State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/6/2023, by Sen. Craig Wilcox


New Act
815 ILCS 505/2BBBB new

    Creates the Dog Training Licensure Act. Defines terms. Creates the Dog Training Licensure Board. Provides for the authority and duties of the Board. Provides that no person shall practice, attempt to practice, or hold oneself out as being able to practice dog training in this State unless such person is licensed in accordance with the Act, holds a provisional permit in accordance with the Act, or is a licensed professional in a related field who holds and advanced degree or certification deemed by the Board to be equivalent to the certification in dog training issued by approved certification programs. Provides for: licensure requirements; provisional permits; license and permit duration, fees, and means of instruction; practice by out-of-state practitioners; complaints and discipline; restriction on liability, information handling; and penalties for unauthorized practice, fraud, and harm to animals. Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to make a conforming change. Effective immediately.

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1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Dog
5Training Licensure Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Approved certification program" means an
8examination-based dog trainer certification program that is
9accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies
10and is approved by the Board established under Section 10 of
11this Act and any other examination-based dog trainer
12certification programs approved by the Board. An "approved
13certification program" must: (i) include minimum education and
14experience eligibility requirements, as defined by the Board;
15(ii) require its certified dog trainers to adhere to policies
16equivalent to or more restrictive of aversive practices than
17the joint standards of practice, professional code of ethics,
18and least intrusive, minimally aversive effective behavior
19intervention policy as developed by the Association of
20Professional Dog Trainers, the Certification Council for
21Professional Dog Trainers, and the International Association
22of Animal Behavior Consultants, as in effect as of January 1,
232019; and (iii) require for maintenance of certification at



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1least 36 continuing education units meeting standards defined
2by the Board every 3-year period. The Board shall publish on
3its website a list of approved certification programs as well
4as a list of approved dog trainer education programs that meet
5minimum education requirements for approved certification
7    "Board" means the Dog Trainer Licensure Board established
8under Section 10.
9    "Department" means the Department of Agriculture.
10    "Director" means the Director of Agriculture.
11    "Dog behavior consultant" means a person who is engaged in
12the practice of evidence-based applied behavior analysis and
13behavior modification of dogs in areas such as fear, phobias,
14compulsive behaviors, anxiety, or aggressive behavior when
15performed for a fee, salary, or other form of financial
17    "Dog trainer" means a person who is engaged in the
18practice of dog training and, after the effective date of this
19Act, who is licensed or holds a provisional permit under this
21    "Dog training" means the training or behavior modification
22of dogs or serving as a dog behavior consultant when performed
23for a fee, salary, or other form of financial compensation,
24other than on an incidental basis ancillary to other services,
25such as dog grooming or dog walking. "Dog training" does not
26include training of dogs by active military service members in



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1connection with the members' military service roles, by active
2law enforcement in connection with K-9 training, by
3incarcerated persons under the auspices of a penal
4institution's program or services offered by a kennel club
5affiliated with or licensed or sanctioned by the American
6Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club if such services are
7offered exclusively to the club's members.
8    "Good professional moral character" means a person who has
9not abused a position of trust, engaged in fraud, or engaged in
10conduct that poses a substantial risk to the health or safety
11of the public or of animals under the person's care or
12supervision or that the person has demonstrated sufficient
13evidence of rehabilitation commensurate with the seriousness
14of the person's past misconduct, as determined by the Board.
15    "Industry recognized standards" means the joint standards
16of practice, professional code of ethics, and least intrusive,
17minimally aversive effective behavior intervention policy as
18developed by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the
19Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and the
20International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, as
21in effect as of January 1, 2019.
22    Section 10. Dog Trainer Licensure Board.
23    (a) The Dog Training Licensure Board is hereby created
24within the Department.
25    (b) The Board shall consist of the following members who



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1are residents of this State:
2        (1) one member from the Department;
3        (2) four members who are dog trainers who, if they are
4    appointed later than 180 days after the effective date of
5    this Act, are licensed under this Act, at least one of whom
6    shall hold a professional certification as a dog behavior
7    consultant, or, if they are appointed on or before 180
8    days after the effective date of this Act, are
9    professional dog trainers holding dog trainer
10    certification from an accredited certification program, at
11    least one of whom shall hold a professional certification
12    as a dog behavior consultant;
13        (3) one member who is a veterinarian licensed in this
14    State who is either a board-certified veterinary
15    behaviorist or has professional certification in dog
16    training;
17        (4) two members who are current or former dog owners
18    who do not work as a professional dog trainers and who
19    receive no income or financial benefit from dog training
20    businesses; and
21        (5) one member who is affiliated with a nonprofit
22    animal welfare group.
23    (c) The Governor shall appoint each member, other than the
24member from the Department, for a term of 4 years, except that
25of the members first appointed, 2 shall serve for a term of 4
26years, 2 shall serve for a term of 3 years, 2 shall serve for a



