About the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT)

CAPDT was created to give dog obedience trainers a network of fellow professionals — to provide a forum where dog trainers can be educated, exchange and generate ideas and network with their colleagues.

In 1993, a very small group of dog trainers gathered to discuss the feasibility of forming an Association.  By mid-1994, an Executive was in place, a mandate was drawn up, by-laws to facilitate the running of day-to-day business of the Association were hammered out and a Code of Ethics for members was voted on and passed by the existing membership. By the end of 1997, the Association boasted a membership of almost 300 and continued to grow.

Dog shaking its paw with a dog trainer - fostering the concept of dog-friendly and humane training techniques across Canada.

Our Mandate
We want to further the concept of dog-friendly and humane training techniques across Canada.  We endeavour to provide links to educational opportunities, peer networking, and give trainers a space for event advertising of the highest quality. 

How do we accomplish this?

We sponsor learning opportunities, provide on-line resources and increase public awareness of dog-friendly and humane training techniques by collaborating with other dog training organizations, Veterinarians, Animal Health Technologists, shelters and dog owners.

CAPDT serves as the national voice for the dog training profession in Canada. Our members are dedicated to excellence within the profession and to the humane training of dogs. 

National Scope – Many governments and international associations liaise with other national associations, not local groups.  We conduct national-level discussions and share the results with members.  We collaborate with other groups to contribute to effective, efficient and strong trainer support & representation in key areas. We also offer support to members when they talk to their local municipality or economic development area.  We can provide stats, advice on how to prepare letters and examples of approaches taken by other areas – around Canada and internationally.

We also keep an eye on international issues that may soon have ripple effects in Canada.  We share with our members research updates from around the globe specializing in dog training and behaviour.

We have members from coast to coast! Our membership complements a variety of situations, from:

  • the trainer who makes their living in the world of dog training (from service dog training, puppy classes and general obedience to competition & sport training)
  • the hobbyist who runs classes once a week
  • the dedicated owner who trains multiple dogs for CKC / AKC obedience competition

The development of CAPDT position statements is another resource the CAPDT provides. A position statement is developed when an emerging or controversial issue is identified. These are normally issues of national and potentially international significance (e.g., breed-specific legislation, types of recommended training, certification for dog trainers). 

The positions are developed with the assistance of expert opinion to reflect the current science, societal expectations, the position of other sister organizations (such as veterinary groups, various international associations of dog trainers, the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants in the U.S. and more).  They reflect input from our members.  Ultimately, these positions will reflect the direction that dog training is heading in Canada. National and local bylaws may be influenced by or even use a position statement when making new laws.

Board of Directors


Megan Stanley (she/her) CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, FFCP (Trainer) Founder/President of Dogma Training & Dogma Academy


Helen Prinold B. Comm., M.Sc.- Animal Behaviour and Welfare, University of Guelph CPDT-KA, CDBC Lead Trainer at Dog Friendship Inc. 


Carla Simon, BSc, MD, MBA | CEO at Hunter’s Heart Scent Detection Canines


Jaime Knowles, CCPDT-KA Dip CSBT, FFCP (Trainer) Director of Training - Good Dog Academy

Past Chair

Scarlett MacKenzie (she/her) CPDT-KA, FFCP (Trainer) Owner and head trainer of Nice Dog, Scarlett!


Andre Yeu (he/him) CPDT-KA, KPA CTP Founder, When Hounds Fly


Brandie Faust


Shelley Cherniawsky (she/her) DCBC, CPDT-KA, FFCP (Trainer) Director of Behaviour & Education Dogma Training & Pet Services Inc.