Pet Dog Training Association Resources

Pet dog training can be a difficult profession in which to establish a business because there are so many trainers and no training standards. By joining a pet dog training association, potential dog trainers can gain more credibility.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

The largest pet dog training association is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), and while most associations have requirements for entry, the APDT will let any trainer join. Its bylaws state that trainers must be positive reinforcement trainers, but this seems to be interpreted loosely as well.

With its membership fees, the APDT offers a lot of value. First, your business can be listed on the APDT national listing, which can generate new business and add credibility to your business. The APDT expends a lot of energy trying to establish itself and reach the public, so this can be very helpful.

The APDT also offers a lot of education opportunities. There are message boards where trainers can swap tips and learn from more experienced trainers. It also advertises seminars where trainers can go expand their knowledge base and learn new skills. The annual conference provides the best speakers dog training has to offer.

It also publishes a quarterly newsletter with tips on training, ethics and business building. Young trainers can definitely benefit from this resource.

National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors

The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) is another well-known training organization. However, to join, you must have a certain number of training hours logged and complete a significant entry process that includes a taking a written exam, interviewing with current members and submitting a video tape with training methods.

However, this membership carries more credibility than a membership to the APDT because trainers must demonstrate some level of skill to enter. In addition, your listing will be added to their web site, where people may go to seek out trainers.

NADOI also offers a host of resources for members, such as a training anthology, full of training articles that will help any inexperienced trainer learn. It also publishes a quarterly journal to keep members up-to-date on the latest in training.

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

Another organization that has requirements for entry is the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), which is trying to establish itself as the certification agency for professional dog trainers. To join, trainers must meet a minimum number of training hours and pass a test.

As with NADOI, the value in having a certification is added credibility and initials after your name. Trainers are listed on the web site, which can help generate business. CCPDT also markets to veterinarians and other dog professionals, which are often looking for dog trainers to refer.

To maintain your CCPDT membership, you must complete continuing education units each year, which add to your professional knowledge. This can also be used in advertising as many of your peers will not be putting as much energy into education.

When establishing a dog training business, you're looking for anything that can set you apart. Joining an organization and putting in the time to meet their requirements may be the silver bullet you've been looking for.