Scatter Creek Kennels
Recently, one of our Clients who had taken 5 lessons called asking for some help. She informed us that she was training dogs now and was having some particular problems with a clients dog. It was flattering to know that in the short time we trained with her and her dog she felt comfortable enough to call knowing we would actually help. The second time she called the problem was a bit more serious, the dog attacked both her and the client, luckily no one was hurt. We recommended the client seek the help of a Professional .
With in a 50 mile radius there is at least 15 "professional or semi- professional trainers" that either got their start working with us or came for continuing education, help outside their area of expertise or to meet competitive goals.

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Exploring your options

Don't be fooled!
The advent of the internet has made it much easier for people to search for Pet Care and Training Facilities but unfortunately there are no watch dog agency's enforcing the "Truth in Advertising" laws for these internet  websites. It is very easy to hire a professional webmaster to build a fancy, glitzy website to attract buyers and equally easy to make false claiDogs in Cratesms.
Imagine contacting a "Trainer" who comes to your home recommending they take your pet for training at their facility which is a stack of crates in a garage!  It happens, do your homework, meet the trainer, tour the facilities, ask for references, a little research goes a long way.


Double Checking

The internet also offers valuable resources to verify many of these claims. Here is some examples of tactics used by some websites.
If there website claims " As Seen on the Discovery Channel"

Discovery Channel

Then Check out this Discovery Channel Link

Or if it Claims they are affiliated with "Cesar Milan" such as this.
Cesar Milan

Refereed to by Cesar Milan

Then go to the Cesar Milan Watchdog page to verify that in fact they are affiliated with the "Dog Whisperer".  

Use this link to find out if the business is even Legal and Licensed to operate in your State.
Washington State Department of Licensing


Certified Pet Dog Trainers

Certification does not equate to experience. How many dogs, what breeds and what types of problems has the trainer worked with? What exactly was the certification process and what experience did the certifier have? How much professional experience does the trainer have? Sure training their first puppy when they were a kid counts but how many dogs have they worked with on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis? Just because you own a wrench doesn't make you a mechanic anymore than owning a leash makes you a competent and well rounded dog trainer. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers Website has good information and interestingly enough makes this comment among others on the site.
Do my own dogs need to pass a test?
Since there are no formal requirements for dog trainers, no. However, you should have the experience of training a dog to the level that you expect your clients to achieve.