The following classes, as well as the Core Curriculum, are required to receive a certificate from ACA as a Dog Trainer


The Dog Training Program takes a unique approach to educating and developing dog trainers with the most current learning theories and techniques. Our students enjoy a combination of classroom learning, individual guidance, and hands-on experience. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to apply training techniques to various dogs of different breeds, age groups, backgrounds and personalities. Our goal is to develop outstanding trainers who acquire exceptional knowledge and an abundance of experience.


Phase I: Basic Pet Obedience $2560

Total Hours: 108 hrs

44% Hands On

Phase I consist of three main topics: rewards based training, pet obedience and puppy training. The first third of the semester is designed to introduce reward-based training concepts and techniques. You will then be introduced to pet obedience theory and practical applications and will learn the different training techniques including the benefits and disadvantages of each: basic obedience exercise; proper use and function of training equipments; tools and methods used to train a dog off-leash; and use of hand signals. The last part of the semester will be focused on the unique aspects of selecting and training puppies.

- Principles of reward-based training
- Methods to teach a new behavior on a volunteer basis and how to fade the use of rewards.
- Different training techniques including benefits and disadvantages of each
- Proper use and function of training equipment
- Effects of genetics and environment on a puppy
- Puppy temperament evaluations
- Puppy socialization techniques
- House & crate training techniques
- Puppy obedience training techniques


Phase II: Behavior Problems & Modification $2880

Total Hours: 144 hrs

71% Hands On

Phase II is designed to introduce common behavioral problems and behavior modification techniques. You will interact with shelter dogs and discover their journey from a shelter into a new home through classroom discussions and visiting and volunteering at shelters. The second phase will include a great deal of hands-on work in order for you and your fellow classmates to grasp the concepts of the covered topics. Students will learn how to properly assess a shelter dogs temperament and behavior; explore symptoms, causes and treatment of behavior problems specifically to shelter dogs; learn how to minimize stress during transition and develop a new relationship; and discover how to deal with and explain common behaviors typical in adopted dogs.

- How to prevent behavior problems
- Symptoms, causes and treatment for behavior problems
- General methods of dealing with behavior problems
- How and when to use techniques such as counter-conditioning, desensitization and extinction
- How to conduct a behavior consultation
- Factors in determining an accurate prognosis of the dog's behavior issues
- Differences between the management of fears and phobias
- How to modify separation anxiety and hyperactivity


Phase III - 200 hours $4000

Hands-on: 200 hrs

Internship I & II will give students an opportunity to explore career development issues and interest. The majority of the time will be spent shadowing and assisting trainers during day training, private lessons, group classes and special events. You will be assigned to two different trainers to complete 100 hours with each mentor. During this period you will have the opportunity for hands-on experience with dogs and interaction with professional staff members who will provide you with guidance and serve as mentors. The position should not involve more than 25% clerical work.