The Scoop 

Official Newsletter of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

"The CCPDT exists to be the industry leader in defining and maintaining competency in the dog training and behavior profession."


September/October 2014



In this issue

Certificants Bark Back

Message From the President

Barks From the Board - Penny Milne

Committee Call - Exam Committees

"P" is for "Professional"

Call For Case Studies

Meet the Certificant - Laurel Rose, CPDT-KA

Time for Some Science - Social Eavesdropping in Dogs

News Quiz Contest

Humane Hierarchy

Industry News



Dear Certificant,

It was with a very red face that I realized I misidentified the breed of the lovely dog in the last issue of Scoop. To make lemonade out of lemons, we decided to offer a contest - to see how many readers could identify the error.

Lots of you, apparently. Readers found, not only this error, but several typos as well. We had 42 entries in this contest (compared to 35 entries quiz contest). Good thing I don't make my living proofreading!

Here once again is the lovely Edge - obviously a Belgian Tervuren, not the Belgian Malinois that inexplicably came out of my typing fingers last time.

Thanks to all of you who played along and entered the contest...and the winner of a $25 DogWise Gift Certificate is...Christine H. Vertucci, CPDT-KA, of Chicago, Illinois.


Congratulations, Christine!!!!!

Readers, if you have news of any kind you'd like to share with your fellow certificants, please send it to us at:

Warm Woofs,   


Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Scoop Editor


(and Bonnie) 

P.S. Check out the news quiz contest in this issue of Scoop! All the answers to the quiz can be found in this issue of Scoop. Winner of a $25 Dogwise gift certificate will be drawn from all the correct entries submitted. Who can't use a $25 gift certificate from Dogwise? 




Certificants Bark Back



We love hearing from you! Send your reader comments to:




President's Letter - September 2014

Guiding the CCPDT  

by Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT

 Do you ever wonder what your CCPDT Board of Directors does? The CCPDT Board of Directors is primarily responsible for setting the overall policy and direction of the organization. It is important for the stability of the organization that our vision, mission, and goals not be reinvented each time new members are elected to the Board. For that reason, the CCPDT operates under a Strategic Plan. Use of the Strategic Plan allows us to identify where we are now, determine where we would like to be in the future and maintain organizational continuity even as the faces change.


Our Vision is: To be the leading worldwide credentialing organization of animal training and behavior professionals, certifying animal training and behavior consultants who have a commitment to continuing education and skill development, and who provide a standard of service that is respected and trusted by other animal professionals and the people they serve.


Our Mission Statement is: The CCPDT exists to be the industry leader in defining and maintaining competency in the dog training and behavior profession.


The CCPDT strives to accomplish these three primary goals:


1.      Annually increase the number of credentials granted by 5%.

2.      Increase certificant rate of renewals by 1% over the previous year's rate of renewals with a goal of reaching 85%.

3.      Improve and strengthen internal organization and structure by increasing board retention by 75%.


Within each of our primary goals we have action steps, such as increasing public awareness of CCPDT certificants or creating a certificant benefit package, to achieve the goals. The goals identified in our Strategic Plan help us prioritize activities to better serve our certificants while guiding the CCPDT in its decision-making processes.


The Board of Directors annually reviews the Strategic Plan to ensure the organization is remaining on track with its goals. New goals are added as previous goals are achieved. By keeping the plan in the forefront of our thought process, the Board guides the organization toward fulfillment of its vision, mission, and goals.


Thank you for your continued support of the CCPDT. You can always reach me at




Bradley Phifer, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT






Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT  





Barks From The Board  

by Carol Hutelmyer, Public Member, and Joan Campbell, CAE 


On July 1 the CCPDT was pleased to welcome Carol Hutelmyer to its Board of Directors as its Public Member. A Public Member (PM) of a Board is someone who is not and has never been in the profession, is not related to anyone in the profession, is not an employee of anyone in the profession, is not an employee of a certification organization, and has not provided contract services to the CCPDT within the last five years. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, in order to meet its rigorous standards, requires that a certification board include a Public Member. That's because the PM is there to be a person who represents the direct and indirect users of the dog trainers' skills and services.


CCPDT obtained its tax exempt status from the IRS because it is an organization that, by virtue of its examinations, helps protect the public by demonstrating that certain individuals have the skills and abilities to be certified professional dog trainers. Because the public is a major stakeholder in the CCPDT, the Public Member provides the service of ensuring that the interests of the public are represented in Board discussions and decisions. We have asked Carol, Public Member, to introduce herself to you in this issue of The Scoop.


