Trainers & Staff
- Alice Fisher, CPDT-KA - Certified Trainer, Training Specialist and DOGSmart Training Director
- Rita Britton - Trainer
- Nicole LeBlanc, CPDT-KA - Certified Trainer and Agility Trainer
- Tracey Harrison - Trainer
- Mary Federici - Agility Trainer
- Masumi Yoshinaga CPDT-KA, CPCFT - Certified Trainer
- Elizabeth Simpson BSc, MSc, PhD - Instructor Therapy Dog Specialist
- Donna Toews CPDT-KA, CNWI
Helping You Decide!
The DOGSmart Team of trainers is dedicated to helping clients with the most effective, non-abusive training and behaviour modification that gives you the knowledge and expertise needed to help your dog be a socialized, confident and happy member of your family and community. As part of this ongoing commitment, the DOGSmart Trainers and Assistants routinely attend professional development courses, workshops, and seminars both locally and internationally.
Occasionally an individual states that they have apprenticed with DOGSmart, or have completed the Apprentice program. Please call us to verify their statement.
Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed, CPDT-KA
Lower Mainland Dog Trainer, Alice Fisher first earned certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the first national certification for dog trainers in history. Alice joined more than 400 Certified Professional Dog Trainers in the United States and Canada. Rita Britton received her certification a few years later and in 2009 Nicole LeBlanc and Tracey Harrison earned their CPDT-KA.
Up until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for dog trainers. Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certification for their specific programs. These certificates, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for "certification". The trainers are not monitored to make sure they are completing the test without any assistance or collaboration, nor is the testing process standardized.
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is a true certification entity pursuing accreditation from NOCA, the National Organization for Competency Assurance. The Council administered its first test September 28, 2001.
All test sites are professionally secured and moderated by Professional Testing Corporation of New York.
This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviourist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar. Early on, the APDT recognized the need for certification for its profession. Pet dog trainers needed a credible means of measuring their knowledge and skills and the dog-owning public needed a credible barometer for choosing a trainer. A task force of approximately 20 nationally known dog training professionals and behaviourist worked for three years to research and develop the comprehensive written examination. The APDT also hired Professional Testing Corporation to ensure the process met professional testing standards. It then created a separate, independent council--the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers--to manage the accreditation and pursue future development.
Candidates who pass the exam earn the title Certified Professional Dog Trainer and may use the designation, CPDT-KA. All certified trainers must earn continuing education credits to keep their CPDT-KA designations.