Aggression and the Law: What Trainers Need to Know

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Start Date: March 22, 2017
End Date: April 11, 2017
Cost: $220.00 for APDT Members
$280.00 for Non-APDT Members
$100.00 for APDT Members - AUDIT ONLY (what's this?)
$115.00 for Non-APDT Members - AUDIT ONLY (what's this?)
Subject(s): Laws and Legislation
Instructor(s): Heidi Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI
Registration: Purchase Online

Course Details

Course Schedule & Details

For all course details, including schedule, homework assignments, deadlines, and more View Full Course Syllabus


This three-week online Certificate Course is geared to trainers who handle aggression cases.  We will talk about what can go wrong, what kind of legal liability that brings on you as the trainer, and what you can do to limit your liability and insure your business.  We will also cover other ways to protect yourself, including setting up a separate and appropriate legal entity for your business, creating solid policies and procedures, and bullet proofing your contracts and intake forms.


View recorded lectures, participate in online discussion, & submit homework assignments at your convenience, regardless of schedule or time zone. Full Students must complete assignments by weekly deadlines. Auditing students do not have deadlines.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees of this course can expect to:

  1. Gain an understanding of the liability issues involved in handling aggression cases and how to protect themselves from that liability;
  2. Understand the need for and components of a solid client contract, intake form and other documentation; and
  3. Understand the need for and components of solid company policies and procedures.

Level of Knowledge: Prior to attending this course, it is assumed attendees:

  1. Currently work as or plan to work as a professional dog trainer.
  2. Currently take or plan to start taking aggression cases.
  3. Have no or only basic understanding of legal ramifications of working as a dog trainer.
  4. Want to ensure their current business activities are legally sound.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

  • CCPDT: 12 CEUs
  • IAABC: 12 CEUs
  • IACP: 12 CEUs
  • KPA: 12 CEUs

Instructor Biography

Heidi Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI

Heidi Meinzer. JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI,  is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience in both litigation and business matters, making her equally comfortable in the courtroom or in the office handling your business needs.  In 2013, Heidi set up the Law Office of Heidi Meinzer, PLLC in Alexandria, Virginia so that she could focus her practice on animal law and the pet care industry.  Heidi’s clients include successful dog trainer, dog walking, pet sitting and dog daycare companies, and individuals faced with dangerous dog allegations or other animal law issues.  

Heidi is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Washington State, and she is currently the Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Animal Law Section.  Heidi devotes countless hours to animal welfare and state and local legislative efforts as a board member with the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, and as an at-large member of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Comprehensive Animal Care Laws Work Group.   

Heidi is a trainer with Fur-Get Me Not and Canine Copilots.  In 2013, she became a CPDT-KA and CNWI, and she is a member of both the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the National Association of Canine Scent Work.  She shares the company of a beautiful German Shepherd mix, Sophie, who has made great strides with reactivity and confidence issues.  Heidi lives in Alexandria, Virginia with Sophie, her boyfriend Bill, and Bill’s adorable black lab, Boomer.  Bill is kind enough to let Heidi compete with Boomer in K9 Nose Work™, and Heidi tagged along with Boomer when he earned his NW2 title in early 2014! 

Additional Information