Updated May 12, 2022

The DTFC is under construction.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to announcing the unveiling date in the near future.

Why seek an IACP Dog Trainer Foundation Certification?

This title will verify competence as a dog trainer at the practitioner Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) level.  The IACP acknowledges the struggles dog trainers face when seeking assistance to help them further develop their dog training skills, due to lack of reliable referral.  The intention for developing certifications is to create a valid evaluation to assess an individual dog trainer’s capability and proficiency. The DTFC exam is being designed by a panel of professional peers that will assess the applicant’s KSA’s having a solid foundational concept of Animal Welfare, Shaping Behavior, and Accountability as a canine professional training dogs and educating people.

Applicants passing the DTFC exam may add the initials IACP-DTFC to their name.

How do I take the DTFC exam when it's available?

Professional dog trainers who have completed one (1) year of professional dog training experience are eligible to take the DTFC exam.  

Before you can start the DTFC exam, you must first apply to take the exam by submitting the following materials

  • DTFC Exam Application Form and Registration Fee of $75.00 (US)
  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Employment Resume 
  • IACP Code of Conduct Affidavit
  • IACP Certificant Code of Ethics Affidavit

The application and registration for the DTFC exam will be available soon. 

Once application has been approved, you will receive an official DTFC Welcome Letter that will identify when you may take the online exam and provide additional instructions as warranted.  

The DTFC exam will consist of six (6) individual modules, each with a combination of 50 multiple choice questions and matching answers.  Below is a preview of the exam topics currently under development.  Please note that some of the specific topic titles listed may be modified during the exam revision process. 


Animal Welfare


HusbandryHealth Care & Management
Module-2EthologySocial Development & Understanding Canine Behavior
Shaping BehaviorModule-3Learning TheoriesHuman & Canine Learning Abilities
Module-4Training Methods, Techniques, Tools & EquipmentStimulus Sensitivity & Ergonomics
AccountabilityModule-5Professionalism & EthicsLegislation & Self-Regulation
Module-6Instructional Skills, Lesson Plans & Case StudiesOrganization & Self-Improvement

What language is the DTFC Exam in?

The primary language for the DTFC exam is English, other languages currently available for the DTFC exam will be

  • Spanish (to be announced)
  • French (to be announced)

What accommodations will IACP provide if I have a disability? 

IACP is committed to making sure that applicants with disabilities can take tests with the accommodations they need. All reasonable requests are considered. 

IACP Certificant Code of Ethics Policy 

To ensure that certificants demonstrate the highest standards of ethics, exceeding legal minimum , through self-regulation of their personal conduct are required to sign and adhere to the IACP Code of Conduct Affidavit for Certificants and the Certificant Code of Ethics.  These affidavits are required during certification exam application, initial issuance, and/or renewal.   

To see, download or print a copy of the complete:


To see, download, or print a Spanish copy of the complete:

Política Sobre el Código de Ética del Certificador (julio 22, 2020), haga clic aquí
Código de Ética del Certificador-Declaración Jurada de Certificante, haga clic aqui
Código de Conducta del Certificador-Declaración Jurada de Certificante, haga clic aquí

DTFC Disputes

Any person who feels the need to dispute any parts of the DTFC application, exam process, or final grade are encouraged to initiate a formal dispute in accordance with the IACP Education and Certification Dispute Policy (September 1, 2020).

Please direct any questions about the DTFC Exam Instructions and Guidelines to IACP Certification at certification@canineprofessionals.com.