Anytime someone is not located close to our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we always get asked if we can recommend a good certified dog trainer. This is something that always amuses me.
People do not realize, there is NO “real” dog trainer certification. Meaning, if you are a licensed plumber, electrician, contractor etc, that means you attended mandatory training and received a license from the state showing that you have passed certifications required by state and federal regulations. There is no such thing in dog training. I will say this again, there is no such thing as being a “real” certified dog trainer.
There are many trainers who love to boast about all of their dog training certifications; however, what they are really saying is, “I paid all of these for profit businesses for a course they offered and they gave me a certification from their course.” I have encountered numerous “certified dog trainers,” who could not train a dog to save their life (nor the dogs’); however, according to some for profit organization that they paid, they can.
For example, we have a dog training trainer’s program in which the trainers who go through my course literally spend over 175 hours working with dogs of all shapes, sizes, energy levels, and aggression levels. This is 100% hands on working over 175+ hours with real clients’ dogs, not “their own dog” like many programs have their would-be trainers do, this is a very unrealistic way to become a dog trainer.
Give me a few hundred dollars and I can make a 10-year old a “certified dog trainer” in the next 7-days based off many of these companies and websites who sells you the ability to be a certified dog trainer. He has never even taught a dog one thing, but I will be able to say he’s a certified dog trainer.
To give you an example; myself, my trainers, my friend who is a US Navy Seal K9 Handler, my friends that work with the Secret Service dogs, police, my friend who is the most accomplished French Ring Decoy in the US, and the list goes on and on and on are NOT “certified dog trainers.” Why? Because we all know how to train dogs amazingly well, and we do not need to pay a civilian-run and created (for-profit) business to give us a certificate they print up to vouch for us.
When people ask, I always say as a joke: “My certification? Former US Marine, former US Secret Service, I have the highest rated dog training business in the tri-state area, train 65 dogs per week, over 400+ before/after videos, and 100+ 5-Star Reviews on Googles. That’s the only certification I have.” 🙂
Again, many of my friends, associates, and colleagues are literally considered the top trainers in the world, and you will never see letters or “certifications” on their websites.
When looking for a trainer, look at that trainer’s reviews, references, and their videos of dogs they have actually trained. Do not be fooled by all of their titles, certifications, and letters they put next to their name. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with their ability to train dogs nor fix your dog’s behavioral issues.