Professional Dog Trainer Certificate - Full Program

Professional Dog Trainer Certificate - Full Program


Backed by our founders’ diverse experience and knowledge, you will be learning from the best in the industry to become a Professional Dog Trainer.

To earn your Professional Dog Trainer Certificate, you must complete two programs.   

  1. Professional Dog Trainer Certificate - Theory
  2. Professional Dog Trainer Certificate - Practical

You will be required to complete assignments and quizzes as well as submit videos of your practical work.  

Once you complete both of these programs, you will have earned your Professional Dog Trainer Certificate.

Start anytime, anywhere!

Time to complete: 12 months*

*Dogsafe™ Canine First Aid 101 eLearning course time to complete is two months

No dog required to complete the First Aid course

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Course Outline

Professional Dog Trainer Certificate - Theory

Principles of Training
Why do you train your dog the way you do?  This course touches on popular training methods and poses some interesting questions.  Training principles are a common topic of debate and this module will help you come to your own decisions about how to choose a training methodology that works for you and your dog.

Training Equipment
This course has been designed to allow you the opportunity to gain knowledge on the many pieces of training equipment that are available to you.   Learn how to properly fit the most common and popular pieces of training equipment and some pros and cons of each.

Evolution of the Dog
This course will educate you about the origins of the domestic dog and why there is so much diversification in this species.  This will help you to determine the traits that are going to be most prominent in the various breeds of dogs, depending on how they evolved.

Dog Breeds
This course has been designed to help you familiarize yourself with many of the popular, and some of the less popular, dog breeds and their traits as recognized by popular kennel clubs.

Selecting a Dog
During this course we discuss the many questions and facts that will help you to determine what might be an appropriate fit as a canine companion.

Today’s Canine
The start a dog gets in life plays a big role in the outcome of the adult dog.  As well, the genetic make up of a dog and whether two or more breeds are mixed, will add information about how you will consider your approach to that dog’s overall training plan.   The more you know, the better you will be able to understand the needs of a specific dog.

The Physical Dog
This course teaches you about the dog's brain and senses, life cycle, general health and you will become familiar with general conformation terms.  It is surprising how much information is packed into this course!

Canine Language
The world of Canine Language is both complex and fascinating.   In any given dog interaction, a dog may be telling a very detailed story about how they feel or what they want.   Understanding what our canine counterparts are trying to communicate is crucial to your safety and the safety of others.  This course helps you to better understand how dogs communicate and what it all means.

Dogsafe™ Canine First Aid 101 eLearning
Dogsafe™ Canine First Aid 101 eLearning is designed to teach you the knowledge and skills you need to deal with a sick or injured dog until veterinary care is available. The topics are covered in-depth so that students have a thorough understanding of the principles of canine first aid. After successfully completing this course, and its test, you will receive a Dogsafe™ Canine First Aid 101 eLearning Certificate.

Learning Theory
This course will teach you about the science behind how dogs learn.   Training is both a craft and a science.   Understanding the science behind the way dogs learn will have a direct impact on your approach to behavior modification and your training plan.

Training Philosophies
With so many methods of training dogs to choose from, how do you know if you have chosen the right one?   During this course we will discuss the many options.  It is important to be educated about the various opinions and philosophies that exist in the area of dog training.   Your clients will ask you questions based on what they have read, watched or heard from others, in addition to their own experiences.   During this lecture will we address those questions which are essential to gaining your clients' trust and confidence in the plan you provide when addressing their goals.

Behavior Problem Solving
Problem Behavior - what is it?  Problem behavior is any behavior that results in unwanted consequences for the owner or the dog.   During this course, we will teach you how to tackle common problem behaviors and offer a problem solving flow chart of solutions for each.

This course helps you prepare to deal with clients.  We will touch on speaking skills, registration forms, demonstration dogs and more.  A must before you step out into your first group class!

Fear and Anxiety
During this course we will be discussing the definitions and relationships between fear and anxiety.  Another fascinating and important topic in the world of dogs!

During this course we will discuss the definition of aggression and uncover how to identify aggressive behavior and possible scenarios you will encounter when working with dogs.

If you have a business in the dog industry, this sensitive topic will come up in your career.  This course offers basic facts about euthanasia and discusses ways to support your clients during this difficult decision making process.

As a well-rounded dog owner, you should have general knowledge about nutrition and dietary options.  This course will provide you with valuable knowledge about canine nutrition and what to look for when making choices about your dog's diet.

Temperament Testing
This program introduces students to both puppy and adult dog temperament testing.  We will discuss the benefits of testing and the how to’s, do’s and do not's.

Daycare Management
This Daycare Management course includes important information on topics such as safety, dog assessment guidelines, location selection, facility construction and policy and procedure considerations.

Boarding Management
Managing a boarding facility requires knowledge about many different topics.  This course includes information about housing options for overnight care, cleaning procedures, basic guidelines about care for boarding dogs and other facility considerations.

What information do you need about your particular municipality in order to comply with its bylaws?  What questions should you ask when you are considering opening a business at home or in a dedicated location?

In this course we will discuss some of the basics you will need to know when setting up your own business including the business structures types, the importance of business and marketing plans, ambassador dogs and more!


Professional Dog Trainer Certificate - Practical

Basic Obedience
Our Basic Obedience course provides information about mental and physical stimulation for your dog and is a wonderful way to improve your relationship with your furry best friend.  Obedience brings freedom to a dog’s life.  An obedient and well-adjusted dog is welcome in more places and Basic Obedience allows for a fuller life for them. This course provides you with many useful foundation exercises to practice with your dog.  We provide you with helpful handouts, easy to follow step by step videos and slides that help you and your dog to succeed at the Basic Obedience level using positive reinforcement techniques.

Intermediate Obedience
This course fine tunes the skills you have learned in Basic Obedience and it will help you and your canine training partner to excel at a new level of obedience by adding more challenges and skills to increase control around real-life scenarios.  Intermediate Obedience also offers exercises to keep your dog's mind sharp and test your skills.  Enjoy new exercises as shown in our easy to follow videos.  Practice using our helpful handouts and enjoy success at a new level of obedience.


Advanced Obedience Webinar Series
Pre-requisite:  Good Dog Academy Basic Obedience and Intermediate Obedience

Our Advanced Obedience Webinar Series is offered to our PDT graduates and is included in the price of your program.  This is an opportunity for you to participate in a live class via Skype with a GDA certified instructor.  We will tackle Advanced Obedience exercises live for an hour and then offer a 30 min Q&A opportunity.  This is a time to ask any questions you have in regards to obedience training.  The  series consists of six webinars. 


For program details and school policies, please review our Student Handbook.