In the last issue, Penny Milne referred to the "DogKind, Loving-if-Struggling Dog Owners." Having been a dog owner since 1979, I definitely meet that definition. Each of my three dogs provided me with challenges and taught me something different.  


Prior to retiring in 2008, I had a wonderful Nursing career that spanned 45 years and provided both  a fair share of stressful moments as well as many rewards. I worked in both the administrative and clinical areas. In 1991, I received my Adult Nurse Practitioner degree and spent the last 16 years of my career providing primary care to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Coming home to a pooch who was always glad to see me and willing to take long walks was a great stress reduction strategy.


First Jill (a Golden Retriever/Shepherd mix), then Misty (a Belgian Shepherd) and now Pippin (a Border Collie/Lab mix) provided/provide companionship as well as some challenges. All had obedience training and in the process I learned that I was the one being trained! The dogs would do what was asked, if I knew how to do the asking. My current dog, Pippin, passed his Canine Good Citizen and is certified in Animal Assisted Therapy. Thanks go to CCPDT Board Member Nicole Larocco, CPDT-KA, who conducted the training course at the SPCA in Philadelphia. Pippin and I have visited hospice units, grade schools and universities to help students "de-stress" during exam week.


In addition to my own experience as a dog owner, I have many friends and neighbors who have "high energy" dogs, dogs who don't socialize well with other dogs, and one or two who don't socialize well with people. I know the difficulties they have had in finding good dog trainers. Word of Mouth is not always the best method. Just as a license tells the public that a nurse meets knowledge and practice standards, CCPDT certification provides the dog owner with an assurance guarantee that the trainer has the skills and knowledge to provide individual or group training to dogs and their owners.


I look forward to representing the interests of the dog owning public in Board discussions.



New Public Member Carol Hutelmyer with Pippin and Shadow 






Committee Call 

Update on Continuing Education Units

by  Julie Buesser, CPDT-KA

Vice President, CCPDT 


 The Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is excited to announce that we have updated the Continuing Education Units (CEU) Policy.

  • The policy has undergone a restructuring for ease of understanding
    • Types of CEUs are divided into three categories: Education, Publications, and Applied Knowledge.
    • Combining the CPDT and CBCC CEU Policy makes the policy much easier to understand, especially for certificants who hold both CPDT and CBCC certifications.
  •  The amount of CEUs required for CPDT-KA, CPDT-KSA, and CBCC-KA has remained the same.
  •  Calculation of CEUs has also remained the same:

Certification Type

Recertification Period

Number of CEUs Needed to Recertify


3 years

36 CEUs


3 years

48 CEUs


5 years

36 CEUs

  • Each CEU is calculated in increments of 0.5 for every 30 minutes of time spent during the educational event.
  • Hands-on educational experiences will earn an additional 0.25 units per 30 minutes of time spent. Therefore one hour of hands-on learning counts for 1.5 CEUs.

In an effort to ensure that presenters offering CEUs to certificants are competent in the subject matter they are presenting, all presenters as of 7/1/2015, are required to be certified as a CPDT or CBCC.   If a presenter is an expert in a field other than dog training or behavior, s/he  will still qualify to offer CEUs to certificants if s/he has been awarded an appropriate post-graduate degree. For example, a presenter who is speaking on business practices does not have to be a CPDT-KA, CPDT-KSA or CBCC-KA but would be able to offer CEUs to certificants if s/he held an appropriate post-graduate degree in his/her subject matter.


Certificants will be allowed to individually apply for CEUs for educational events that did not offer CEUs. If the presenter does not hold the above-described required credentials, the CEU Request Committee will evaluate these on a case-by-case basis. Detailed descriptions of the material covered will be required for the CEU Request Committee's review.




Type of CEUs Qualified to Offer


  The Presenter's Credentials











Appropriate post-graduate degree


You can find the updated policy on the CCPDT website. We hope this policy will make it easier to understand CEUs, and ensure that the educational events that certificants are attending to maintain their certification are valuable learning experiences.






"P" Is For "Professional"

Everything You Do Is Part Of Your Professional World

by James E. Akenhead, CPDT-KA

Board Member, CCPDT 


Anywhere you go, people notice you. What they see and hear impacts their perception of you, the professional. I still remember the time I was standing at the top of the Empire State Building and I heard a client call my name. I turned and there she was smiling at me from the next row up. If you think that was a freak accident, consider another example: I was standing in line at Disney World... and yep, five people up in line, was a client.


To be among the best, everything must be taken into consideration. Our intention for this column is to offer you ideas that can help you to be among the very best Professional Dog Trainers and Behavior Consultants. To accomplish this you will need to pay attention to everything that can make a difference for your business.


