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Become a Professional Member


APDT Ireland Membership

The APDT Ireland has a rigorous and robust admission process. Dog training is unregulated in Ireland, and anyone can call themselves a dog trainer or dog behaviourist, indeed a number of people do both. APDT Ireland membership is designed to give dog owners confidence that our accredited trainers have a scientifically based dog-training education which will enhance a caring, compassionate and rewarding learning experience for both themselves and their dogs.

Benefits of Membership

Becoming a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland (APDTI) can offer a range of benefits for individuals involved in the dog training profession. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Credibility: APDTI professional membership demonstrates a commitment to professional development and ongoing education in the field of dog training. This can enhance your credibility and reputation as a dog trainer.

  2. Access to Resources: APDTI members have access to a range of resources including professional development opportunities, educational materials, and networking opportunities with other dog trainers.

  3. Professional Development: APDTI offers a range of continuing education opportunities, including workshops, conferences, and webinars, which can help you stay up-to-date on the latest training techniques and best practices in the field.

  4. Liability Insurance: As an APDTI professional member, you may be eligible for liability insurance coverage discounts,  which can provide protection in case of accidents or injuries that may occur during training sessions.

  5. Marketing Opportunities: APDTI membership can be a valuable marketing tool, as it allows you to promote your business as a member of a respected professional organization.

  6. Ethical Standards: APDTI members are expected to adhere to a strict code of practice, which can help maintain high standards of professionalism and ensure the well-being of the animals under your care.

The Application Process

To become a member of the association, it is typically required to pass written, verbal, and practical assessments, and the entry level can be challenging. The association sets high standards for its members and strives to ensure that they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to provide quality services in their respective fields. As a result, the membership process may involve rigorous testing and evaluation, including written exams to assess theoretical knowledge, verbal exams to evaluate communication skills, and practical exams to demonstrate hands-on abilities. These requirements help to maintain the integrity of the association and ensure that its members are highly qualified professionals.

Student Membership:

Student Membership must agree to abide by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland Student Charter and are subject to our complaints procedure in the same way as full members. The fee is €20 per annum. This fee gives access to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland closed Facebook Group and a closed WhatsApp Group for fantastic access to help, support and sharing information. The Student Membership can be renewed for a maximum of five years before applying for full membership of the Association. Please be aware that Student Members have to apply for full membership in the same way as any other applicant, ie. via the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland assessment process. Student Members can display the APDTI logo with ‘Student Member’ underneath it. Students must ensure that they do not imply full membership of APDT Ireland. Email directly for an information pack at

Professional Membership:


Consisting of a number of multiple-choice questions and answers, and essay-style questions. The written assessment tests your knowledge of the science of learning theory, the skills behind running an effective dog training class, and your general knowledge of canine issues. The written assessment must be returned to the APDT Ireland before a specified date.

Your written work will be corrected by the APDT Ireland Assessments team, and based on your answers you will either be called forward for practical assessment, or you will receive notification that you haven’t demonstrated the necessary knowledge and skills on this occasion, but you are invited to reflect, and re-apply again at a later date.


Practical assessments will be held at specified venues on a regular basis by APDT Ireland. The candidate will take a class whilst being assessed by the APDT Ireland Assessment team, and will establish whether you have the sufficient practical skills and attitude to become an APDT Ireland Professional Member. The practical assessment lasts for about 1 hour.


After the practical assessment, the candidate will be interviewed by the APDT Ireland Assessment Team. This part of the assessment helps you to cover various elements which arose during the class assessment, and gives our Assessment Team the opportunity to clarify elements of your written and practical assessments. The Oral Assessment lasts about 30 mins.

APDT Ireland Abridged Code of Practice

APDT Ireland has created the Code of Practice in accordance with our mission statement and State-applied legal requirements. The Code of Practice frames our ethos and objectives and will guide members to understand and adhere to a training approach incorporating kind, efficient and ethical dog training practices. Below is an abridged version of the APDT Ireland Code of Practice, to include the most salient elements of the Code of Practice. The full Constitution of the APDTI can be found by clicking HERE.

APDT Ireland Abridged Code of Practice

As a member of APDT Ireland, I shall:

  • Provide an honest, professional service which at all times embraces humane, scientifically-sound training practices based on learning theory and understanding of canine behaviour, and excludes any pain-inducing, fear-inducing, or avoidance-based techniques.

  • Work within my own knowledge, experience and qualifications and to recognise when I should refer to the Association for advice.

  • Continue my own professional development and education by attending pertinent canine related seminars, conferences, workshops and pursuing other educational opportunities.

  • Respect clients’ wishes regarding treatment and training of their own dogs, and refrain from giving guarantees as to the result of any training programme.

  • Provide information and develop behaviour modification and training methodologies based on research and recognised, peer-reviewed scientific research.

  • Advise clients to seek suitable professional veterinary advice prior to or before the continuation of an ongoing training programme if an underlying medical condition is suspected.

  • Be professional, respecting the privacy of clients at all times, and hold any information provided by clients in confidence, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003

  • Be respectful of other dog trainers and canine professionals and not falsely condemn their character or professional acts.

  • Ensure that class sizes are limited so that each client and dog gets appropriate attention and tuition and to utilise competent training assistants in each class when necessary.

  • Have public liability insurance, which is required for annual renewal of membership.

  • Not bring the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland into disrepute, or undermine public confidence in the organisation.

  • At all times act within the laws of the Republic of Ireland. Persons convicted of animal cruelty, or convicted of a serious criminal offence, are not accepted for membership. Existing members  will have their membership terminated should they be convicted of either type of offence, or other offences deemed serious enough by the committee, during the term of their membership.

  • Be of good character.

  • Adhere to the Professional Code of Practice and to supply the Association with a signed statement to that effect.

  • Ensure that working assistants, who are non-members, adhere to the spirit of the Professional Code of Practice.


In addition, all members who engage in dog training classes or consultations which may bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults, are strongly urged to obtain certified Garda Clearance due to the requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016, if they have not already done so. This will become a requirement for membership in due course.

This is my commitment to the Association, my colleagues, my clients and their dogs. I agree to adhere to this code as long as I am a member of the Association and I understand that any infringement on the above code may result in termination of my membership.


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