I'm slowly becoming more opinionated on this subject. I do think there is a difference between sport (competition ob) type trainers, basic/puppy trainers, and pet behavior trainers. I think someone taking on serious behavioral cases should have certification and possibly some college animal behavior background. I also think it's one thing if you are helping out people you know, or offering to people who ask for your help, and totally different to advertise yourself as a 'professional trainer'. I think most people that are dog-oriented could get by in a basic or puppy class. Housebreaking questions, no pulling questions, the basics on getting a behavior..meh, I wouldn't expect too much. Looking for a sport/obedience trainer...I do expect titled dogs. I expect someone experienced with how to train those exercises, or that combination, or that rally sign. I expect someone that has been in the show ring and has handled various situations and can prepare me for that. I took classes from a woman that bred dogs, and although she had a few novice titles, maybe like one open title, she had no utility experience..yet she was instructing all three levels. Her demo dog was also reactive and snarky, and she did private lessons for behavior problems. Her education seemed fine (certified, had some titles, etc). I didn't like her much. I can make the best of most training situations. I'm doing a drop-in obedience class right now that I feel isn't very 'instructive'. She will tell you if the dog isn't straight, or the dog can do better, but there is no "You should try...". Maybe it's because it's drop in, but I do feel it is lacking. That might not be a bad thing though, as I was quite surprised at the way she handled her dog last week. The trainer has a fine background with education and experience. I'll keep going until I move though, as it is fine for having some place else to train, and keeping my motivation up. So, I don't know...I've found bad trainers that have all the right education and experience. I haven't found a really 'fantastic' trainer to compare to.