Have you considered the makeup of the clientele who seek you out for help? Have you thought about what a client would look for in order to have confidence in you from the moment he met you? Have you looked carefully at the homes you enter and have you noticed how your clients dress when they come to your facility?


At our facility, we know that our clients come from a "conservative" background. Many are business people. For us, that means they dress well, are well groomed, and speak well. This tells us that we need to appeal to those same things. If our trainers are disheveled, dirty, disorganized or use slang when they talk, our clients may not be confident that we can do the job they want done.


This is actually a fact, tested by research, and it is nothing new. Decades ago Business Advisor John Malloy investigated how a person's dress and grooming impacted what kind of attention they got in various situations. Those who dressed best and spoke clearly got the edge. Unless we are willing to give up potential business, we must assume that everything we do matters.


We make sure our facility is impeccable clean, grass is mowed, and weeds are pulled. Clients frequently comment about what a nice place we have and how good it smells. One candidate for County Prosecutor told me he was not looking forward to coming to our place because every place he had ever gone for work with a dog smelled bad and had hair flying all over the place. He said what a pleasant change it was to come to a place that was clean and smelled good. We really like it when someone comments on how clean our facility is. Every trainer who works here is proud to hear that. So whether it is your facility or the car you travel in to a client's home (perhaps that's why UPS drivers have uniforms and trucks are always clean), the impression counts.


Our trainers also agreed that we needed a uniform of some sort so that we put on a professional image every time we met a client. The uniform is not complicated. We have a shirt with a button-down collar and buttons up the front, with our logo over the front pocket. We all wear tan, gray, or olive slacks with our logo shirts. That removes the need to decide what to wear on any given day; the trainer has a shirt and pants standing in wait. The professional image is always there.


Along with all this, we have regular trainers' meetings to discuss issues of importance to all of us. We read and discuss books on communication in the workplace as well as books that make us better dog trainers or behavior consultants. And really, shouldn't we all be striving to be better?


In future issues of The Scoop we will address other topics that can help you evaluate your professionalism.






Call For Case Study Submissions 


We are seeking case studies from certificants to publish in alternate issues of Scoop.  Authors of cases selected for publication will be paid 15 cents per word. You can refer back to the January/February issue for details on how to present your case study. Here are some brief tips:


1. Respect client confidentiality. Do not include client or dog names. You may "change the names to protect the innocent" if you would like to be able to refer to client or dog throughout the article.

2. Article should be 1,000 to 1,500 words.

3. Protocols utilized for training or behavior modification should follow the Humane Hierarchy as described elsewhere in this newsletter.

4. Article should include an outcome - at least far enough into the modification program to describe the effect of the intervention/protocol.

5. Submitted articles will be peer reviewed and may or may not be selected for publication. 

6. Submit to:

7. Authors of articles selected for publication will be paid at a rate of $.15 per word. Payment will be made following actual publication.

8. Deadline for submission for May/June issue is April 1, 2014. 




Meet the Certificant

Featuring Laurel Rose, CPDT-KA 

by Monique A. Williams, CPDT-KA


BIO:  Laurel Rose, CPDT-KA, owner of Such A Good Dog in Huntsville, Alabama, has been working with dogs and their owners for over 13 years and has two training certifications: her CPDT-KA from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and an ABCCDT from Animal Behavior College. Laurel is also a Certified Mentor Trainer to Animal Behavior College students, as well as a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Her interest in training began as a puppy raiser and volunteer coordinator for Canine Companions for Independence.  In addition, she's a published author for training articles on



1.   What was the first animal you remember training?

I remember so fondly working with our St Bernard, Hilda, when I was in Jr High.  When we first got her, my father, who grew up on a ranch where dogs were not pets, didn't want her in the house but I, of course, did so I promised to make sure she didn't have accidents and learned house manners.  Her success was mostly due to her fantastic temperament but it got me interested in having a dog as a constant companion.  She would walk with me to the bus stop down the street and when the bus would come I'd say "Go home" and she would amble back to the house.  This was back in the olden days when neighborhood dogs would hang out together.  When she was out and about I would call her to come and she was rewarded with cheese.  Little did I know that I was using positive reinforcement!


2.   What factors most influenced your decision to become a professional dog trainer? 

I got my start as a professional in my 40s, which some may consider a little late in life.  After years of helping friends and neighbors I started to do tons of research and watch any TV show that had to do with training.    I was a puppy-raiser for Canine Companions for Independence in 2001 and got some hands-on experience with a new way of training and that really lit the fire.  I started to notice so many owners struggle with their relationships with their dogs that I started to get serious about doing it for a living.  That took a few years but I finally did it.


