Association Of Professional Dog Trainers A Valuable Resource For Trainers And Pet Parents

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The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) is an organization dedicated to promoting dog training and education for trainers and pet owners. The site includes reference articles, online learning, a search directory, and membership information. They also sponsor an annual conference to promote continuing education.

For Dog Trainers: The benefits are endless for members of the APDT. Three levels of membership include: Professional Premium, Professional and Supporting. Each level of membership has certain benefits that include online education courses, discounted products and insurance, a listing in the directory, networking meet-ups, C.L.A.S.S. courses, and scholarship opportunities. The C.L.A.S.S. program is a training curriculum developed by the APDT. “I have been training since 2009 and joined APDT for their training and webinars,” says current APDT member Mark Patrick. “It has also been a great tool for networking and connecting with other trainers on what has worked for them.”

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For Pet Parents: Perhaps the best benefit of the APDT for pet owners is the directory. Parents can search for trainers based on location worldwide. The directory provides contact information and links to the trainer’s website. I decided to dig around and see if any of my students had found me through the website… and to my delight, they had.  “As a new puppy owner four years ago, I turned to the APDT website to find a reliable trainer. Here I found Miss Rachel who surpassed my expectations, and Captain and I have been using her ever since,” says John Sarazyn, a long-time client of mine who provided a testimonial for my listing. I’m virtually blushing right now!

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The Conference: Every year the APDT holds a conference to help dog trainers continue their education. This year’s conference is being held in Hartford, Connecticut from October 15 to 18, 2014. Feature speakers include Dr. Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell PHD, CAAB, and Gail Fisher. It also hosts a variety of canine behavior workshops and events. A colleague of mine, Amy P. Holtz, is attending the 2014 show. It’s her third conference and she believes the networking and education is definitely worth it. “I have been training for over 20 years,” says Holtz. “With the help of the science between APDT I was quickly turned on to keeping up what’s the newest and best way to do things for the dogs and their humans. It’s important to keep up your skills. You can’t just train once and be done.”

The APDT is an invaluable resource for pet trainers and owners alike. There’s something there for everyone. They allow all types of trainers to join, and their reasoning for this is to help encourage us to teach using the most advanced science-based methods available. I give it two paws up!

If you’re looking for a dog trainer or what to learn more about the organization, visit the Association of Professional Dog Trainers’ website.

Rachel LeavyRachel Leavy lives in Rochester, New York with her dog, Maria, and her gecko, Nigel. She has loved animals all her life, and has owned her own dog training and walking company for five years. When she’s not playing with puppies, she can usually be found writing short stories, riding horses or out at a play.