Dog training makes perfect

Chaffee County dog trainer, Laura Bussing, CPDT-KA of Gone to the Dogs, has earned certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She joins more than 2,000 certified trainers worldwide. Until the creation of the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals. Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certifications for their specific programs. These certificates, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for certification. These canine professionals are not monitored to ensure they are completing the test without assistance or collaboration nor is the testing process standardized. This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviorist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar. A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviorists worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination. Professional Testing Corporation was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards. APDT then created a separate, independent council, The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, to manage the accreditation, continuing education and future developments. Candidates who pass the exam earn the title Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed and may use the designation CPDT-KA after their names. All certified trainers must earn continuing education credits to maintain their designations or take the examination again in 3 years.