3.  What influenced you to become a CPDT or CBCC?  Do you plan to maintain your certification when it is time to renew? 

I wanted the CPDT certification in order to have something to show people that I was a serious professional trainer.  That I wasn't a trainer who "Learned from my aunt, who learned from her father..." that kind of training background.  The CPDT shows that I have to keep up with education, pass an extensive exam and consider dog training my profession. Keeping my CPDT-KA is an important piece of my credentials.


4.   Do you have a training specialty? 

I don't have a specialty per se, but I've earned a reputation helping people with "bossy" dogs.   And, I have a special place in my heart for helping fearful/insecure dogs.  I happen to have one of those, spent about a year building his confidence, and he is now my example of "If you put in the work it will all be worth it".  Helping a dog to walk the earth with peace of mind is extremely rewarding.


5.   What have you found to be the most effective form of marketing for your business? 

For me the most effective marketing has been word of mouth.  I'd say the second most effective was getting involved with the City's Animal Services and local rescue organizations offering free seminars and classes to their staff and volunteers.


6.   What is your greatest challenge as a dog training business owner-marketing, time management...? 

My greatest challenge has actually been not giving it away for free.  I had a habit of giving free advice over the phone and have reined that in pretty well.  Other than that it's been burn out.  Trying to take a couple of days off with no email, voice mail or texting is a big challenge but so important.  I'm not a patient trainer when I'm tired of dealing with the humans.


7.   What are the most common training or behavior issues you solve for your clients? 

I'm sure that like most trainers it's jumping, mouthing, loose leash walking.  I do also get quite a lot of "My dog won't listen" so that falls more under proper leadership than training.


8.   What mistake do you think is most common for dog owners to make?

The mistake I see most frequently is total lack of leadership.  I was at a client's home and I watched the dog push her off the couch she was sitting on.  The dog actually jumped up and started pushing behind her until she was just kind of teetering on the edge of the cushion.


9.   What is your favorite tool in your training toolbox? 

My favorite tool is the body.  I impress on my students that you may not always have a leash or other piece of equipment but you'll always have your body.  Use it in a way that communicates clearly to your dog and everything else will be easier.


10.   Is there a different animal you would like to train, or a training specialty you would like to learn?   

I have actually been looking into dolphin training.  There are organizations that will allow you to come and work with their animals for a few days.  That would be amazing!


11.  What activities do you enjoy with your own dogs? 

My dog, Sam, loves people more than life, so my favorite activity is taking him somewhere with lots of people to pet him and give him love.




Certificant News
Instructor Videos on AKC website 


The Port Chester Obedience Training Club (PCOTC)of White Plains, New York, reports that several of their CCPDT certified instructors have been featured in a number of videos on AKC's websites. Here are links for their videos:


Nancy Field, Family Manners instructor, CPDT-KA:  Sit and  Lie Down 

Rick Pisani, Obedience Training Director, CPDT-KA:  Come and  Leg Weave 

Stephen McKay, Agility Training Director, CPDT-KSA: Rollover 

Jenn Michaelis, Family Manners Instructor, CPDT-KA: High-Five  







Jolanta and Juni

Jolanta Benal, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, and her dog, Juni.

Time for Some Science:
Social Eavesdropping in Dogs
by Jolanta Benal, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA 




Two people you've never met are talking to each other. You observe that Person A is soft-spoken and courteous, whereas Person B speaks sharply and gets up in Person A's face. Thanks to your "social eavesdropping" ability, you can predict that A will be likelier than B to treat you courteously as well.


Do any nonhuman animals share this ability to benefit from observing interactions between unfamiliar third parties? The evidence even for our closest relatives, chimpanzees, is mixed. But dogs have been living with people for perhaps tens of thousands of years; also, we who observe dog behavior are well aware of how attuned our dogs can be to our tone of voice and body language, and how quickly they can learn what behaviors do and don't work to get them what they want.


The researchers Marie Nitzschner, Juliane Kaminski, Alicia Melis, and Michael Tomasello ("Side Matters: Potential Mechanisms Underlying Dogs' Performance in a Social Eavesdropping Paradigm," Animal Behaviour 90 [2014], pp. 263-71) examined two previous studies that suggested dogs can learn from third-party interactions and, having identified questions raised by the methodology, tweaked it in their own experiments. (The studies: Shannon M. A. Kundey, Andres De Los Reyes, Erica Royer, Sabrina Molina, Brittany Monnier, Rebecca German, and Ariel Coshun, "Reputation-like Inference in Domestic Dogs [Canis familiaris]," Animal Cognition 14 [2011], pp. 291-302; and Sarah Marshall-Pescini, C. Passalacqua, A. Ferrario, P. Valsecchi, and E. Prato-Previde, "Social Eavesdropping in the Domestic Dog, "Animal Behaviour 81 (2011), pp. 1177-1183.)


