What is a Professional Dog Trainer Instructor?

This title verifies competence as a dog trainer at the expert level, capability of teaching and educating other professionals. Expert dog trainers are highly sought after as individuals who have a deep understanding of a particular topic or topics. These experts in essence become a “train-the-trainer” instructor who helps in the development of training programs, testifies in court as Expert Witnesses, provides advanced training or advice to peer professionals, to name a few. As Subject Matter Experts (SME’s), these dog training experts provide quality instruction, have the experience to keep your talent goals in focus, use their experience to make sure training provides more than a theoretical understanding of new concepts, and help create or improve canine professional competencies that can be applied in different settings.

Why seek becoming a Professional Dog Trainer Instructor with IACP?

The IACP acknowledges the struggles dog trainers face when seeking assistance to help them further develop their dog training skills. This exam was developed to appropriately recognize instructors at the expert level. 

The intent of the PDTI test and title is to verify competence in dog training at the expert level on the part of the applicant. The PDTI exam is designed to assess the applicant’s Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) at the expert level in their chosen field. Experts are individuals who are vital to helping groups solve specific problems where the group’s general expertise proves insufficient.

IACP believes this exam will help reinforce and extend professionalism within the organization and provide confidence to the public  when choosing an instructor to teach them advanced or specialized dog training skills in the canine professional industry. High standards of judging will be applied to PDTI tests precisely because IACP wishes the public to be confident that one who earns the IACP PDTI title is a competent dog training expert.

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

How do I take the PDTI exam?

Professional dog trainers who have held an active Certified Dog Trainer (CDT) or Certified Dog Trainer Advanced-CDTA certification for at least six (6) months are eligible to take the PDTI exam. Professional dog trainers who have held a CDT or CDTA exam for more than two (2) years must ensure that either title is in good standing. 

Before you can start the PDTI exam, you must first apply and pay the registration fee of $150.00 (USD). To apply for the PDTI exam and pay the fee, click here.

Once application has been approved, you will receive an official PDTI Welcome Letter that will identify when you may start your exam and when your exam is due. The official exam dates will allow you six (6) months to complete the exam and submit for grading.

The PDTI Exam consists of a one (1) hour presentation to a canine professional audience in the form of a Lecture, Classroom, Seminar, Workshop, and/or Dog Training School for dog trainers. Exam packages must include,

  • One (1) Lesson Plan (prepared before the event)
  • One (1) Presentation Outline (prepared before the event)
  • Visual Media and/or Handouts utilized for the event (identified in Presentation Outline)
  • One (1) hour video recording of the event
  • Attendee Feedback Forms (post event)

What Language is the PDTI Exam?

The primary language for the PDTI exam and supporting documents and video is English. PDTI exams packages written or spoken in languages other than the English language must be accompanied with a translation in English. Other languages currently available for the PDTI exam, not requiring an English translation are

  • Spanish (effective September 1, 2021)
  • 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. The PDTI Exam allows each applicant to select the preferred dog training of their choice. All reasonable requests are considered.

IACP Certificant Code of Ethics Policy

To ensure that certificants demonstrate the highest standards of ethics, exceeding legal minim , 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


PDTI Disputes

Any person who feels the need to dispute any parts of the PDTI application, exam, 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 PDTI Exam Instructions and Guidelines to IACP Certification at certification@canineprofessionals.com

  • To see, download, or print a copy of the complete PDTI Instructions and Guidelines, click here.
  • For PDTI Exam Instructions and Guidelines in SPANISH, click here.
  • To apply for the exam and submit your fee, click here.

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