Certified Dog Trainer-Advanced (CDTA) Exam

Revised February 15, 2021
Contact: [email protected]


Welcome to one of the few dog trainer certifications that tests advanced dog training skills using live recorded hands-on demonstration. The IACP recognizes that the evolving nature, multitudes of methods, and variations of dogs create challenges in establishing criteria to evaluate trainers’ skills. The art of canine training cannot be synthesized into a rote performance. The IACP CDTA exam takes these factors into consideration. The IACP developed an advanced test that allows the applicant to visually demonstrate their skill level as a dog trainer, assessed by a panel of professional peers.

The intent of the CDTA test and title is to verify competence in dog training at the advanced level on the part of the applicant. IACP believes this will help provide professionalism to the organization and confidence to the public's choice when choosing a dog trainer. High standards of judging will be applied to CDTA tests precisely because IACP wishes the public to be confident that one who earns the IACP CDTA title is a competent dog trainer with advanced skills.

QUESTIONS? CONTACT [email protected]

Who is eligible to take the CDTA Exam?
IACP Professional Members who have held a Certified Dog Trainer (CDT) certification for one (1) year are eligible to take the CDTA exam. IACP Professional members who have held the CDT for more than two (2) years must ensure that their CDT title is in good standing

How do I take the CDTA Exam?
First please read the complete Certified Dog Trainer Advanced Exam Instructions and Guidelines: Version 1.2 (February 15, 2021). Then follow the instructions below.

Eligible IACP members must first be approved to take the CDTA exam by submitting the IACP CDTA Application and Registration Fee to the IACP. Upon application submission, the IACP member is identified as an “applicant” seeking certification as a dog trainer. IACP will then review the application and process the registration fee. Application discrepancies or missing fees will result in the application’s rejection and will be returned to the applicant.

**DO NOT SUBMIT ANY PAPERWORK OR VIDEO BEFORE APPLYING FOR THE CDTA EXAM. IT WILL BE RETURNED. WE CANNOT ACCEPT ANY EXAM CONTENT BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION. **

Applications that are accepted by IACP will result in a welcome letter via email notifying the applicant they are officially registered. The welcome letter will identify the CDTA Exam’s official start and end dates and link to a website page that contains exam instructions.

PLEASE DO NOT START YOUR EXAM WITHOUT A WELCOME LETTER.

The CDTA Exam consists of three (3) separate dog training sessions which include a spoken introduction, video of a 30-minute training session, and written critique. Each session is filmed live and unedited. Each session must use a different dog. Each video is 30 minutes in length including the video introduction.

To see the complete CDTA Instructions and Guidelines, click here.
To submit your paperwork and certification fee, click here.