Get Involved

Local lawmakers and their staffs value the experience and opinions of the citizens they represent. When there is active legislation pending in your state, your input and participation will help advance the public interest.

If you would like to take part in grassroots advocacy efforts in your state, let us know by filling out and submitting this form.

SAMPLE EMAIL COPY

We have compiled some sample email language and talking points you can use when licensure legislation is under consideration in your state to customize a personal email to your state representatives. When available, we also will provide specific details about what is taking place in your state, as each state’s proposed legislation will have unique elements.

Email Subject: Input for (Insert Bill Number) From a Professional Dog Trainer

As a [state] resident and as a professional dog trainer [or dog behavior consultant] for [# years] dedicated to animal welfare, I would like to offer my views related to [insert bill or law number/name]. I also want to express my support for legislation that requires state licensure or authorization for dog trainers and that incorporates established evidence-based and humane standards for those who train dogs.

[If you have a personal story to share that illustrates the need for the state to adopt and enforce dog trainer qualification and conduct standards, share it here.]

Dog owners in [state] seeking professional dog training or behavior consulting face a “buyer beware” system that puts themselves, their dogs, and other members of the public their dogs encounter at potential risk of harm. Although reputable private dog training credentialing organizations promote competence, safety, and evidence-based humane methods for certified dog trainers, these certifying bodies lack the legal authority and the resources that state licensing boards have to enforce standards for quality and conduct that are critical to ensuring animal, personal, and public safety.  And many dog owners are not familiar with these credentials or knowledgeable about the standards of practice adopted by the certifying bodies.

Animal mistreatment laws currently in effect unfortunately cannot undo the stress, trauma, and behavioral problems that result from substandard training. In my opinion, the solution is to enact professional dog trainer licensing to protect consumer and animal welfare. The Alliance for Professionalism in Dog Training, a coalition of our industry’s credentialing and membership organizations, has worked with members of our profession to draft legislation to meet the needs of the dog owning public and their animals. The bill would establish a state Dog Trainer Licensure Board to ensure that all practicing dog trainers meet recognized standards of knowledge, skills, and experience, have formally committed to humane, evidence-based, and safe training practices, and engage in ethical business dealings.

Thank you for taking my comments into consideration. I can be reached [here] if you would like any additional insight from members of the dog training community.

[Your Signature]

SAMPLE TALKING POINTS

Here are some specific talking points about the Model Legislation drafted by the Alliance for Professionalism in Dog Training, in situations in which the legislation has been introduced based on the Model Legislation.

  • [Bill number] is based on model legislation developed by professional dog trainers and certification law consultants and was shared with a 5,000-member strong global community of professional dog trainers with the input of hundreds of professional dog trainers from around the United States.
  • The bill establishes minimum standards that prioritize the well-being of dogs and provide assurances to the public that the dog trainers they hire are professional, qualified, and will follow accepted and humane practices.
  • To be eligible for a license as a professional dog trainer, applicants would be required both to hold an approved certification and to adhere to policies equivalent to or more restrictive than the Joint Standards of Practice, Professional Code of Ethics, and Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive Effective Behavior Intervention Policy, as developed by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and the International Association of Behavior Consultants. Dog trainers who have not earned an approved certification can obtain a permit to practice under supervision of a licensed dog trainer, if they also adhere to those baseline standards.
  • The bill provides for appropriate and balanced enforcement. Any licensed dog trainer who violates those standards or engages in fraud or other enumerated offenses would be subject to disciplinary action by the Licensure Board. Penalties could include revocation of licensure, denial of eligibility for licensure, lesser disciplinary actions, or other remedial measures as a condition of licensure.
  • The bill recognizes and validates the dog training profession. Establishing professional licensure for dog trainers would create a consistent, accessible standard for dog owners seeking qualified trainers.

About the Alliance for Professionalism in Dog Training

  • The Certification Council for Professional Dog Training, the leading independent certifying organization for the dog trainer profession, and the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, a 5,000-member strong global community of professional dog trainers, formed the Alliance for Professionalism in Dog Training to advocate for the advancement of the dog training profession.
  • The Alliance, with input from the dog trainer community and experts, has developed model dog trainer licensing legislation that (1) protects dogs from substandard or dangerous practices, (2) helps ensure that consumers can obtain safe and effective training for their dogs, (3) is appropriately inclusive of other pathways to licensure besides certification, (4) provides an appropriate and balanced structure of licensing board oversight of dog trainers, and (5) supports dog trainer geographic mobility.
  • More information and FAQs are at https://prodogtraineralliance.org/.