What Does It Take to Become Certified by Canine Trade Group?

Believe it or not, there is no unifying body that is responsible for establishing and enforcing standards for dog training certification. As a result, there are many dog training organizations that have set their own certification standards and administer their own certification exams. Canine Trade Group certification is handled a bit differently than the others, so we’d like to take a minute to explain exactly how and why our certification is more meaningful than most.

Dog Training Certification: More Than A Membership Fee

For nearly all of the dog training organizations that exist today, a membership fee, exam fee, and a passing score are all that’s needed to obtain certification. Even for the organizations that operate dog training schools, the tuition fee and passing scores are all that’s required for certification.

Our certified dog trainer in Cincinnati, Ohio.

By contrast, Canine Trade Group certified dog trainers don’t pay a membership fee, or a tuition fee. Following an extensive interview and selection process, every trainer is handpicked by Canine Trade Group’s president and long-time dog trainer, John Van Olden. John isn’t just looking for people with good dog skills and experience, he’s looking for people with great person-to-person communication skills, a compassionate, yet confident personality, a willingness to learn, and an enthusiasm for the same standards of ethics and professionalism required of every Canine Trade Group trainer.

A core component of our training philosophy is to provide an extremely comprehensive dog training program. With each client, we design a training plan that’s capable of resolving the dog’s behavior problems, we explain this plan (and the theories behind it) in detail to the dog’s family, and then we commit to working with the family until their training goals are achieved… even if it takes a little longer or proves to be a little more challenging than we anticipated.

This is a reward-based training approach, focusing on “Decisions, not Dominance”.

Currently, less than 75 dog trainers in the entire country can boast the Canine Trade Group certification. Trainers all have a background with dogs and dog training, but regardless of what their experience entails, every trainer undergoes extensive training via our Canine Trade Group Professional Dog Training Course to learn how to effectively execute our training philosophy.

Canine Trade Group’s Professional Dog Training Course

This course is extremely comprehensive and is tailored to provide everything a trainer would need to know in order to change the behavior of pet dogs. It begins with several months of textbook work on topics such as canine learning theory, canine behavior development and modification, the history of dog training, and the science behind all dog training methods (how and why it works… or doesn’t). The course curriculum then continues with over 380 hours of in-residence, hands-on training with dogs experiencing behavior issues. During this time, trainers learn various handling techniques and strategies – tools for the toolbox.

John with certified Canine Trade Group trainers during a training class.
John with certified Canine Trade Group trainers during a training class.

During the final phase, everything comes together as trainers learn the structure and implementation of the Canine Trade Group Dog Behavior Training Protocol. This protocol has been used to successfully modify the behavior of family dogs for 27 years and counting. Collectively, the lives of over tens of thousands of dogs and their families have been bettered, and in many cases saved, thanks to this protocol. This protocol has stood the test of time, and has been proven to work. Each certified Canine Trade Group trainer has committed to using it.

What sets us apart? Long-Term Quality Control! 

With any other dog training certification, trainers simply go out on their own and begin training dogs. The certifying organization may hold annual conferences or encourage continuing education courses, but for the most part, it’s up to the individual trainer to run their business, and provide their clients with lasting results.

While certified Canine Trade Group trainers do start their own businesses, they continue to work closely with Canine Trade Group. Each trainer receives administrative support, marketing support, and most importantly, training support.

Our certified trainer from Tampa Bay with her dogs.
Our certified trainer from Tampa Bay with her dogs.

Every member of Canine Trade Group is continually mentored by John Van Olden. With nearly 30 years of experience training pet dogs, John’s wisdom and insight is invaluable, and the key behind the long-term education and development that Canine Trade Group provides each of its certified trainers.

Certified Canine Trade Group trainers also have the ability to network with each other. Since every trainer is committed to the same high standards for ethics, professionalism and commitment, advice and insight gained from these interactions is very reliable. The result is a “group think” environment where 70 heads are far better than one.

Finally, Canine Trade Group is supported by many pet industry professionals. Our staff includes both a practicing veterinarian and a DVM behaviorist – both of whom are available for private consultations with certified trainers at any time. This long-term, multi-faceted support system is what allows certified Canine Trade Group trainers to provide the most comprehensive behavior modification services in the industry.