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Type: Organizations


An Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) is a dog professional who has earned an undergraduate degree in animal behavior or a closely related discipline like psychology, and also has either a Master’s degree, or a DVM or VMD degree with a behavioral residency. An ACAAB must also have completed a minimum of two years of professional experience in applied animal behavior, and have demonstrated this to the satisfaction of the Animal Behavior Society. ACAABs can be called upon to do behavior consultations and work directly with dog owners, but they can also work with other animals and in other environments too.

Academy for Dog Trainers

Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers is an organization offering professional education for dog trainers and behaviorists.  Material is delivered online with the aid of video recording, video conferencing and discussion forums.

The Academy’s program is academically rigorous, with a focus on giving students a high-level understanding of learning theory and helping them refine the mechanics of classical and operant conditioning.

AKC Community Canine

The advanced level of the Canine Good Citizen program, run by the American Kennel Club.  Dogs that are certified as Community Canines must be AKC registered.  They must prove that they can perform basic obedience, walk on a loose leash in crowds and interact appropriately with people and other dogs.  The Community Canine test differs from the Canine Good Citizen test because it is taken in real-life situations like dog shows, training classes and parks.

American Kennel Club

A non-profit organization that has maintained a Registry of purebred dogs since its founding in 1884.  The AKC organizes dog shows and competitive sports like obedience, tracking, ability and rally.  It also runs the Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine programs for pet dogs, and promotes purebred dogs to the public.

American Veterinary Medical Association

The AVMA is a non-profit professional organization for vets in the United States.  It represents the interests of veterinarians through lobbying on relevant issues.  The organization also publishes the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association as well as guidelines for veterinarians on various specialist topics, newsletters for the general public, and creates a regular podcast covering current issues in the veterinary world.

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

A professional organization for continuing education in animal behavior.  Membership is restricted to veterinarians and researchers with a PhD in animal behavior. The AVSAB holds a yearly scientific meeting,  offers online forums to encourage networking and collaboration, and maintains a database of members that people seeking behavioral help can search.

Association of Professional Dog Trainers

A professional organization for dog trainers, with a worldwide membership base.  Professionals can register with the APDT and be included in their directory of trainers.  The organization also offers training courses, an annual conference, and publishes The Chronicle of the Dog newsletter.  There is no obligation for an APDT member to adhere to any particular standards, philosophy or training methods, although the organization itself aligns with the LIMA framework.

Beyond Cesar Millan

A group on Facebook that aims to spread information about reward-based training methods. It is one of the largest dog behavior groups and is sometimes referred to as BCM.

Board Certified

Indicates that a professional has passed the exams required to use a given title.  For example, a board certified veterinary behaviorist is a vet in the United States, who has passed the examinations set out by the AVCB.

Canine Good Citizen

The CGC is a program run by Kennel Clubs in various countries.  It is administered by the AKC in the United States, and is open to all dogs that are registered with them. The CGC consists of a 10 step test designed to evaluate a dog’s obedience, impulse control and social skills.  Dogs who pass their CGC are eligible to take the advanced Community Canine test.


Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers – Knowledge Assessed.  These letters after a person’s name mean that they have passed the exams required for certification by the CCPDT, but they have not yet had their practical skills assessed.


Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers – Knowledge and Practice Assessed.  These letters after a person’s name mean that they have passed the exams required for certification by the CCPDT, and they have had successfully had their practical skills assessed.

Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers

A professional organization for dog trainers that seeks to raise the overall standard of training. The CCPDT offers examinations on learning theory and practical applications for trainers who wish to become certified.  Certified trainers have either CCPDT-KA or CCPDT-KPA after their name.

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist

A professional qualification overseen by the Animal Behavior Society. The candidate for a CAAB certification must have met all of the requirements for an ACAAB, and also has a PhD in a behavioral science or a DVM with a behavioral residency, along with two to five years of professional experience in applied animal behavior.

Certified Trick Dog Instructor

A Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) is a dog trainer who specializes in dog tricks. CDTI qualifications are administered by Kyra Sundance of “Do More With Your Dog!”.  To become a CDTI, the applicant must pass a written and a practical exam, either through self-study of after attending a weekend workshop, and demonstrate that their dog can perform tricks from Intermediate of Advanced Trick Dog title lists.  CDTIs train using positive reinforcement techniques, especially mark and reward.


A set of weekend-long events organized by Karen Pryor Clicker Training, held on two different dates in the United States and one date in the UK.  Their purpose is to spread knowledge and information about clicker training.  There are seminars, demonstrations, round-table discussions and lectures where dog trainers, behaviorists and passionate amateurs can enhance their knowledge and meet each other.


Dogs In Need Of Space.  An organization that aims to educate people about the need to respect the different personal boundaries of other dogs.  The DINOS website offers resources for owners of dogs who need space, including a list of vets that are especially sympathetic to dogs with behavioral problems.

