The Positive Gun Dog Association offers three levels of certification. Below are descriptions of each level to help you understand the implications of each. At this time, the PGDT-KP/SP/CD certifications are only available to those who have completed our Positive Gun Dog Training Certification Preparation workshop. As of January 2014, testing for the various certification levels will be opened to trainers who have not completed our workshop but feel they have the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the exam.
PGDT-KP (Knowledge Proven) – Trainers who have earned this certification have demonstrated a thorough knowledge of both the basic and advanced principles of positive-reinforcement training, as well as a knowledge of how to apply positive reinforcement training to all major aspects of gun dog trainings. Such trainers have passed a comprehensive written test. A large number of the questions on the test are essay questions which must pass review by positive gun dog training experts.
PGDT-SP (Skills Proven) – Trainers who have earned this certification have passed the PGDT-L1 exam and additionally have provided video, testimonial and case-study proof that they can execute the skills necessary for positively training gun dogs. All evidence of skills is assessed and verified by positive gun dog training experts.
PGDT-CD (Competitively Distinguished) – Trainers who have earned this certification have passed the PGDT-L2 requirements and additionally have distinguished themselves by positively training dogs that place in local or national hunt tests, trials or competitions.
All certification levels must sign a statement of of agreement to avoid the use of aversive training methods in training gun dogs.