What is the difference between a dog trainer and a behaviorist?
Professional dog trainers earn certifications such as the CPDT (Certified Personal Dog Trainer) and the CBCC (Certified Behavior Consultant- Canine), both through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers® (CCPDT®). Although the certifications are a great showing of knowledge in the dog training field, when it comes to Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAAB), there are only approximately 50 actual Behaviorists in the U.S today.
Our CEO and Founder, Dr. Kristyn Echterling-Savage, is one of them! To learn more about the requirements of becoming a CAAB, check out the Animal Behavior Society.
What makes a good dog trainer?
Dog training is an unregulated field, so it is essential to do your research when choosing to hire a professional dog trainer. Look for a reputable company led by a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) or Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC). If there aren’t any CAABs or CDBCs in your area, we recommend a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) or a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA). These professionals utilize humane and science-based practices.
How long does it take to train a dog?
For obedience, many dogs can pick up on a new command in only 30-60 repetitions; for some, even less. To master a skill, your dog needs additional time to generalize the command to multiple environments, program for distractions, and respond appropriately to cues and delivery timing changes. Training exercises can take weeks or months to develop and implement for behavior modification for problems such as reactivity or resource guarding. Even after your program is completed, you will want and need to continue practicing with your dog to ensure no regressions occur and that the behavior generalizes for long-term success.
How often should you see a dog trainer?
The frequency of how often we recommend you see a trainer depends on how many behaviors you would like to address, in what environments, and if we are addressing behavior problem(s), the severity of the behavior. Most of our programs last around 3 to 8 weeks, with anywhere from 3-4 (1 hour) training sessions per week. Once your dog’s program is completed, you can enroll in maintenance sessions that provide additional assistance in maintaining and improving your dog’s current level of training.