Betsy Howell, CPDT

Betsy Howell has had dogs as a part of her family for most of her life—starting with a fox terrier named Duke before she began attending elementary school. She currently lives with 4 Labradors—Julie, Dora, Edie, and Charm—and a Cavalier—Portia.

Betsy has been training dogs in the Harrisburg area for over 25 years both as a volunteer with local pet dog training organizations and as a staff member of a local service dog organization. When working with the pet dog training organization, Betsy served as instructor (12 years), president (2 years), and training director (5 years). During that time, she has shown her dogs in competitive obedience (earning Companion Dog (CD) titles granted by the American Kennel Club), rally obedience (earning Novice Rally Dog titles), Therapy Dog titles, and AKC Canine Good Citizen titles. In addition, Betsy and her dogs have competed in Canine NoseWork.

During the 12 years that Betsy worked with the service dog organization, she trained dogs to assist with mobility, developmental, and hearing disabilities. She also trained dogs to provide Animal Assisted Therapy and developed the organization’s therapy dog program. While working for the service dog organization, Betsy earned the designation of Certified Assistance Dog Trainer from Assistance Dogs International.

In 2003, Betsy Howell became the first person in south-central PA to earn the designation of Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). This certification requires both hands-on experience and a written examination. In order to retain the certification, Betsy must take an average of 12 continuing education credits per year.

Betsy Howell has been an evaluator (since 2005) for the AKC Canine Good Citizen program, and now for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program. Betsy is also a therapy dog evaluator for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Labrador Retriever Club of America, the Harrisburg Kennel Club, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of the Susquehanna Valley, the Keystone Labrador Retriever Club, the National Association of Canine Scent Work, and the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners. She has received degrees from Gettysburg College and Shippensburg University in addition to attending national conferences and seminars on dog training.