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What is a Certified Dog Trainer?

What does it really mean to be a "Certified" Dog Trainer and why is it important?

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When you choose a certified dog trainer, you can be sure that you have selected a dedicated professional who has taken it upon themselves to make an investment in their knowledge, skills, and experience by becoming certified.

There is currently no governing body overseeing the certification of dog trainers in the USA, and no state requires that dog training professionals be certified.  At the same time, there are multiple organizations that will grant these “certifications”.  And not all require the same amount of hands on experience or knowledge of dog behavior.  In fact, it is fairly simple to obtain one of these certifications by taking an online course which only requires that you pass open book examinations, and does not require any hands on training time with dogs.  There are others whose only requirements are that you pass a written test (with no course study) and pay an annual fee to become “certified” through them, and to be able to put their organization’s logo on websites, business cards, etc.

These “certified” trainers may now claim that they have become so, and go out into the profession of dog training with no actual experience!  This can be a very hazardous situation.  People who are inexperienced in working with dogs and apply various training techniques can do more harm than good.  Without the proper knowledge and experience behavior problems can actually appear where there were none before.  Unfortunately it is up to the client to research what types of certification these trainers have and what those certificates mean.

There are few institutions that require their pupils to meet strict requirements, both written and practical, in order to graduate and receive certification in dog training.  Starmark Academy for Professional Dog Trainers sets the bar very high, and all graduates must meet written and hands on requirements after an intensive course of study in order to receive certification.  The curriculum and graduation requirements at Starmark Academy are regulated by the Texas Workforce Commission’s Department of Colleges and Career Schools which holds all state colleges and trade schools to the same standards. The Canine Training & Behavior Specialist diploma is the highest degree of certification offered at Starmark.  To be sure, students who successfully pass this rigorous program and testing are worthy of their “certification."  Carolina Canine Training dog trainers are not only certified Canine Training & Behavior Specialists, but also were former Instructors/Interns to over 300 aspiring dog trainers working to achieve the same certification.