with the issues that you are experiencing with your animal? Can they provide references from clients?
There are also several things that should raise red caution flags in your assessment. If the professional has a focus on dominance and submission, or bases their methods on force, they are not meeting the current standards of care in the animal industry.
Our designations give you the assurance that the animal training and behavior professional has the knowledge necessary to train animals, teach others to train their animals, and modify complex animal behavior issues. Your interview can tell you whether they can meet the individual needs of both you and your animal.