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The certification designation of CPDT-KSA stands for Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed. In order to obtain this title from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a potential trainer must pass a 180 multiple choice test, the Knowledge Assessed title for at least 1 year, and submit videos of teaching Specific topics for evaluation. The written test covers Instruction skills, Learning Theory, Ethology, Equipment, and Animal Husbandry. The council selects 4 different commands and concepts to be videotaped while teaching them to a class or a single person. The Council evaluates the videos for the quality of knowledge, clarity of explaining the command or concept and demonstrating it as well as teaching it to a dog or puppy.
A certified trainer must continue learning and prove they have kept up with the latest training trends and learning science every 3 years to keep their certification.