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The Help Center

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What is the difference between a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Master Dog Trainer and Canine Behaviourist?

When you successfully complete our  training, you will be an " International Academy of Canine Trainers certified dog trainer".  
A Master Dog Trainer requires a Master's degree in Animal Behaviour, or 20 years of experience as a professional dog trainer. 
A Canine Behaviourist is an academically trained specialist. Usually, the Canine Behaviourist has completed graduate work in psychology, comparative psychology, neuro-psychology, psycho-biology, zoology or the equivalent as well as obtaining additional education and experience in dog training and behaviour. They should possess a Master's degree or higher.
Graduates of our Academy will be professionally trained, but shouldn't mislead the public about their training. 
Students should be aware of schools offering degrees such as "Master Dog Trainer" or "Canine Behaviourist" without actually fulfilling the academic requirements.

What are your admission requirements?

  • Applicants must be at least 19 years old and have a good understanding of English. This will be assessed by a phone interview.

  • Applicants must be physically able to perform practical exercises as required. 

  • Applicants enrolling in the Canine Behaviour Specialist program may be required to pass a knowledge assessment test before acceptance into the program.

Will I be certified after completing your course?

Yes.  When you successfully complete your chosen course, you will be certified. You do not need to take the Canine Behaviour Specialist course to be a certified Dog Trainer.  Each course will give you a certification upon successful completion.

What type of dog training will I learn?

The Academy of Canine Trainers teaches positive reinforcement methods for companion dogs. The goal of the course is to teach students how to utilize scientific learning theory and positive reinforcement techniques that will help teach family pet dogs proper behaviour and obedience.  Students are taught how to assess, prevent and rehabilitate behaviour problems. Students will learn how to conduct behaviour consultations and create training and rehabilitation plans based on the need of the dog and the goals of the owner.

Is your program hands-on?

Yes! Thirty percent of the program involves hands-on working with client dogs, student dogs and shelter dogs.  All of the practical training is supervised by Amber.  Our goal is to expose the student to as many different scenarios as possible.  The course also includes lecture, video presentations, reading material and written assignments as well as a final written and practical exam.

Do you offer financial aid?

Unfortunately, we do not offer financial aid.

Do you offer job placement?

The courses offered at the Academy leave you well-prepared to either start your own dog training business, or to be a launch pad for other careers within the Animal Care industry. Organizations like BC Guide Dogs from time to time look to hire certified students from the Academy.

Will I need to purchase any additional books or equipment?

Not necessarily.  The course provides you with all of the handouts necessary.  Amber is happy to make suggestions for helpful books or additional resources.

Do we learn how to start our own business?

The course has a module devoted to marketing. As well, we discuss how to develop a clientele, price your services and what aspects of the business to out-source.  You will graduate with an understanding and a road map of how to start your business.

Can I bring my own dog?

Yes, we love all dogs at the Academy! We believe in learning through exposure to all different dog personalities.

Is there follow-up after I graduate?

We have a large community of graduates who continue to ask for advice or just check-in after they leave the Academy.  Amber is very happy to answer any question you might have, or guide you in a scenario you aren't quite sure about.  Support is just a phone call/email/text away.

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