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1term of 2 years, and 2 shall serve for a term of one year, with
2the 4 initial dog trainer members distributed among these
3term-length groupings.
4    (d) Any vacancy in the membership of the Board shall be
5filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as provided
6for the original appointment.
7    (e) No member of the Board may serve more than 2 successive
8terms, which does not include any unexpired term to which the
9member has been appointed to fill a vacated position on the
11    (f) The Board shall organize within 30 days after the
12appointment of its members and shall annually elect from among
13its members a chairperson and vice-chairperson, at least one
14of whom shall be a dog trainer. The Board shall also appoint a
15secretary who need not be a member of the Board.
16    (g) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled meetings
17twice a year and may hold additional meetings as necessary to
18discharge its duties.
19    (h) A majority of the Board membership shall constitute a
21    (i) The Director may appoint an executive director of the
22Board who shall serve at the discretion of the Director. The
23salary of the executive director shall be determined by the
24Director within the limit of available funds. The Director
25may, within the limits of available funds, authorize the
26executive director to hire assistants necessary to administer



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1this Act.
2    Section 15. Board authority and duties. The Board shall:
3        (1) adopt a seal to authenticate its records and
4    proceedings;
5        (2) prescribe rules pertaining to recognition of
6    approved certification programs and to require
7    qualifications of applicants for licensure or other
8    authorization to practice as dog trainers;
9        (3) review and determine the sufficiency of the
10    qualifications of applicants for licensure under this Act
11    and issue a license to each qualified and successful
12    applicant, attesting to the applicant's professional
13    qualification to practice as a dog trainer in this State;
14        (4) keep records of its proceedings, a register of all
15    persons to whom licenses have been issued, and a record of
16    all license renewals, suspensions, and revocations;
17        (5) maintain records of expenses incurred by members
18    of the Board in the performance of the Board's duties;
19        (6) take disciplinary action against any individual
20    who violates the provisions of this Act or any regulation
21    adopted under this Act, including as set forth in Sections
22    50, 55, and 60;
23        (7) administer oaths, issue notices, issue subpoenas
24    in the name of the State to any party or entity that may
25    possess relevant information regarding the subject of an



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1    investigation, including to compel production of documents
2    or testimony, receive testimony, conduct hearings,
3    institute court proceedings for contempt to compel
4    testimony or obedience to its orders and subpoenas, take
5    evidentiary depositions, and perform such other acts as
6    are reasonably necessary under this Act or other laws to
7    carry out its duties;
8        (8) institute proceedings in courts of competent
9    jurisdiction to enforce its orders and the provisions of
10    this Act, obtain court orders and injunctions to halt
11    unauthorized practice, and present to the proper
12    authorities information it believes indicates an applicant
13    or licensee may be subject to criminal prosecution;
14        (9) establish rules and procedures to grant reciprocal
15    licensure to individuals who provide dog training or serve
16    as a dog behavior consultant who hold current
17    certification in dog training from an approved
18    certification program and hold a dog trainer license
19    issued by another State;
20        (10) adopt rules as it deems necessary to administer
21    the provisions of this Act;
22        (11) develop and adopt its budget; and
23        (12) prescribe or change the fees for licensure,
24    renewal, provisional permits, and other services
25    performed.



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1    Section 20. Unauthorized practice. Beginning on the
2effective date of this Act, except as otherwise permitted by
3rules adopted by the Board, no person shall practice, attempt
4to practice, or hold oneself out as being able to practice dog
5training in this State unless such person is licensed in
6accordance with the provisions of this Act, holds a
7provisional permit in accordance with the provisions of this
8Act, or is a licensed professional in a related field who holds
9an advanced degree or certification deemed by the Board to be
10equivalent to the certification in dog training issued by
11approved certification programs, including board-certified
12veterinary behaviorists holding board certification from a
13program recognized by the Veterinary Licensing and
14Disciplinary Board and the American Veterinary Medical
15Association and licensed veterinary technicians holding
16veterinary behavior technician certification.
17    Section 35. Licensure requirements. To be eligible for
18initial licensure or renewal of licensure as a dog trainer, an
19applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:
20        (1) be at least 18 years of age;
21        (2) be of good professional moral character; and
22        (3) either (i) hold current certification in dog
23    training from an approved certification program or current
24    certification as a certified applied animal behaviorist or
25    associate certified applied animal behaviorist, or (ii) to



