What Is Dog Trainer Certification?
When searching for a good dog trainer, one of the factors dog owners often consider is whether or not the dog trainers being considered are certified.
What can sometimes make this a challenging endeavor for dog owners is the fact that the field of dog training remains a relatively unregulated industry around the world. Almost anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, so the bar is currently very low for anyone to ‘hang a shingle’ and begin taking money in return for offering dog training services.
Those working as experienced dog trainers regularly hear stories about well-meaning dog owners trusting supposedly competent dog trainers to help them and their dogs, yet finding out (often after much damage has unfortunately already been done) that the so-called dog trainer was actually not qualified to provide the help needed.
Although some countries are beginning to explore the idea of government licensing of the dog training profession, until such regulation becomes the norm, those in need of a quality professional dog trainer will continue to rely on word of mouth, referral and recommendations, and the various dog trainer certifications currently available in most municipalities.
Just as almost anyone can refer to themselves as a professional dog trainer, almost any entity can currently state that it ‘certifies’ its members or graduates to be a certain level of dog training professional. While this classification can sometimes be as valuable as the paper used to designate the certification, the dog-owning public continues to place varying degrees of importance on the label of being ‘certified.’
The truth is that the value of any dog trainer certification depends upon the criteria and assessment processes in place by the entity granting the certification to the trainer as well as the guiding principles and reputation of the certifying entity.
The Victoria Stilwell Academy uses industry-leading assessments that exceed the requirements of internationally-recognized certifying bodies for both skills and knowledge, ensuring that its graduates display full mastery of VSA’s core competencies through a combination of written exams, online exams, skills assessments, and interpersonal capabilities.
All graduates of VSA’s Dog Trainer Courses (both online and in-person hybrid) earn a version of VSA’s prestigious designation as a VSA Certified Dog Trainer (VSA-CDT). Due to VSA’s reputation as a leader in the field of dog trainer education and the strict standards required to achieve it, this certification designation provides VSA graduates with a powerful tool to use in marketing themselves to their target dog-owning audience, and it ensures that those certified by VSA are fully qualified to serve as leaders in the dog training field.