(Updated 2020)

Dog Behaviorist and Dog Training Certifications

Rest assured when you work with Fun Paw Care, not only are you a family member, but you are receiving the most ethical, moral, sophisticated, professional, up-to-date, dog behavior, and dog training, Los Angeles and Greater Los Angeles have to offer. Now, I must mention a disclaimer that I practice Buddhism which regardless of which lineage you follow has nonharm to all sentient beings as the core value and practice. So the ethics and morals in which I follow oftentimes do not align with dog training organizations I am a part of. LIMA, (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) does not follow nonharm principles, nor does any other certification that I am a part of. That is important to understand as the certification guidelines are very minimal and do not practice nonharm or the ethics and morals that I practice at their cores.

This is very important to understand because of human psychology. People tend to get frustrated, and more aversive in their behaviors, speech, and techniques the more their training or behavior modification doesn’t work or doesn’t work fast enough. Punishment is permitted as a “last step” in the very LIMA hierarchy that the APDT, CPDT, and IAABC follow and have adopted. Because of this glaring conflict for someone that does not practice harm to others regardless of the hierarchy, be very careful at who you decide to have teach you and your family or the dissension from non-harm to harm will become apparent the further along the process a trainer or behaviorist is unable to help you and your dog. Reverting to force is inevitable if one does not believe that force or harm is not an option.

At Fun Paw Care we teach and take continuing education courses regularly, ranging in topics from ethology and dog training to cognitive ethology and husbandry. We enjoy learning, teaching and being at the forefront of the newest methodologies and research that comes out daily in the science of applied animal behavior. With this passion to learn and continually raising the bar of excellence, I wanted to share a certification achievement that I am pleased to announce. I have passed, with outstanding marks, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) certification exam to become a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, (CDBC). There are fewer than 200 CDBC’s worldwide (as of 2014). Although all of these letters and acronyms do not mean much, in addition to my numerous other dog training and behavior certifications and achievements over the years, I feel that this credentialing exam expands upon and displays my desire to learn and to stay up-to-date and focus on continuing education and teaching families trainers and behaviorists.

However, it is very important to note, that we do not believe in using force, intimidation, punition or aversion in teaching ever. Just like most people do not believe in corporal punishment to teach our youth in our school systems. This is where my ethics and morals and the IAABC’s diverge. Fun Paw Care holds ourselves to the highest moral and ethical code, more so than any organization created. While it is true that some of our affiliated organizations follow LIMA (least intrusive minimal aversive) ethical and moral behavior modification and training code, we do not believe in leaving the option open to use pain, force, or abuse to achieve our training and behavior modification goals, when we see fit (baring an emergency that will imminently save an animals life, like pulling on a leash to get a dog out of the street to avoid being hit by a speeding car). However, also very important to remember, just as there are very poor lawyers and doctors, there are also very poor certified dog trainers and behaviorists. Just having theoretical or practical knowledge about something does not make one proficient or even marginally equipped to create and execute a successful behavior modification protocol and/or to help a family. In reality, it takes much more than certification to be truly great at something.

The Landscape is Constantly Changing

Over the years, as the landscape of dog training and dog behavior organizations have changed, some organizations (APDT) have lost meaning and have become a useless metric in which to gauge the competence, proficiency, and qualifications of a behavior professional or dog trainer, while others like the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and Certified Fear Free Training have risen by placing ethics, morals, and integrity first and foremost and is the most aligned with our morals and ethics as a comprehensive, humane and ethically driven, force-free and fear-free training, behavior and pet care organization.

Although I have been educating families and dogs for decades, this credential is held in high regard by the dog behavior community and veterinarians alike. In that light, and in this unregulated industry it is imperative to lend regulation, credibility and licensing standards to an industry that is rife with animal abusers and fly-by-night start-ups.