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1    be issued an initial license prior to 180 days after the
2    effective date of this Act, submit proof satisfactory to
3    the Board no later than 180 days after the date procedures
4    are established by the Board for applying for licensure
5    under this Act that the applicant has engaged in the
6    practice of dog training in this State continuously for at
7    least one year prior to the effective date of this Act and
8    that the applicant agrees to abide by policies adopted by
9    the Board that are equivalent to or more restrictive of
10    aversive practices than the industry recognized standards.
11    Section 40. Provisional permits. The Board shall issue to
12applicants provisional dog trainer permits that authorize the
13permit holder to provide dog training services in this State
14under the supervision of, and documented by, a dog trainer
15licensed under this Act, for a period of one year from issuance
16of the provisional permit. A provisional dog trainer permit
17may be renewed for subsequent one-year periods. Prior to
18providing dog training services to any customer or client, the
19permit holder must disclose in writing to that customer or
20client that the permit holder is not a licensed dog trainer in
21this State and is providing dog training services under the
22supervision of one or more specific licensed dog trainers,
23identified by individual names, who take responsibility for
24the quality of the permit holder's dog training work as well as
25responsibility for any complaints regarding that permit



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1holder's dog training. To be eligible for a provisional dog
2trainer permit under this Act, an applicant shall fulfill the
3following requirements:
4        (1) be of good professional moral character; and
5        (2) agree to abide by policies adopted by the Board
6    that are equivalent to or more restrictive of aversive
7    practices than the industry recognized standards.
8    Section 45. License and permit duration; fees; means of
10    (a) All licenses shall be issued for a 3-year period and
11may be renewed upon filing of a renewal application meeting
12the requirements of this Section.
13    (b) Licenses and permits shall be issued in the legal name
14of the applicant. Licensees and permit holders may direct the
15Board to include on the applicant's license or permit
16additional alternative names that the applicant uses
17personally or professionally.
18    (c) All applicants shall pay a fee for licensure and
19renewal of licensure under this Act. Fees shall be determined
20by the Board and established by rule and may not exceed $350
21per initial license or $100 per renewal license. The Board
22shall set the fees such that the revenue generated from these
23fees is not expected to exceed the operating costs incurred by
24the Board in administering this Act.
25    (d) A license shall not be renewed until the licensee



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1submits satisfactory evidence to the Board that the licensee
2holds current certification with an approved certification
3program or current certification as a certified applied animal
4behaviorist or associate certified applied animal behaviorist.
5    (e) Any person authorized to practice dog training in this
6State may conduct such dog training services in person and by
7live, remote means for any dog located in this State and,
8except to the extent restricted or prohibited by the laws of
9the jurisdiction in which the dog is located, for any dog
10located outside of this State.
11    Section 50. Practice by out-of-state practitioners. The
12Board shall adopt rules to allow for temporary limited dog
13training services by out-of-state practitioners who hold
14current certification from an approved certification program
15or current certification as a certified applied animal
16behaviorist or associate certified applied animal behaviorist,
17but who do not hold a license in the State, for no more than 5
18days per calendar year in the aggregate. The Board shall also
19adopt rules for out-of-state providers of dog training
20services who hold current certification from an approved
21certification program or current certification as a certified
22applied animal behaviorist or associate certified applied
23animal behaviorist to apply for temporary limited permits that
24authorize the individual to work in this State as a dog trainer
25for no more than 60 days in any calendar year in the aggregate.



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1    Section 55. Complaints and discipline.
2    (a) The Board shall investigate all complaints relating to
3the proper practice of any licensee or holder of a provisional
4or temporary permit under this Act and complaints relating to
5any violation of this Act. The Board may impose disciplinary
6measures based on a finding of a violation under a
7preponderance of the evidence standard. The Board may, during
8the pendency of an investigation and disciplinary proceeding,
9summarily suspend the license or provisional permit of a dog
10trainer upon a preliminary finding by the Board of probable
11cause to believe that the person poses a substantial and
12imminent risk to the health or safety of the public or of
13animals under the person's care or supervision.
14    (b) The Board may, after a hearing in accordance with
15adopted rules, revoke, suspend, or cancel the license or
16provisional or temporary permit of a dog trainer, deny or
17revoke eligibility for the license or provisional or temporary
18permit, reprimand, censure, or otherwise discipline by
19imposing conditions on the person's continued authorization to
20practice a person holding or seeking a license or provisional
21or temporary permit under this Act, upon proof satisfactory to
22a majority of the Board that said person:
23        (1) fraudulently procured a license or provisional or
24    temporary permit under this Act;
25        (2) committed an offense against any provision of the