All the studies have similar - not identical - methodologies, too complicated to describe in detail; the basic idea is to have dogs watch unfamiliar people interact with other unfamiliar people, and then to examine whether the dogs' behavior is affected by what they've seen. One experimenter may generously share food with a "beggar," for example, while the other experimenter ostentatiously rebuffs the beggar. Once the dog is free to move around, will she be likelier to approach the generous person? In variations, the beggar or the donor may be replaced by a box (Kundey, et al.) or the experimenter may "interact" with empty air (Marshall-Pescini, et al.). The point of the variations is to learn whether it's the experimenter's behavior alone that matters, or whether the dog can get information only from actual interactions between living things.


In the 2010 study by Kundey and her colleagues, one scenario had donors "giving" food to, or withholding food from, a small wooden box. (Who says science can't be funny?) Dogs preferentially approached the person who behaved generously toward the box. This result left open the possibility that the dogs didn't really learn from witnessing an interaction - rather, they made a simple association between the generous person and the presence of food.


Marshall-Pescini's team got around this with their invisible-beggar variation, aka the "ghost" control. Dogs who saw the experimenters interacting with the invisible beggar didn't prefer the generous person over the stingy person. And that suggests the dogs learned from watching a real interaction, rather than simply associating a given person with food.


But in the "ghost" control, of course, food wasn't actually given to anyone, as it was in the interactions with a real "beggar." Also, in none of the Marshall-Pescini setups did the generous and stingy people switch positions in the room after the dog watched their interactions with real or invisible "beggars." This could mean that the dogs gravitated toward a place - the spot in the room where food was given away - rather than toward a generous person. In that case, the reason they showed no preference for the generous person in the invisible-beggar setup was just that there was no place at which food was given away.


If dogs were gravitating toward a spot where they saw food being given away, that would be an example of "local enhancement," something we see often in daily life - for instance, Dog A is sniffing at a bush, and Dog B hustles over to sniff in the same place. Local enhancement is adaptive because it helps animals find resources, such as food patches: if you're a dog and you see another dog rooting around in a given area, it's well worth your while to check that spot out in case what he's rooting around in is edible.


Local enhancement is also a simpler cognitive mechanism than social eavesdropping, because the animal's working on the basis of association rather than drawing an inference. Nitzschner and her colleagues point out that a study with capuchin monkeys showed location bias/enhancement at work rather than social eavesdropping when the capuchins observed food transfers. Also, dogs have shown location biases in a number of studies, "most often showing a preference for the location where they last saw a reward" (p. 264).


So Nitzschner and her colleagues ran two experiments, with two different groups of dogs, on the pattern I described above. In the first, a generous and a stingy person interacted with an unfamiliar beggar; in the second, the dog's owner played the beggar role. In the control situation, the generous and stingy people switched places after the dog observed their behavior toward the beggar (stranger or owner). Interestingly, the dogs who watched an unfamiliar beggar didn't show a preference for the generous person even when that person remained in the same place. These results don't match up with the results in the experiment by Marshall-Pescini and her colleagues, and it's not clear why.


Neither the generous nor the stingy person actually gave the dogs food. When the generous and stingy people didn't switch places, dogs showed no preference on the first trial, but on the second trial they showed a preference for checking out the stingy person. When the stingy and generous people switched places, the dogs showed no preference on the first, second, and fourth trials, but on the third trial they preferentially checked out the stingy person. (And why not? Both people have food, and there's no cost to the dog in trying her luck with Person B if Person A didn't pan out.) The experimenters take this as "a clear indication" that the dogs could discriminate between the two people[o1] .


What about the second experiment, when the dog's owner played beggar? The experimenters hypothesized that because dogs' owners are important to dogs, the owner's interaction with the generous and stingy people might be more salient. And this time they got pretty much the same results as Marshall-Pescini's team when the generous and stingy people didn't switch places. But when they did switch places, the dogs didn't show a preference for checking out the generous person. Oops. It does look as if what's going on for dogs isn't flexible social eavesdropping, but good old local enhancement.


The authors discuss some possible objections.


Were the dogs simply unable to tell the difference between the people, so that location was the only cue available to them? Doubtful, the experimenters say, because other studies have found dogs able to tell the difference between people's faces and, of course, between their scents. (Also, they point out, if dogs can't distinguish Person A from Person B, then it follows they can't socially eavesdrop - you can't use information you get from watching people if you can't tell who those people are.)


