Professional Dog Trainer Certification Course

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Are you passionate about working with dogs and helping them reach their full potential? Become a professional dog trainer and unleash your career with our certification course. A professional dog trainer plays a crucial role in helping dogs learn new behaviours, overcome challenges, and build strong bonds with their owners. By earning a certification in dog training, aspiring trainers demonstrate their commitment to excellence and gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this rewarding field.

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer

As a certified professional dog trainer, you will experience a range of benefits that will enhance your career and reputation within the industry. Here are some key advantages of obtaining a certification:

  • Increased credibility and trust with clients: By completing a professional dog trainer certification course, you will demonstrate to clients that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively train their beloved pets. This will help you build trust and credibility with your clients, leading to more successful training sessions and satisfied customers.
  • Expanded job opportunities and higher earning potential: Certified professional dog trainers are in high demand*, and having a certification can open up a variety of job opportunities in dog training facilities, pet stores, and veterinary clinics. Additionally, with a certification, you may be able to command higher fees for your services, increasing your earning potential.
  • Enhanced skills and knowledge in dog training techniques: Through a certification program, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of various dog training techniques, behaviour modification strategies, and effective communication methods. This will allow you to develop advanced skills and knowledge that will benefit both you and your clients.

Overview of a Professional Dog Trainer Certification Course

  • Our professional dog trainer certification course covers a wide range of topics to ensure that students are well-equipped to train dogs effectively. Some of the key areas covered in our curriculum include canine behaviour, learning theory, training techniques, communication skills, and dog handling. 
  • Hands-on training and practical experience are essential components of a professional dog trainer certification course. Students will have the opportunity to work with real dogs and gain valuable hands-on experience under the guidance of an experienced trainer. This practical experience is crucial for developing the skills and confidence needed to work as a professional dog trainer.
  • The duration of a professional dog trainer certification course can vary depending on the program and the level of certification being sought. Most courses range from a few weeks to several months. Our four hundred hour program is the length of a typical school year, from September to May.

Skills and Knowledge Gained Through a Certification Program

As a professional dog trainer, obtaining certification can significantly enhance your skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Understanding of Canine Behaviour and Learning Theory: Learn how dogs think and behave, and understand the science behind their learning process. This knowledge helps you tailor training methods to each dog's individual needs.
  • Ability to Assess and Address Behavioural Issues in Dogs: Gain the expertise to identify and correct common behaviour problems in dogs, such as aggression, anxiety, and disobedience. Develop strategies for effectively modifying unwanted behaviours.
  • Proficiency in Various Training Techniques and Tools: Master a range of training methods, including positive reinforcement, clicker training, and leash handling. Acquire the skills to utilize tools such as treats, toys, and training equipment effectively.

Requirements for Enrolling in our Dog Trainer Certification Course

  • Prerequisites for Certification Programs: To enroll in our professional dog trainer certification course, candidates must typically meet certain prerequisites set by the Dogue Academy. These prerequisites include relevant qualifications or experience such as owning, volunteering, or working with dogs.
  • Experience or Background in Dog Training Recommended: While not always required, having prior experience or a background in dog training can be beneficial when enrolling in our certification course. This experience can help candidates better understand the course material and prepare them for the practical aspects of training.

Different Certification Options and Organizations

Overview of Reputable Certification Bodies in USA and the UK

When it comes to becoming a certified professional dog trainer in the UK, there are several reputable certification bodies to consider. Some of the most well-known organizations include:

  • The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT - CAD, USA and UK): The APDT offers a comprehensive certification program for aspiring dog trainers, focusing on positive reinforcement training methods.
  • The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT - UK): The IMDT provides a range of certification options, including courses for beginner trainers as well as advanced workshops for experienced professionals.
  • The Animal Behaviour Apprenticeship course content is knowledge-based assessed to comply with the APDT certification. 

Comparison of Certification Programs Available

Each certification program has its own unique curriculum and requirements, so it's important to research and compare the options available to find the best fit for your career goals. Consider factors such as the training methods used, the level of accreditation, and the opportunities for continuing education.