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1    laws of this State relating to the authorized practice of
2    dog trainers or any rule adopted thereunder;
3        (3) engaged in gross misconduct in providing dog
4    training services, practiced fraudulently, practiced with
5    gross incompetence or with gross negligence on a
6    particular occasion, or practiced with negligence on
7    repeated occasions;
8        (4) provided dog training services while the person's
9    ability to practice in a safe and competent manner was
10    materially compromised in a way that posed a substantial
11    risk to the health or safety of the public or of animals
12    under the person's care or supervision;
13        (5) provided dog training services while under the
14    influence of alcohol or a drug described in this
15    subsection and while habitually intoxicated or addicted
16    to, dependent on, or a habitual user of narcotics,
17    barbiturates, amphetamines, hallucinogens or other drugs
18    having similar effects, other than with respect to lawful
19    use of medication in accordance with a prescription issued
20    to that person;
21        (6) knowingly and for purposes of fraud, deception, or
22    personal gain permitted, aided, or abetted an unlicensed
23    and unauthorized person to perform activities requiring a
24    license or provisional or temporary permit under this Act,
25    excluding activities permissible under any provision of
26    the laws of the State relative to the training of aspiring



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1    dog trainers;
2        (7) has committed fraud or a criminal offense that
3    reasonably calls into question the person's ability to
4    practice as a dog trainer without posing a substantial
5    risk to the health or safety of the public or of animals
6    under the person's care or supervision;
7        (8) engaged in conduct in material violation of
8    industry recognized standards or standards equivalent to
9    or more restrictive of aversive practices that have been
10    adopted by the Board through policy or rulemaking;
11        (9) failed to adequately supervise the dog training
12    services of a provisional permit holder who provides those
13    services under the supervision of the licensee; or
14        (10) violated any rule of the Board governing the
15    practice of dog trainers.
16    Section 60. Restriction on liability; information
18    (a) No person filing a complaint or reporting or providing
19information under this Act or assisting the Board at its
20request in any manner in discharging its duties and functions
21shall be liable in any cause of action arising out of the
22receipt of such information or assistance if the person making
23the complaint or reporting or providing such information or
24assistance does so in good faith and without malice.
25    (b) During the pendency of a proceeding, the Board shall



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1keep confidential any complaint, report, record, or other
2information received or kept by the Board in connection with
3an investigation conducted by the Board under this Section,
4except with respect to any action that the Board takes
5affecting the individual's right to practice. After the Board
6has disposed of the matter under investigation by issuing an
7order to show cause, by dismissing a complaint, or by taking
8other final action, investigative records or information of
9the Board shall not be kept confidential except to the extent
10that disclosures of records or other information may be
11restricted as otherwise provided by law or by the Board's
12rules. The requirement that investigative records or
13information be kept confidential shall not, at any time, apply
14to requests from the person under investigation or the
15complainant, or information the Board reports to other state
16or federal agencies, boards, or institutions as the Board
17shall determine by rule.
18    Section 65. Penalties for unauthorized practice, fraud,
19and harm to animals. Except as provided in this Act, beginning
20180 days after the effective date of this Act, whoever, not
21being lawfully authorized to provide dog training services in
22the State by holding a license or provisional or temporary
23permit under this Act or as otherwise permitted by rules
24adopted by the Board, holds oneself out in this State as a dog
25trainer or provides or attempts to provide dog training



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1services in this State, whoever provides dog training services
2under a false or assumed name or under a name other than those
3by which the individual is authorized by the Board to
4practice, whoever impersonates another dog trainer, or whoever
5practices or attempts to practice any fraud in connection with
6the filing of an application for a dog training license or
7provisional or temporary permit, shall be subject to the
8jurisdiction of the Board and shall be punished by a civil fine
9of not less than $200 but not more than $3,000. Violations
10involving any fraudulent act or practice in relation to a
11consumer or the State shall constitute an offense under the
12Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. In such
13matters and any matter involving animal cruelty or neglect,
14the Board shall, in addition to any discipline it imposes,
15report such matters to the proper authorities for criminal
16prosecution under any applicable criminal statute. A person
17rendering dog training services in violation of this Section
18shall recover no compensation for those services, and a court
19may order a person convicted of an offense under this Section
20to pay restitution to persons who incurred damages as a result
21of the convicted individual's offense.
22    Section 90. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
23Practices Act is amended by adding Section 2BBBB as follows:
24    (815 ILCS 505/2BBBB new)



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1    Sec. 2BBBB. Violations of the Dog Training Licensure Act.
2Any person who violates the Dog Training Licensure Act in a
3manner that involves any fraudulent act or practice in
4relation to a consumer or the State commits an unlawful
5practice within the meaning of this Act.
6    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
7becoming law.