Russell recently qualified as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the internationally recognised Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, based in New York.
“I decided to take the step of getting this qualification because it’s the only truly, internationally accredited qualification in the industry, which is otherwise largely unregulated. Particularly here in Thailand, anyone can claim to be a ‘dog trainer’ without any training or qualifications – having the CCPDT-KA title sets me apart,” said Russell.
The knowledge assessed (KA) certification assesses the instructor’s dog training skills, learning theory, ethology, equipment and animal husbandry skills.
“It’s an in-depth examination, which you can only apply for after providing documentation of hundreds of hours of case studies working with various dogs and clients,” said Russell.
“The exam itself covers a range of topics from Learning Theory, Behaviour Modification to Canine Psychology.
“It also helped me improve my knowledge and keep up to date with international best practice – which is key, we never stop learning,” he added.
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers was founded in 2001 with the stated goal of “designing an independent, self-supporting certification program meaningful to trainers, other related professionals.”
According to their mission statement the CCPDT is “committed to promoting and upholding ethical practices in the dog training profession”.
“I am happy to be associated with this accreditation because they espouse a scientific approach to the profession and also assist us trainers by having a code of conduct to which we all need to adhere – it simply raises standards,” said Russell.
Candidates who pass the exam earn the title Certified Professional Dog Trainer — Knowledge Assessed and may use the designation “CPDT-KA” after their names. All certified trainers must earn continuing education credits to maintain their designations or take the examination again in three years.
Russell has had a lifelong interest in animal training and has been running his dog training business in Phuket, Canine Point Academy, for seven years.
“I’ve been in Phuket 11 years, but only setup my academy full time in 2009. I have two of my own dogs, and Sassy is often out and about with me, he said.
“I became a dog trainer because I not only love working with dogs, but also thoroughly enjoy watching people learn why their dogs are acting the way they do. That ‘a-ha’ moment, which really takes their relationship with their dog to the next level – that’s the good part,” he added.
For more information about training your dog visit: caninepointacademy.com