Because no licensing requirements exist in the dog training industry, anyone can decide to call him or herself a dog trainer and start to take money from pet owners. This means pet owners are on their own to protect themselves and their dogs from unqualified trainers or instructors. Over the last couple of decades, dog training standards and practices have changed dramatically. In many cases, methods and practices that were acceptable 20 years ago have been abandoned or are no longer considered humane. Dog trainers also are now expected to have in depth training and experience in such things as learning theory, canine ethology, client instruction, and more.
Robert is proud to be the first and only dog trainer within 150 miles of San Angelo to be certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Eligibility for certification requires a minimum of 300 hours of dog training instruction and recommendations from a client, a veterinarian, and a colleague. Becoming certified requires passing a 4 hour 250 question psychometrically sound test on learning theory, ethology, husbandry, instruction skills, and business. Maintaining certification requires acquisition of continuing education credits and a commitment to a strict code of ethics. The Certification Council was created and is administered by internationally recognized dog trainers and behaviorists.
Every year, Robert makes efforts to build on his education, so he can continue to become a better trainer and instructor, and stay up to date with the newest innovations within the profession. These efforts often require him to travel across the country at his own expense. However, Robert has found these efforts to be one of the most fun aspects of being a professional dog trainer.
Below are listed Robert’s continuing education efforts for 2011 and 2012:
APDT Annual Educational Conference San Diego (4 days)
ASPCA SAFER - Safety Assessment for Evaluating Re-homing with Dr. Emily Weiss
Use of Stuffed dogs in Evaluations and Consultations with Trish King
Reality Bites: Safe, Effective Dog Aggression Modification with Pat Miller
Conferences/ Seminars 2012
Art and Science of Animal Training Conference at University of North Texas (1 day)
Clicker Expo Nashville (3 days)
Dr. Sophia Yin, Fear and Aggression Solutions (1 day)
IPO Seminar, Triple Crown Academy (3 days)
Increasing Appropriate Owner Use of Counterconditioning with Kristyn Savage
Puppy Playtimes with Megan Armstrong
A Look at Interactions Between Dogs in Public Dog Parks with Sue Sternberg
Enhance Your Live Consultation Skills with Trish King
Defensive Dog Handling: Leash Skills and Body Language with Trish Loehr
Managing Separation Anxiety in Dogs with Dr. Debra F. Horwitz and Debbie Martin
Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog with Emma Parsons
TACT: Touch Associated Clicker Training: A Training Program for Dogs that are Fearful and Reactive Toward People with Julie Robitaille
Canine Communications: Dog Introductions with Trish Loehr