What about the delay (about 9 seconds) inherent in having the generous and stingy people switch places? Not a problem, because dogs have been shown to have much longer working memories than that.


Maybe dogs were just avoiding the place where they heard a firmly spoken "Nein." (The study was done in Germany.) But if that was the case, then the dogs in the "ghost" version of the Marshall-Pescini experiment should have avoided the sharply-speaking stingy person, and they didn't.


Finally, the authors concede that it's possible that though the dogs seemed to be paying close attention (hey, there was sausage involved), they weren't focusing on the actual interactions because none of that communication was directed toward them.


The authors mention that the dogs saw the beggars eating where the generous person sat, and they point out that this supports the local-enhancement hypothesis. It does, and maybe partly for a reason they don't mention: when people eat, bits of food sometimes fall to the floor.


I had other questions. One, a curtain was drawn to screen the dog while the generous and selfish people switched places. I don't understand why this was done, because surely the whole point was for the dogs to have information about where the generous person was to be found. Even given that dogs can distinguish people by face and smell, smells can travel eccentrically around a space, and also dogs tend to behave impulsively in the presence of sausage. If the dogs didn't see the switch made, and were eager to get to the sausage, maybe they didn't register the location change until after they'd made their move. Might we get different results with a visible switch and less-exciting food?


Two, in dogs' experience, people who give food to other people don't always give it to dogs. Also, people are inconsistent in their food-giving - sometimes they won't, sometimes they will. What if dogs played the beggar role in a future study, so that the subject dogs were observing generous or stingy behavior toward other dogs? I also wonder what result might arise if dogs watched several consistent interactions with a beggar. Would a consistently generous person attract the dogs?


There's another study I haven't discussed here but that's well worth your attention if you're interested in social eavesdropping: Esteban Freidin, Natalia Putrino, Maria D'Orazio, and Mariana Bentosela, "Dogs' Eavesdropping from People's Reactions in Third Party Interactions," PLoS One 8: 11 (November 2013).





Welcome to our Scoop News Quiz contest.  We had 35 entries last month - 27 correct ones. The winner of last issue's contest and recipient of a $25 Dogwise gift certificate is: Jodie L. Havens, CPDT-KSA, of San Diego, California. Congratulations, Jodie!


Here are the correct answers to last issue's News Quiz:


1. Who reviews and edits exam questions during an item review session?
Subject matter experts under the guidance of professional psychometricians employed by the PTC (Professional Testing Corporation)

2. With what breed of dog does new CCPDT Board member Penny Milne share her home?
Miniature Schnauzer 

3. Who are the current CCPDT Board officers?
President- Bradley Phifer, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA
Vice President- Julia Buesser, CPDT-KA
Treasurer- Ruth LaRocque, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Secretary- Joan Campbell, CCPDT Executive Director

4. In what city and state was a police officer recently charged with felony animal cruelty for cutting a dog's throat with a pocketknife?
Baltimore, Maryland

5. What does PDTWeWa stand for?
Professional Dog Trainers of Western Washington

6. What hormone promotes social behavior in both canines and humans?  



See this issue's 6 Scoop News Quiz questions below. Winner will be selected randomly from all the correct entries submitted.
Send your entry to:


Entry deadline is October 15, 2014. One entry per person. Contest open to CCPDT certificants only. Correct answers will be published in next issue.

Winner of the September/October contest will receive a $25 gift certificate to Dogwise (WooHoo!!)



1. How can a certificant get CEUs for a presentation if the presenter did not apply for CEUs in advance??

2. What is the name of new CCPDT Board member Carol Hutelmyer's current dog? 

3. What/who was the first animal trained by Laural Rose, CPDT-KA?

4. Where was a jogger mauled to death by two Cane Corsos?

5. In what two unusual locations did James Akenhead, CPDT-KA, encounter clients?

6. What are the three primary goals for the CCPDT? 





The Humane Hierarchy


Here is the oft-referred to and newly-updated version of the Humane Hierarchy(1) version (from our website) to which our certificants are expected to adhere:


Application of the Humane Hierarchy


The Humane Hierarchy serves to guide certificants of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) in their decision-making process during dog training and behavior modification. Additionally, it will assist the public in understanding the standard of care to be applied by dog training and behavior professionals when determining the order of implementation for applying training practices and methodologies.



The standard of care for CCPDT certificants is that the Humane Hierarchy will be used as a guide in their decision making process when implementing training and behavior protocols. This standard of care should be followed when the certificant is working directly with a dog, creating a training plan for the client to follow, or assisting a colleague.




