About the Dog Trainer Examination

About the CPDT-KA exam

(Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed)


Application Deadline: Friday, January 25, 2019
Testing Period Begins: Saturday, March 9, 2019
Testing Period Ends: Saturday, March 23, 2019


Application Deadline: Friday, August 9, 2019
Testing Period Begins: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Testing Period Ends: Saturday, October 5, 2019

You can find all examination information, including a complete content outline and sample questions, in the CPDT-KA Candidate Handbook, but here’s an overview:

  • Format: Multiple-choice exam.
  • Length: 250 questions.
  • When: At an appointment you schedule during a 2-week testing period in the fall or spring.
  • Where: Computer-based testing facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.*
  • Cost: $385
  • Who: The exam is administered by a professional testing company.

*Don’t live in North America? We certify dog training professionals from all around the world (note: the exam is in English). Download the handbook for more information.

What will I be tested on?

CPDT-KA testing areas pie chartInstruction skills = 38%

Learning theory = 38%

Ethology = 10%

Equipment = 8%

Animal husbandry = 6%

For details on each examination domain, download the CPDT-KA Study Objectives.

Practice test

Are you out of practice on taking multiple-choice exams? Then we have a solution for you: An online practice exam for anyone considering sitting the CPDT-KA.

This 50-question practice examination will give you a taste of the CPDT-KA exam. It’s a chance to take a computerized exam, study up on the content, and learn more about question format, style, and level of difficulty. You have 2 hours to complete the 50 questions and will be scored by testing area.

Newly Available:

There are two CPDT-KA practice tests now available for purchase! Consider taking one when you apply for the examination and the other close to your test date.  Both versions are meant to help prepare you for the CPDT-KA examination.  Be sure to note in your files which form you have purchased so you do not purchase the same version twice!

Note: The instant score report after practice test submission shows test performance in each of the content areas. The score report does not provide correct answers or indicate which questions were answered correctly and incorrectly. Once the practice test is scored, you cannot return to the test to review the questions.

The fee to take the practice exam is $60.

To register and take the exam, visit the Professional Testing Corporation.

About the CPDT-KSA exam

(Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge and Skills Assessed)


Application Deadline: Friday, February 9, 2018
Testing Period Begins: Thursday, February 15, 2018
Testing Period Ends: Thursday, March 8, 2018


To Be Announced

The 2019 CPDT-KSA Candidate Handbook will be released in early 2019 and will contain the examination information, including a complete content outline and a sample exercise. Here’s an overview:

  • Format: Practical training exercises, submitted by video recording
  • Duration: 3 weeks to submit 4 video recordings
  • When: During a 3-week testing period
  • Where: Online submission of videos produced at a suitable location chosen by the candidate
  • Cost: $225 for current CPDT-KA certificants
  • Who: Administered by a professional testing company and graded by subject matter experts

What will I be tested on?

Training skills

Instruction skills

Training equipment

Application of modalities

CCPDT training policies & position statements

For details on each examination domain, please see the CPDT-KSA Candidate Handbook.

How our tests are developed

When we develop a new examination, we begin by putting together a committee of recognized subject matter experts in that particular field of practice. Through a series of meetings, these experts develop the content outline for the examination.

Once the content outline is done, additional subject matter experts are asked to draft questions, all of which must tie to a citation in recent literature relating to that field. The questions (called ‘items’) go into an Item Bank and from there go through the vetting process described above. For a step-by-step description of the process, see Test Development.

This process of exam development follows the testing guidelines of the Institute of Credentialing Excellence.