12-Week Course

Canine Training and Behavior Specialist Program

This 12-week course of instruction prepares students for advanced training principles including behavior and obedience.  Graduates may find suitable employment in veterinary clinics, boarding kennels, training kennels, obedience clubs, pet sitting, dog walking, and private dog training companies.  Students will learn the skills of working with basic and advanced obedience dogs, basic and advanced behavior problems, agility, advanced clicker training, Kennel Management, Police K-9 and Protection, Scent Discrimination, Search and Rescue, and Assistance Dogs for the Handicapped.  This 40-hour/week course includes the eight week “Canine Training Specialist Program” and continues on for an additional 4 weeks. Upon completion of this program, students will receive the certificate of Canine Training and Behavior Specialist and will be able to conduct private lessons, group lessons, and in-kennel training. Through a combination of lecture and hands-on training students will learn training theory and techniques in the areas below.

See Schedule and Pricing in the left sidebar.

Learning Theory: In this course students will be introduced to the science behind how dogs learn. Students will learn:

  • The science behind how dogs learn.
  • Evolution of learning theory, i.e. classical and operant conditioning.
  • Application of psychological principles in animal training.
  • How breed characteristics affect behavior.

Basic Pet Obedience: In this course students will be introduced to basic pet obedience theory and practical application. Students will learn:

  • How to properly approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Bite prevention training.
  • How to build a good relationship with a dog.
  • Basic obedience exercises (sit, down, heel, walking on a loose leash, recall, stay, place- boundary stay).
  • Proper use and function of different types of training equipment.
  • Introduction to different tools and methods used to train a dog to perform off-leash obedience exercises.
  • Benefits and disadvantages of hand signals.

Basic Clicker Training: In this course students will be introduced to clicker training concepts. Students will learn:

  • Principles of clicker training.
  • Benefits and disadvantages of a clicker.
  • How to condition a dog to the clicker.
  • Five methods to teach a new behavior using a clicker.
  • Use of a clicker in teaching basic pet tricks.
  • Desensitization using a clicker.

Basic Principles in Behavior: In this course students will be introduced to basic canine behavior and behavior modification techniques. Students will learn:

  • Nine methods of dealing with behavior problems.
  • Prevention of behavior problems in dogs.
  • How to use techniques such as counter-conditioning, desensitization, and extinction in dealing with behavior problems.
  • How to use a clicker in conjunction with solving behavior problems.
  • The best approach when dealing with difficult dogs that may be fearful, dominant, or submissive.
  • How to deal with common behavior problems like pulling, jumping up, barking, and more.

Group Classes and Private Lessons I: In this course students will be introduced to group and private lesson instruction. Students will learn:

  • The number one reason clients drop out of obedience class.
  • The different types of group classes to offer.
  • Structures and procedures for group classes.
  • How to perform training evaluations.
  • How to instruct clients and their dogs in basic obedience training.
  • The essentials of giving a private lesson.
  • How to deal with difficult clients.

Puppy Imprinting and Socialization: In this course students will be introduced to puppy imprinting and socialization. Students will learn:

  • Prevention of behavior problems.
  • Puppy socialization techniques.
  • House training techniques.
  • Crate training techniques.
  • Puppy obedience training techniques.
  • Puppy proofing your home.

Agility Training I: In this course students will be introduced to the exciting sport of agility. Students will learn:

  • Benefits of agility training for all dogs.
  • Rules of AKC competitive agility.
  • How agility training can boost a dog’s confidence.
  • Explanation of different obstacles in agility.
  • Performance of basic agility obstacles with dogs.
  • Using targets in training.

Kennel Management I: In this course students will be introduced to basic kennel management theory, practical application, and basic dog care. Students will learn:

  • Schedules for inoculations.
  • What vaccinations are required for a dog when staying at a boarding facility.
  • The importance of proper health relating to training.
  • Maintaining a proper kennel environment.
  • Proper sanitization and disinfecting of kennel runs.
  • The proper way to clip nails, clean ears, and give baths.
  • Stress management for dogs in a kennel environment.
  • Maintaining a quiet kennel environment.
  • Importance of daily visual inspections for the well being of a boarding dog.
  • Basic canine anatomy.

