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The Short Version: The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) connects 4,800 professional dog trainers with the knowledge they need to improve the relationship between man and canine. The organization’s online webinars, newsletters, and forums provide useful information about basic dog etiquette, working dog tips, and other training issues. Plus, the APDT’s annual conference invites members to engage with one another in person and learn the latest research-based techniques relevant to the dog training field. You can become a member of the APDT to network with dog lovers around the world and grow your expertise in a heartwarming industry. If you’re a dog trainer and want to stay at the top of your game, you can use the APDT’s online resources and annual conferences to learn from people who share your passions, goals, and interests.
My friend’s sister made two major life changes this year, without consulting anyone. She eloped with her college boyfriend during a family vacation to Hawaii, and then she quit her job as an electrical engineer to move to California with him and become a professional dog trainer.
Her family is still in a bit of an uproar about the whole thing. Her parents have tried to get her to change her mind (on the career switch, not the husband), but she’s convinced she made the right decision. While throwing away a lucrative career and an MIT education doesn’t look so good on the face of it, her argument is that she’d rather be with the person she loves and doing work that inspires her.
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers supports dog lovers and dog trainers, like my friend’s sister, in exploring their passions and learning more about their canine companions. For the past 25 years, the APDT has fostered an interactive directory of thousands of dog lovers around the world and empowered people to teach good doggie etiquette to house pets, shelter animals, working dogs, and other canines.
“It’s a wonderful association to work for,” said Mandy Roberts, APDT’s Marketing, Communications, and Project Manager. “You get to come to work and talk about dogs all day! We’re focused on the welfare of the dog because training makes a dog more adoptable and happy in their forever homes.”
APDT’s Chairperson, Robin Bennett, added: “I have been a member of APDT for over 20 years. APDT is the association that helped start my dog training career. As the premier dog training organization, it is geared toward educating trainers, helping trainers grow their business, and professionalizing the ever-growing dog training industry. We have a wide range of online educational courses, over 4,500 trainers worldwide who can connect with you, and the best dog training conference in the world. Join APDT and learn the value of being with other dog trainers who have an entrepreneur spirit to learn, grow, and network together.”
When your dog is misbehaving, it can put a strain on your personal relationships, especially if you’re sharing responsibility for the dog with a significant other. Maybe you don’t agree on how to stop bad behaviors. Maybe you send conflicting messages to the dog that leads to instability and disobedience. It’s a difficult situation, but there are so many helpful resources available for dog owners who want to do right by their pets.
The APDT’s Locate a Trainer tool is a handy way for everyday dog owners to get in touch with a professional dog trainer who knows how to address any problematic issues and bring out the best in canines of every breed, big and small. You can input your zip code, click search, and find certified and uncertified dog experts within your area.
“Our primary goal for the general public is to help them locate a trainer and to emphasize the importance of training,” Mandy said. “Our community of dog trainers is far-reaching, so we can recommend somebody within 100 miles, if not significantly closer.”
The APDT has over 4,800 members in more than 40 countries worldwide and boasts having the largest dog trainer search engine on the web. The experience level of active dog trainers ranges from those who work with dogs part-time as a hobby and those who are full-time certified professionals. The APDT offers members online webinars and other learning opportunities to help them further develop their skills and increase their knowledge about dog psychology.
If you’re interested in broadening your horizons and starting a career as a professional dog trainer, you can become a member and add your voice to this growing community. The online forums are a particularly active and helpful place to seek advice and share experiences with folks who share your enthusiasm for well-behaved dogs. The APDT covers all sorts of topics relating to dog welfare.
“There’s a lot more to dog training than pet animals,” noted Devon Hubbard, Editor for the APDT’s Chronicle of the Dog magazine. “Our trainers don’t just work with companion dogs but also have experience with working dogs, agility competitions, seeing-eye dogs, and a broad range of other interests.”
With the motto “Finding the genius in every dog,” the APDT is a positive educational resource for dog trainers looking to network with others in the industry. Many members are active volunteers at local shelters and pursue dog training as a labor of love.
You don’t need to have any credentials to join the APDT and become involved in this dog-focused community. According to the website, “Membership is an investment in the most unique relationship on earth — between humans and their canine companions.”
Every year, the association brings hundreds of members together in a conference geared toward training trainers. It’s a members-only event where trainers can strut their stuff, submitting proposals to speak in educational lectures and round tables. The four-day event promotes a research-based discussion about the best ways to reinforce good behaviors in dogs.
“Just like in any industry, there’s always more to learn,” Mandy said. “You can teach an old dog new tricks, and even an experienced trainer can learn a thing or two from others in the community.”
As a whole, APDT helps dog trainers be the best they can be so they can bring dog-loving families closer together. Shared values, educational resources, and dogs — what’s not to love?
“It’s so rewarding to help folks further their careers,” Mandy told us. “We cover a broad range of training issues to try to reach out and help people in the industry.”
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your love life is to feel happy and fulfilled in your everyday life — regardless of your relationship status. By following your passions, you become a more well-rounded and attractive person while meeting upbeat folks who share your interests and values.
Once my friend’s sister started listening to her heart, she brought a lot of love and happiness into her life. She may not make as much money as a dog trainer as she did as an engineer, but she’s satisfied in her relationship and work, and you can’t put a price on that.
Whether you’re a dog owner seeking answers to your pet’s behaviorial issues or a dog trainer looking for ways to expand your business, the APDT is a comprehensive resource and community ready to assist dog lovers around the world.
You can pick up many useful tricks and gain insight into your puppy’s head by exploring the APDT website and becoming involved in the network of professional trainers. These education-focused resources empower dog lovers from all walks of life.
“If you feel confident, your dog feels confident as well. You need to be able to stop behaviors and learn from professionals so you understand what your animal is saying to you,” Devon said. “A lot of people come here to get revitalized by the number of quality trainers at the APDT.”