Please utilize the following steps to modify or manage a behavior:

1. Health, nutritional, and physical factors: The certificant ensures that any indicators for possible medical, nutritional, or health factors are addressed by a licensed veterinarian. The certificant also ensures that factors in the physical environment that have a potential to impact the dog's health, nutrition and physical condition are addressed.

2. Antecedents: The certificant implements environmental management strategies to prevent the behavior from occurring.

3. Positive Reinforcement, Classical Conditioning (not listed in order of preference):

a. Positive Reinforcement: The certificant ensures that reinforcement is delivered for the desirable alternative behavior, and that such reinforcement is of higher value to the dog than the reinforcement the dog has received in the past for the unwanted behavior.

b. Classical Conditioning: The certificant changes the dog's association with an aversive stimulus while presenting the aversive stimulus at a sub-threshold intensity.

4. Live With or Manage the Behavior, Negative Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, Extinction, Consult Another Professional (not listed in order of preference):

a. Live With or Manage The Behavior: Certificant elects to cease modification techniques and implement a management plan.

b. Consult Another Professional: At times, it may be beneficial for the certificant to consult another professional such as a dog trainer, veterinarian, or behaviorist for additional advice. Consulting with other professionals can be beneficial, particularly when a problem behavior does not resolve with the previously mentioned interventions.

c. Negative Punishment: The certificant withdraws a positive reinforcer when the undesirable behavior occurs to reduce the probability that the behavior will occur in the future.

d. Extinction: The certificant withholds reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior with the goal of extinguishing the behavior.

e. Negative Reinforcement: The certificant withdraws an aversive stimulus when the desired behavior occurs in order to increase the probability that the behavior will occur in the future.

5. Positive Punishment: The certificant delivers an aversive consequence in response to the undesirable behavior in order to reduce the probability that the behavior will occur in the future.



Please direct any questions regarding this standard of care to our administrator at


(1) Adapted from What's Wrong With This Picture? Effectiveness is Not Enough, Susan Friedman Ph.D., Good Bird Magazine, Volume 4-4; Winter 2008. 




Industry News

by Laura Roach, CPDT-KA  


Vet Warned Owners Dog was Dangerous Prior to Deadly Attack

August 15, 2014 - Detroit, Michigan 


Three months before two Cane Corsos mauled a jogger to death on a rural road in Metamora, Michigan, a veterinarian who examined them found them "aggressive" and "dangerous" and warned one of their owners that the dogs needed to be treated by an animal behaviorist, according to testimony in a Lapeer courtroom this afternoon.


"She lunged at several staff members when we were trying to get her weighed. ... she was turning and trying to bite me," veterinarian Shelley Wallace testified, referring to Princess, a 91-pound Cane Corso, and one of two involved in the July 23 attack on Craig Sytsma, 46.  


The dog's owners, Sebastiano Quagliata, 45, and Valbona Lucaj, 44, are charged with second-degree murder in the killing. If convicted, the owners face up to life in prison. The two dogs and a third adult dog have been euthanized. Seven puppies have been placed with a rescue league in Texas but will be sterilized.


Link: Dog Fatally Kills Jogger 


Borrowing a Dog Gives Us a Part-Time Pet
August 1, 2014  - United Kingdom

It works like a dating website, but, instead of life partners, you search for compatible pooches. Dog owners post details of their pets, complete with cute pics, while prospective "sharers" try to win them over with their dog-whispering abilities.

Both parties are then matched up, based on distance and availability - and members pick the ones they like the look of. It helps if you have an idea of the type of dog you want to look after - and which breeds or crosses will suit your lifestyle. 


The idea for a dog-sharing website came from Rikke Rosenlund, in 2012, when she offered to look after a friend's chocolate Labrador Retriever. "It made me think there should be a website where owners can have their pets taken care of by people who absolutely adore dogs and miss having one in their life," says Rosenlund, who moved from Denmark to the UK nine years ago. "There is no need for a dog to be at home alone or to pay for a dog walker when there are loads of people who adore dogs but can't have one."


The perfect dog may not exist. But at least when you borrow one you get to hand it back if things aren't working out.


Link: Borrow My Doggy  


6-Month-Old Puppy Dies At Dog Training Center

July 23, 2014 - Lewis Center, Ohio  


 A tragic incident at a dog training facility ended in the death of a puppy, and the owner is searching for answers. On April 3, 2014, Robbi Scott said she dropped off her 6-month-old Boxer/Great Dane mix puppy, Gracie, at Acme Canine dog training facility in Lewis Center. Later that day, she received a phone call regarding an emergency. Gracie had died at the training center.


