To become a CPDT-KA a trainer must have at least 300 hours of training experience and provide recommendations from a veterinarian, a client, and a colleague. In addition, they must pass an independent, psychometrically sound and science-based exam to demonstrate knowledge in Instruction Skills, Animal Husbandry, Ethnology, Learning Theory, Equipment, and Business Practices & Ethics.
The CCPDT establishes and maintains humane standards of competence for animal training and behavior professionals through criteria based on experience, standardized testing, skills and continuing education. The CCPDT's certification program was the first national certification for dog trainers. There was no nationally available certification process until the creation of the CCPDT in 2001.
All dog trainers certified by the CCPDT must earn continuing education units to maintain their designations and they must also adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in their practices.
Niki Tudge, founder of The DogSmith, said, “We are very proud of Catherine’s achievement and of our DogSmith force-free training programs. It is a great accomplishment and a CCPDT certification confirms a trainer’s expertise and helps the public determine the professional standing of their dog trainer.”