Business Techniques I: In this course students will be introduced to basic business techniques. Students will learn:

  • Different structures of businesses.
  • Management styles and motivating employees.
  • Pros and cons of owning your own business.
  • Basics needed for starting your own business.
  • Choosing a location for your business.
  • Risk management.
  • Where to turn for help.

Intermediate Pet Obedience: In this course students will be instructed in intermediate pet obedience theory and practical application. Students will learn:

  • Train a dog to perform basic off-leash obedience exercises.
  • Train a dog to complete the AKC Canine Good Citizen exam.
  • Discuss the use of hand signals.
  • Proper applications for using a remote training collar.

Intermediate Clicker Training: In this course students will be introduced to clicker training concepts. Students will learn:

  • How to transition to a variable reinforcement schedule.
  • How to fade the use of the clicker and when to bring it back in.

Behavior Modification Techniques: In this course students will be instructed in behavior modification techniques. Students will learn:

  • The appropriate steps in conducting a behavior consultation.
  • Important factors in determining positive and negative prognosis in behavior problems.
  • Symptoms, causes, and treatment for behavior problems.
  • The difference between management and reversal of behavior problems.
  • Different types of aggression.
  • Prevention and management of aggression.
  • Reversal and management of the dominance hierarchy.
  • How to identify the difference between fears and phobias.
  • How to accurately describe and assess canine body language.
  • Techniques used in modifying separation anxiety and hyperactivity.

Group Classes, Private Lessons, and In-Kennel Training II: In this course students will be instructed in both group and private lesson instruction, and in-kennel training techniques. Students will learn:

  • Give private obedience instruction to others.
  • Assisting with group obedience classes.
  • Perform training evaluations for in-kennel training.
  • Train in-kennel obedience dogs.
  • Create a lesson plan for private lessons.
  • Create a lesson plan for group classes.
  • The proper way to introduce dogs to each other.

Puppy Selection and Imprinting: In this course students will be instructed in puppy selection and imprinting. Students will learn:

  • Psychological development in a puppy.
  • The effects of genetics and environment on a puppy.
  • The critical socialization and imprinting period for a puppy.
  • Necessary drives and temperament needed for various dog sports and service work.
  • Puppy imprinting for competitive dog sports and service work.
  • Conduct and interpret puppy temperament evaluations.
  • Selecting the perfect pet.
  • Puppy imprinting for a pet dog.
  • Puppy kindergarten classes.
  • How to teach puppies to be active learners.
  • Proper introduction of a young dog into a new environment.

Agility Training II: In this course students will be instructed in advanced agility training techniques. Students will learn:

  • Sequence training of obstacles.
  • Ability to teach basic agility to others.
  • Setting up course design.

Kennel Management II: In this course students will be instructed in intermediate kennel management theory and practical application, and basic canine health care. Students will learn:

  • Basic health issues with dogs (guest lecture by a licensed veterinarian).
  • How to administer basic canine first aid.
  • What constitutes a medical emergency.
  • Maintaining the health and weight of dogs in a kennel environment.
  • Recognizing problems with dogs in a kennel environment.

Business Techniques II: In this course students will be introduced to advanced business techniques. Students will learn:

  • Marketing and promotional strategies.
  • Using public relations to promote your business.
  • Cost effective marketing through the internet.
  • Naming your business and choosing a logo.
  • Creating your mission statement and philosophy.
  • Setting up your chart of accounts and understanding financial statements.
  • Closing the sale.
  • Customer service objectives.

Advanced Pet Obedience: In this course students will be instructed in advanced pet obedience theory and practical application. Students will learn:

  • Generalization of obedience under high levels of distraction.
  • Off-leash obedience training.
  • Control of dog at a distance.
  • Dynamics of multi-dog households.
  • Working with multiple dogs in a home.
  • Improving the adoptability of dogs in a shelter.
  • Problem solving.