Laura Pakis, owner of ACME Canine disagrees with Scott about why Gracie died. Pakis asserts that it was simply a freakish accident. Grieving owner Scott begs to differ.  "It's a tragic incident more than an accident, I think," Scott said. "I'm not a fan of choker collars, but I assumed they were the professionals. They were the trainers."  

Pakis said a choke collar is a crucial tool in training and if used correctly, nothing bad happens. But when Gracie was dropped off at the facility, the collar became entangled with another dog, and relentlessly tightened around her neck.


Many trainers insist that choke collars are effective and safe.Others disagree, saying they are dangerous and sometimes deadly. The Humane Society of the United States recommends avoiding choke chains, and urges owners never to leave dogs unattended on a choke collar because the chain could catch on something and choke the dog.


Link: 6 Month Old Puppy Dies at Dog Training Center 

Researchers May Have Found Cure for Parvovirus

June 2, 2014 - Grand Forks, North Dakota 


 Canine parvovirus is a devastating diagnosis for any dog. While it cannot spread to humans, it is easily spread from dog to dog, and often the disease quickly turns fatal. While there is a vaccine that can help prevent a dog from contracting the deadly illness, there are still thousands of cases of parvo every year and many dogs that do not survive it.


In shelters, parvovirus is especially challenging. Infected dogs shed the virus through their bodily fluids and waste, making it very easy for the illness to spread from kennel to kennel, from dog to dog. The virus is tough to kill, and can live for months or even sometimes years on surfaces. Puppies and dogs who have not yet been vaccinated are particularly vulnerable to infection. What's also frustrating for shelters is the cost of treating the illness; the cost of treating the symptoms of parvo, including fever, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, can run between $500 to $2,000. Often that high cost is insurmountable for owners as well as for shelters, meaning infected dogs and puppies either die of the virus or are euthanized.


But a North Dakota company has stumbled upon a drug that could be a major breakthrough in not only treating canine parvovirus - but actually curing the disease. The Grand Forks, North Dakota, company Avianax was formed after the outbreak of a mysterious illness that was killing large populations of geese across the region. The illness turned out to be West Nile virus. Avianax discovered and developed special antibody technology to fight the disease. Now, that same technology just might save a lot of puppies. Early tests of the company's new parvoONE antibody-based treatment, harvested from the yolks of goose eggs, showed a 90 percent cure rate - a potential breakthrough in animal care.


The Avianax parvoONE trials will continue to run through this November at sites in Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona. But should the U.S. Department of Agriculture give the go-ahead, Avianax plans to start selling parvoONE for $75 per dose next spring.


Link:  Possible Cure for Parvovirus  


 Do Puppy Tests Predict Adult Dog Behavior?

July 16, 2014 - Vienna, Austria  


Lots of people want to know if a puppy's behavior will tell you what it will be like as an adult dog. From people choosing a pet dog from a breeder's litter, to organizations training service, police or military dogs, making the right choice of puppy could really help later on. But there have long been concerns that puppy personality tests don't necessarily predict adult behavior. So Stefanie Riemer et al. of the Clever Dog Lab in Vienna, Austria, tested border collies as brand new puppies, older puppies, and adult dogs, to investigate. Most previous studies have looked at dogs bred to be working dogs. This study is especially interesting for pet owners because it looked at pet dogs. 


99 neonate Border Collie puppies were tested between 2 and 10 days old. 93 of them, and a further 41 dogs, were tested at 40 - 50 days old. Finally, once all the dogs had found homes, 50 of them were tested again when they were between 1.5 and 2 years old. The results showed very little correlation between tests at the different ages. In fact, the only significant correlation was on the exploration test for puppies and adults.  


The scientists say this is not really surprising, given how much puppies change in the time from newborns to becoming an adult dog. Many people are aware of the idea of a sensitive period when it is important to socialize puppies, and it should be noted that the puppy tests took place during this period. 


The finding that puppy behavior does not predict the behavior of an adult dog will disappoint many. But the flipside is there is much that owners can do to influence the behavior of their dog, which surely is a good thing. In addition, Riemer et al. say, "environmental differences can be expected to have a greater effect on behavioral variability in our sample of pet dogs compared to the working dogs of previous studies, which tend to be kept under more uniform conditions and follow standardized training regimes. Given that dogs are highly responsive to their social environment, the role of the owner should not be forgotten."


Link: Do Puppy Tests Predict Adult Dog Behavior 










Bradley Phifer, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA

Indianapolis, IN  

 Vice President

Julie Buesser, CPDT-KA

Forest Park, IL


Joan Campbell, Executive Director 

New York, NY


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Seattle, WA 



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Alliance, OH

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Philadelphia, PA 

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Vero Beach, FL  


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