Certified Dog Trainer Directory
All certified dog trainers listed below have met the standard of The Academy of Pet Careers and our mission of Pet Empowerment. If you are a graduate looking to update your listing, please fill out a Directory Update Form.
APC Dog Training Certifications
Trainers with the certificate of Professional Dog Trainer (APC-PDT) have shown proficiency in all basic and intermediate skills, are educated in animal behavior and canine communication, and are suited for most pet training tasks.
Trainers with the certificate of Specialized Dog Trainer (APC-SDT) have taken their education one step further and have shown proficiency in advanced skills, husbandry, scent detection, and service dog training.
Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainers
At The Academy of Pet Careers, we educate all our trainers to use positive reinforcement-based methods. This methodology is not only more effective than more aversive methods, but it also helps you better connect with and communicate with your dog. It’s especially beneficial for fearful, anxious, and reactive dogs.
How to Choose a Dog Trainer
The right dog trainer is knowledgeable about dog behavior, familiar with different breeds and temperaments, and eager to communicate with you, the owner. Not only will they help your dog learn new skills, but they’ll also help you learn how to better engage with and manage your pet.
Kinds of Dog Trainers
Not all dog trainers specialize in teaching the same skills, but most should be familiar with the basics. If you just brought home a new puppy or you want to teach your older dog to be more polite, you’ll probably want to find a general skills trainer. These trainers help your dog become a well-mannered member of the family, and they can also assist with socialization and minor behavior modifications.
If your dog exhibits extreme aggression, fear, or destructive behaviors, you’ll need to seek out a behavior specialist. These trainers have extensive experience with dangerous behavior, and they’ll know how to help your dog become more comfortable with the world around them.
If you’d like to train your dog to be a service dog, find a service dog trainer. These trainers are specialists in training service dog skills and public access skills, which are vital if your service dog is going to accompany you into public spaces.
Certified vs. Licensed Dog Trainers
Currently, no US states require that professional dog trainers be licensed. There are, however, many organizations that offer certifications for dog trainers. All of our graduates receive a Certification in Professional Dog Training, and many go on to seek additional certifications from the Certified Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Be sure to ask your potential trainer what kinds of certifications they hold and how long ago they received them.
Group Classes vs. Private Instruction
Most dog training occurs either in a group setting or one-on-one with your trainer. Group classes are great for puppies and social dogs that aren’t distracted or unnerved by the presence of other dogs. Most of these classes occur either in a public outdoor space (like a park) or in a training facility.
Private instruction, however, affords you and your dog more one-on-one attention and instruction from the dog trainer. Most often, the dog trainer will meet you in your home or in a public space. For many behavior issues, your trainer will request that you work together at home, where your dog is most comfortable and where most of the unwanted behaviors occur.
Why Choose Pet Empowerment
At The Academy of Pet Careers, all of our students and instructors take the Pet Empowerment Pledge. In doing so, they promise to…
- Practice The Safe Handling of Pets.
- Treat Pets With Respect and Consider the Human-Pet Bond.
- Give Pets A Choice, So Long as They Are Safe.
- Promote Confidence and Independence in pets.
- Consider A Pet's Mental, Physical, And Emotional Needs.
- Have Patience and An Unconditional Love for All Pets.
- Prevent And Minimize Fear, Anxiety, And Stress in Pets.
- Report Animal Abuse and Neglect.
We believe in treating pets not as property but as members of the family. When you choose an APC-educated dog trainer, you can be sure they are keeping your pet’s best interests in mind.
Want to become a dog trainer? Take the first step today!
Our hands-on program is designed to provide you with the classroom and practical education you need to jumpstart your dog training career. Complete the form below for more information, or to book a tour of our Missouri facility.