Cpdt/nadoi/penn Foster

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by chaoslillith, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. chaoslillith New Member

    Hello all,

    I am curious as to what the opinion is on these programs. Penn Foster online school has a dog obedience cert, there is no hands on component but Penn Foster has a good reputation and when you complete it you get a voucher for the NADOI exam.

    I notice there are a lot less people who are listed with NADOI vs CPDT probably due to the 5 year requirement to become an endorsed member.

    I guess what I am asking is when people look for trainers do they seem to research any of these certs or just call using the phone book? Do you notice a difference when people realize that you are certified or do they just not seem to care?

    Did any of you notice an increase in business when you became certified?

    I will eventually have my own business and am planning to certify through either CPDT or NADOI, it seemed to me that NADOI would have more weight to it as they require a certain amount of years. I know CPDT require 300 or so hours but that is really not that much time if you are training a lot. I am just curious to know if the certs make a difference to the general public.

    MaryK likes this.

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I couldn't tell you from a business standpoint, but just as an observer the average dog owner doesn't have a clue what these certifications are. They just see that you can train their dog/teach them how to train their dog and you could tell them you were a member of some made-up organization and they wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. (Not trying to be rude at all, but most people just want their dog trained--they know nothing about these certifications, so it means nothing to them that you are certified.)
    On the other hand, if you were to apply for a position as a trainer with a company of some sort, these certifications would definitely carry some weight. Certainly taking the time to get certified shows a lot of dedication on your part.

    So, whether or not they make a difference to the general public, I'd say no. They may however make a difference to more knowledgeable aspiring trainers/dog owners. Look at it this way--which one holds up to your standards? If someone were working with you and your dog, which would you rather they had?

    Hope this helps. :)
    MaryK likes this.
  3. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I'm always amazed by a trainer friend of mine who has been in the business for almost twenty-five years. Apparently, he's never once been asked by anyone what qualifications he has, ever, and nor does he advertise them.

    I do believe that some people have a vested interest in selling the importance of qualifications and professional memberships. As tx_cowgirl states, based on the evidence I've seen, rightly or wrongly, the public don't generally care as long as you can do the job in a manner in which they are comfortable with.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. chaoslillith New Member


    That is troubling but makes my life a little easier. I will get those eventually but I want to start up my own business so I wasn't sure if I should put getting those first or do it as I go along.
    MaryK likes this.
  5. CollieMan Experienced Member

    For me personally, if I were looking for a trainer, I'd want experience over qualifications. Experience can only be gained through getting out in the field and doing it. :)
    MaryK likes this.
  6. chaoslillith New Member

    I agree with

    you on that. I have about 2 years of experience and have handled some serious leash aggression issues along with your standard obedience training.

    I think the important thing to is a trainer that can tailor their training to your dog. Not a one size fits all trainer.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. maven New Member

    Personally, I looked for the certifications this time when I started hunting a trainer. Maybe I'm an exception, but I wanted to see that the trainer was as well qualified as possible. I also made sure that the facility was open for me to visit, that the trainer was willing to take time to talk to me before she had my money, and I checked a couple of references that she gave me, including the vet reference. Once satisfied I called to make an appointment with her and was actually pleased to hear that she couldn't make my preferred time because she was headed to TX for the Karen Pryor Clicker-Expo that weekend. I also looked at the events calendar on her website and saw a couple of names that I recognized that she was bringing in for seminars, so I knew she was staying up with current training.

    I have to say that I've enjoyed the facility greatly; Bodi and I just completed our basic manners class and have enrolled in a Control Unleashed class from the same trainer. We'll probably stick with her for several classes.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. PoochPro1 New Member

    I have been taking this course and it is great. It is mostly a review of stuff I already know because I have trained my dogs already and have done a lot of research, but they now DO offer a 180 hour work experience option where you can get hands on experience. I'd say go for it.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    This year I will have been training 20 years and although I did an apprenticeship for my first two years, I was never accredited or certified. And I don't even use the traditional compulsion methods I was trained in anyway.

    I have never been asked if I am certified - but what I do get asked is:

    What methods do you use? ie Positive/Clicker , Force Free
    How did you get into teaching?
    How long have you been teaching?
    Do you work with [insert breed here]?
    Are there any breeds you won't work with?

    I have never been asked for references, though I have pages full...

    I always invite people to audit a class before joining...but I would say 80-85% do not do it.

    Have been "secret shopped/observed" by a vet who I didn't know was watching and since am her recommended trainer...

    I guess what I am saying is that I do agree that not one General Joe customer/client I have ever worked with could tell you what the basic abbreviations mean - APDT, CPDT - nor do they care.

    Now if I am working with other trainers, competing, attending networking events, presenting or anything of that nature - it definitely matters!

    Who's your target market?
    MaryK likes this.
  10. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    I personally think APDT is a waste of money and time. Just about anyone can get it after they've put time into training and just because someone's listed on it doesn't mean they're rewards based. There are plenty of trainers that use abrasive methods like shock collars and are ignorant to modern techniques. CPDT is a little better though as it takes more oomph.

    To be honest, if you're trying to sway more competitive or serious potential clients (because as said previously average joes don't typically know the difference between experienced trainers) I'd say the most powerful evidence is if your dogs are titled in something, at the least have their CGC.

    I worked beneath a trainer who is APDT certified and while she's a "clicker trainer" she doesn't even use one right, one of her dogs after having for many years is leash aggressive and cannot be brought in (leash aggression IS solveable with work) and her other which she's had for a year drags her across the floor and is now in a halti and will probably remain that way. The dog also nips and jumps for treats and jumps just for greetings.
  11. 648117 Honored Member

    I agree. I know an agility trainer who is similar to your "clicker trainer", although it is fun to watch her dog do an agility course because the dog can't do more than two pieces of equipemnt without going through a tunnel or just running around crazily :ROFLMAO: .

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