About Sarah Bond, ACDBC, CPDT-KSA
Dogs have been a part of my life since I was very young, but it wasn't until 2008, after I graduated from the University of Texas with a Master of Arts in Journalism, that I decided to make working with dogs my career. I spent six years as a trainer for PetSmart and was promoted while there to Area Trainer, overseeing other trainers in my district and teaching newly hired trainers. In 2014, I started working at Service Dogs, Inc., a non-profit that trains shelter dogs to help Texans with disabilities as mobility and hearing dogs. I spent four awesome years with Service Dogs, Inc. before deciding to take my private training full-time.
I'm a an ACDBC (Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant) through IAABC and a CPDT-KSA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed) and maintain a number of memberships in professional organizations, including the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. I'm passionate about keeping up with continuing education and always improving myself (you can see a list of my recent education at the bottom of the page).
My Training Philosophy:
I believe that dogs learn best when they start with a solid, positive relationship with their people. If your dog trusts you and is confident in you, they are much more willing to follow your lead and learn from you. Positive reinforcement for me is not just about giving your dog treats - it is about paying your dog for a job well done, and communicating clearly to them what you want them to do. Rewards are everywhere in life - food, play, attention, even just simple everyday things like access to the outdoors. There is no need to use force or aversive or painful methods when training our dogs, and in fact these types of punishments can often damage our relationship with them and cause more serious issues in the future. I use methods that have been scientifically proven to be effective, and see fantastic results every day. Helping dogs and their owners communicate and learn from each other is my passion!
What are those letters after your name and why does it matter?
CPDT-KSA stands for Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed. This is one step beyond the CPDT-KA certification, which requires a written test to prove a dog trainer's knowledge. The CPDT-KSA test requires submitting video showing both dog training and client coaching skiils.
ACDBC stands for Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. This certification through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants requires me to prove my behavior knowledge through an extensive test and case studies that prove my experience and knowledge of behavior modification for complex issues like anxiety and aggression.
There is no regulation in the dog training world, so literally anyone can say they are a dog trainer. These certifications show that I have proven myself to established, respected organizations and am committed to continuing my education through seminars, workshops and other opportunities to stay up-to-date on the animal behavior world, as continuing education credits are required to maintain the certification.