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Protecting Pets and their People

All about our Trainers

You hear about ‘qualifications’ and ‘credentials’ but are unsure about their relevance to dog trainers. At the same time, you want a dog trainer to help you train your dog to focus on you and make good choices. How do you know who to choose to help with your dog’s training and behavioural struggles?

When you go to the hairdresser, you expect your hairdresser holds qualifications to give you the result you want. If you send your child to ballet classes, you want to know that the instructor has the correct credentials and experience to help your child do well. Or perhaps your child attends junior football – you need to know that the coach is qualified to get the best from your sprouting footie star.

This is where qualifications and credentials come in. You want to know that anyone you engage has the qualifications, credentials and expertise to do the job well – and this applies equally to training you and your dog.

So, if you want a genuinely dog-friendly trainer who uses modern, scientifically researched, and positive reinforcement training techniques, you have come to the right place.

The APDT only lists members who can prove their competency and capability in the field of dog training and behaviour in our Trainer’s Directory. They also need to demonstrate that they can handle the many challenges that dog owners may present.

Our Trainers listed in the Trainers Directory are:

Accredited Professional Dog Trainers – hold nationally-accredited qualifications that focus on positive, force-free reinforcement training. These trainers actively work in their chosen profession. They either have a Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training; an equivalent APDT approved qualification, or a higher accreditation that is recognised and highly respected among nationwide industry professionals. The training methods result in happy, well-adjusted pets. To see the certifications they may hold, click here.

Professional Dog Trainers – while not holding an APDT approved qualification such as that of the Accredited Professional Dog trainer level, these trainers have completed other dog training courses and certificates. They love teaching people to build great relationships with their dogs through positive, force-free methods. An Accredited Professional Dog Trainer has reviewed their dog training methodology as positive and force-free and assures that their training focuses on reward-based and humane training techniques.

To be listed in the Trainers Directory, a trainer’s skills must:

  • involve formal and credible skill testing, knowledge, and practical abilities, whereby evaluation of trainers is determined through a transparent process by instructors or accredited providers

  • cover principles, techniques and concepts that are science-based, accurate and current and focus on behaviour

  • advocate scientifically proven humane training methods consistent with APDT’s rewards-based force-free ethos

  • have methods that are delivered or tested by competent professionals

  • be available on an ongoing or regular basis.


We hope you enjoy your association with the professional trainers of the APDT.

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