Competitive Obedience Training: In this course students will be introduced to competitive obedience training. Students will learn:

  • Obedience exercises in competitive sports.
  • AKC, UKC, and Schutzhund obedience rules and regulation.
  • Different levels of competitive obedience.
  • Hand signals for competitive obedience training.
  • Preparing for competitions.
  • Building a good working relationship with a dog.
  • The steps in a trained retrieve.
  • Using a dog’s natural drive in training.
  • Attention training to the handler.

Advanced Clicker Training: In this course students will be instructed in techniques for teaching advanced behaviors. Students will learn:

  • Operant conditioning principles to teach complex behaviors.
  • Shaping and chaining animal behaviors for commercials and movies.
  • The use of a clicker in generalizing behaviors.

Advanced Behavior Modification Techniques: In this course students will be instructed in advanced behavior modification techniques. Students will learn:

  • Developing a treatment strategy for severe behavior problems.
  • How to set up a detailed plan for the dog and owners to help deal with severe behavior problems.
  • Uses of psychoactive medication to treat acute behavior problems.
  • Techniques in handling dogs with aggression problems.
  • Temperament evaluation and selection of adult dogs.
  • Behavior modification and temperament evaluation of shelter dogs.

Group Classes, Private Lessons, In-Kennel Training, and In-Home Training III: In this course students will be instructed in both group and private lesson instruction and in-kennel training techniques. Students will learn:

  • Pros and cons of in-kennel training.
  • Pros and cons of in-home training.
  • Scheduling of lessons for in-home and private training.
  • Conducting a group class.
  • Conducting a private lesson.
  • Customizing a training plan for a client’s dog.
  • Train a wide variety of temperaments in an in-kennel environment.
  • The proper way to introduce a new dog into a group environment.
  • The importance of balanced training techniques.

Kennel Management III: In this course students will be instructed in kennel management theory, practical application, and canine health care. Students will learn:

  • How to maintain lifetime relationships with your clients.
  • Management of special services for dogs in a boarding environment.
  • How a dog utilizes the nutrition he takes in.
  • Proper warm up and cool down techniques for service or sport dogs.
  • Maintaining a professional relationship with clients.
  • Management of kennel staff and technicians.
  • Administering and logging of medication for in-kennel dogs.

Agility Training III: In this course students will be instructed in running agility courses. Students will learn:

  • How to solve problems in agility.
  • Developing a strategy for running an agility course.
  • Clean run in agility.
  • Advanced handling techniques.
  • Obstacle discrimination.
  • Rules of NADAC and USDAA competitive agility.
  • Teaching clients to prepare for trials.
  • Maintaining control of an agility dog in drive.

Protection I: In this course students will be introduced to the art of protection training. Students will learn:

  • The misconception associated with protection training.
  • Pros and cons of offering protection training.
  • Evaluating and selecting a dog for protection training.
  • Steps in training a protection dog.
  • Safety and control of a protection dog.
  • How to recognize and develop a dog’s drives.

Police K-9 I: In this course students will be introduced to police K-9 training. Students will learn:

  • K-9 training theory and techniques.
  • How to evaluate a police dog candidate.
  • Steps in training a detector dog.
  • Basic police dog tracking theories.
  • How a dog’s nose works to detect different odors.

Introduction to Canine Sports: In this course students will be introduced to various competitive dog sports. Students will learn:

  • Herding training.
  • Retriever training.
  • Flyball training.
  • Flying disc work training.
  • Schutzhund training.
  • KNPV.
  • French ring.
  • Many other dog sports.

Assistance Dog Training for the Handicapped: In this course students will be introduced to assistance dog training for the handicapped. Students will learn:

  • Different types of assistance dogs.
  • Evaluation and selection of an assistance dog candidate.
  • Trained retrieve for assistance dogs.

Search and Rescue I: In this course students will be introduced to search and rescue theory and practical application. Students will learn:

  • Describe what is involved in search and rescue.
  • The difference between tracking and SAR scenting.
  • The SAR dog in cadaver recovery.
  • Evaluate and select a SAR dog.
  • Training a dog in disaster work.
  • SAR area wilderness search.

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