Dogs and Storks

A program developed to help a family prepare their dog and themselves for the arrival of a new baby.


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The title given to veterinarians in the United States and Canada.  The only exceptions are vets who have graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, who are awarded the equivalent title VMD.


A private laboratory, run by Dr Jean Dodds, which offers a suite of unique measures of certain blood tests, especially thyroid levels.

Institute of Modern Dog Trainers

A UK-based organisation offering externally-verified accredited qualifications for dog trainers, encompassing both a theoretical and practical assessment of skills.  The IMDT also offers seminars and courses for members and maintains a list of accredited trainers in the UK and overseas.

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

A professional organization for animal behaviorists working with dogs, cats, horses and parrots.  Members have to demonstrate that they have spent at least 300 hours consulting with clients on issues of animal behavior (500 hours for full members), supply references and take a written test to demonstrate that they meet core standards of competency.

The IAABC maintains a list of behavior consultants in the United States.  Members can also avail themselves of continuing education, an annual conference, and professional networking opportunities.

International Association of Canine Professionals

The IACP is an organization that offers membership to all dog professionals, including dog trainers, groomers, boarding kennels, dog walkers, veterinarians, vet techs and boundary fence installers.

They offer continuing education, professional networking opportunities, as well as certification for dog trainers. Certification has three levels and requires a written test and an in-person or video evaluation of skills:

(1) Certified Dog Trainer (CDT) is the basic level of examination.  Applicants are eligible to take the exam if they have two years’ experience as a dog trainer.

(2) Pet Dog Training Instructor (PDTI) is the extended level of the CDT exam.  Applicants must have held CDT status for a year, and have had 250 hours of experience as a Head Trainer or equivalent within the last five years.

(3) Certified Dog Trainer – Advanced (CDTA) is the advanced level examination.  Applications must have been a professional dog trainer for five years and held CDT status for a year before they can take the exam.

Kennel Club

Organizations that maintain registries of purebred dogs and are dedicated to the promotion of their breeding.  Kennel Clubs in some countries also offer certification for registered dogs, like the Canine Good Citizen, as well as holding dog shows, sports and obedience competitions.


Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Denotes a veterinarian in the UK.

Muzzle Up!

A project founded by Maureen Backman, with the aim of increasing awareness of muzzles, and decreasing the stigma attached to them.  The Muzzle Up! Project website contains many resources on how to use counter-conditioning to teach dogs to accept wearing a muzzle, and guides on how to choose the best muzzle for different breeds of dog.

National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors

NADOI is the oldest organization providing certification for dog trainers in the United States.

According to their Position Statements, NADOI endorses the use of all tools available to trainers, provided they are not “cruel or unnecessarily harsh”.  NADOI-Endorsed trainers must pass an evaluation and demonstrate that they have knowledge of learning theory, as well as that they have worked as a Head Trainer or equivalent for two years.


An online dog training course created by Susan Garrett.  It focuses on teaching dogs through the use of very short daily sessions, which are set up as games the dog can enjoy playing.  Registration for Recallers opens once a year, and the course lasts for seven weeks.

Space Dogs

A UK-based organization that aims to spread awareness of the need to respect the personal boundaries of dogs with behavioral issues through raising the profile of the yellow ribbon as an indicator that a dog needs space.  They sell educational materials and yellow merchandise for dogs to wear from their website.


Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science. A non-profit organization created to promote funding opportunities for graduate students and PhD candidates pursuing research in canine science. Their annual conference, also called SPARCS, attracts many prestigious speakers and is streamed live over the Internet.


Starmark Training and Behavior solutions are a company that make a wide variety of treats, toys and training tools.  They manufacture a range of long-lasting treats designed to fit into enrichment toys, training treats, and prong collars.

Starmark also run an Academy program for dog trainers with onsite housing in Texas.  The program includes classes on a variety of tools including clickers and e-collars; for this reason the Academy can be considered as education for balanced trainers.

Through a Dog’s Ear

A company that publishes music aimed at promoting relaxation in dogs. There is a series of CDs, MP3 downloads available, and a small portable speaker called iCalmDog.

Trick Dog

A program of titles developed by Kyra Sundance of “Do More With Your Dog!”.  Trick Dog titles are earned by showing that your dog can perform a variety of different tricks on cue.  More advanced titles require complex and chained behaviors.

Trick Dog titles can be earned online, and do not require specialist trainers to be present or a specific method to be used.  However, Do More With Your Dog! certifies instructors who specialize in dog tricks using positive reinforcement under the Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) scheme.

Yellow Dog Project

An international organization that aims to raise awareness of the yellow ribbon as a signifier that a dog needs extra space when out in public.
The phrase “yellow dog” also refer to a dog that needs space, whether because they are in training, working as a service dog, recovering from surgery or suffering from behavioral problems.