Dog Talk

by Niki Tudge

What a Dog Training Professional is?

The dictionary would have us understand professional to mean “Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career” but in terms of Dog Training what does this actually mean?

Dog Trainers like other areas of the Pet Industry, such as food and nutrition are not meticulously regulated. This has left the dog training industry with practicing professionals operating at extreme ends of the professional spectrum. One end of this spectrum has professionals operating as trainers who are qualified through their commitment and passion for animals through years of animal involvement. At the other end of the spectrum are the animal behaviorists, those dedicated through education to understanding animal behavior as a science an important part of animal psychology.

Canine behaviorists unlike many Dog Trainers can not only help you teach your dog a few commands but can actually help you modify unwanted behaviors such as aggression, anxiety issues and phobias. Training skills are one of the many tools found in the behaviorist repertoire of skills. Canine behaviorists unlike many trainers do not work with predefined recipes but are able to select from many areas of learning theory to address each dog and its unique behavioral challenges.

So how do you choose a trainer for Fido? An internet search will inundate you with organizations, clubs, on line experts all promising you success in training Fido and making him the perfect family companion. Well there are several highly reputable professional organizations with extensive member directories. These organizations have ridged codes of conduct for professional members. They list member’s qualifications and areas of expertise making your search easier.

The American Pet Dog Trainers Association, there vision is “All dogs are effectively trained through dog-friendly techniques and therefore are lifelong companions in a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

The National Association of Pet Dog Trainers NADOI, states in their code of ethics for members “Always will I advocate training by such methods that will keep the best interest of the dog, the handler, and the fancy in mind”.

The ABKA, Your source for pet care services found at has a “Pets Bill of Rights” that members must adhere to.
Each of these organizations will help you to find a dog trainer, or canine behaviorist that will meet the needs of you and your pet, humanely, safely and conducted by a Professional who not only engages in the activity as a source of income but one who has you and your pets best interests at heart. We are fortunate to have members of these associations in our area. So having made the responsible decision to train you dog, spend some time to select the trainer