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Qualifying as an Academy graduate

The Academy for Dog Trainers stands for excellence. By the time you graduate, you will have in-depth knowledge of dog behavior and outstanding practical skills in dog training. You will also be able to coach and counsel clients in a way that's accessible, straightforward and engaging.

Our program generally takes up to two years to complete. While it's not designed as a full-time program of study, it does call for commitment. This is a stretching course in applied behavior that will qualify you to tackle any dog behavior issue, as a specialist or generalist, whether you wish to offer services as a private trainer or run classes, work in a shelter or use the skills to counsel clients in a vet practice. Through the program, you will learn how to take effective case notes and write informative and actionable client reports. You will learn, via video demonstrations, the precise, mechanical training skills you will need in practice and will be asked to demonstrate effective technique through your own video submissions. You'll be tested at each level of the course and need to take a final exam to qualify. It is an exacting program of study, but you will have the support of the Academy coaches and mentors throughout.

How the program is organized

Your progress through the Academy is organized in four levels, modelled after the US college system. We've found this is the best way to help our students keep up the momentum with their studies – even the best of us find it easy to get distracted without clear milestones and goals.

You'll have six months to study for each level. At the end of six months, you must demonstrate you've achieved the required standard before you progress to the next level. If you find you're really flying through the material, and your training skills are in order, you can progress faster if you wish. But you must complete each level within six months.

You'll start as a Freshman, progress to Sophomore, Junior and then Senior, qualifying at each level, before taking the final exam and becoming a fully fledged Academy Graduate.

 

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Well-structured and
manageable schedule

Ongoing and regular support
from Jean and her team

Always know you are
on the right track


Meeting the standard

At the end of each six-month period, you'll need to show us that you understand and can apply what you've learned. You'll:

  • Submit video that shows your skills in training specific behaviors. The videos don't need to be polished in production values, just clear enough for us to see your technique in action
  • Pass the required assignments: the assignments are designed to show you can translate your knowledge into professional-grade training and modification plans for clients and their dogs
  • Pass the knowledge test for that level

If you complete a level faster than the allocated six months, you can 'roll over' the time you've gained and spend more on subsequent parts of the program, provided you hit each milestone. Or, of course, you can graduate early!

 

Setting you up for success

We want our students to succeed so we're here to support you along the way.

Continuous coaching: We coach you intensively to develop your training technique. You can submit training videos as you study for each level. We'll review and give you very specific guidance on your technique before you submit a qualifying video for each level. There's steady feedback so you'll never wonder how you're doing. We’re positive and constructive throughout and we model the approach we recommend you adopt with your own clients.

Group study and mentoring: You can join the study groups for each level and get guidance from your peers as well as the Academy staff so you've got a clear idea of what's expected before you submit your assignments for that level.

Quizzes and practice tests: The modules have embedded quizzes on all topics, and The Dog Scientific posts practice questions so you can gauge whether you've absorbed the material.

Discussion forums: These are without peer anywhere in the world of applied dog behavior. Everybody's game is raised through critical thinking, respectful dialogue and friendly debate, making for very high quality discussion.

What if I don't make it?

We will do all we can to give you help, but ultimately your success is up to you. We are aiming for excellence and our graduates have to meet a high standard. High standards are exactly what the dog training industry most needs and we will not compromise on this.

At each level, you can submit the required training video as early and as often as you like. We'll keep on giving you feedback until you submit video that meets the standard or until the six months for that level has passed. After that point if you have not completed your work, you will have dropped out of the Academy.

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For the assignments and knowledge tests, you are encouraged to practise and become as ready as you can. If you do not pass, you can make a second attempt within a month. Again, if you fail to make the standard, you will have dropped out of the Academy.

If you drop out, you will be free to continue to study the materials as you wish, but you won't have access to coaching, webinars or our online platform and discussion groups. We are unable to refund the cost of the course if you drop out.

We carefully screen all applicants and only accept a small number who we believe have the aptitude and determination to succeed. However, the course does require a high degree of personal application and dedication.

 To see the detail of the study program for each level: click here

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