The Cost of Obtaining a Dog Trainer Certification

Obtaining a professional dog trainer certification is an investment in your career and the well-being of the dogs you will work with. While the cost of a certification program may vary depending on the organization and the level of certification you are pursuing, here is a general breakdown of the expenses involved:

  • Tuition Fees: The main cost of obtaining a dog trainer certification is the tuition fees for the certification program.
  • Additional Expenses: In addition to tuition fees, there is an additional expenses for textbooks. It's important to factor in these costs when budgeting for your certification.
  • Payment Plan: We offer various payment options to help you obtaining your dog trainer certification.
  • Value of Investing in Professional Development: While the cost of obtaining a dog trainer certification may seem daunting, it's important to consider the long-term value of investing in your professional development. A certification can open up new opportunities for employment and advancement in the field of dog training.

Ultimately, the cost of obtaining a dog trainer certification is a worthwhile investment in your career and your passion for working with dogs. By becoming a certified professional dog trainer, you will not only enhance your skills and knowledge but also demonstrate your commitment to excellence in the field.

Job Opportunities for Certified Dog Trainers

Career pathways for certified trainers

  • Private dog training business owner
  • Working at pet training facilities
  • Training dogs for service or therapy work
  • Training dogs for TV and movie roles
  • Working as a consultant for animal shelters or rescues

Demand for skilled professionals in the dog training industry

With the increasing number of dog owners seeking professional training for their pets, the demand for certified dog trainers is on the rise. Trained professionals are needed to address behaviour issues, obedience training, and specialized training for different dog breeds.

Potential for entrepreneurship and business ownership

Certified dog trainers have the opportunity to start their own businesses and offer personalized training services. This includes offering group classes, private lessons, behaviour modification programs, and specialized training for specific needs.

Continuing Education Options for Certified Trainers

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Opportunities for ongoing learning and skill development

  • Attend our mentorship workshops.
  • Attend workshops and seminars to stay informed about the latest training techniques and theories.
  • Participate in webinars or online courses to enhance your knowledge and expertise in specific areas of dog training.
  • Join professional organizations or associations to network with other trainers and access resources for continuing education.
  • Consider pursuing advanced certifications in areas such as agility training, behaviour modification, or therapy dog training.
  • Take specialized courses in areas like scent detection, anxiety, aggression or service dog training to expand your skill set and enhance your services.
  • Explore programs to learn from experienced trainers and further develop your training abilities.

Benefits of staying updated on industry trends and practices

  • Enhance your credibility and reputation as a professional dog trainer by demonstrating a commitment to ongoing education and skill improvement.
  • Stay competitive in the field by staying informed about the latest trends, research, and best practices in dog training.
  • Provide your clients with the most effective and up-to-date training methods to help them achieve their training goals and strengthen the bond with their dogs.

* According to the Government of Canada - Job Bank for the province of Quebec.

Special Announcements


French bulldog puppy resting on pink pillow

To pass it forward, and to celebrate the arrival of Elizabeth Amara Rā, the French Bulldog, I'm offering a -25% discount* on the certified professional dog trainer program, also known as the Animal Behaviour Apprenticeship. 

The discount will end on June 30, 2024, at midnight, so register before then. Classes start on September 5, 2024. Check out the course content tab for more information. 

Good luck, and I hope to see you in September. 

United Kingdom students can apply for a low-cost residency for the duration of their eight-month stay. Meals and personal expenses are not included.

Read why I'm offering this opportunity here


*Past students cannot apply for this offer.


Animal assisted therapy book cover

The long-awaited Animal-Assisted Therapy: Superstars Change Teen Lives book was released on November 1, 2023, and is available at the Dogue Shop's Bookstore. For out-of-town folks, if you buy the book from the website, I will dedicate and sign it before I send it to you. If you have a special request, make sure to ask in the comment section of your order.

The book is available in two font types: regular and open dyslexia seen here. The Dyslexia font edition is for, you guessed it, dyslexic readers. The manuscript is double the size because the dyslexia font has a wider gap between letters. 

Can you imagine telling your family and friends you read a 516-page book? I can because I, too, am dyslexic.