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The Help Center

Have a Question? Here’s an Answer

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

When you successfully complete our Level 1 training, you will be an " International Academy of Canine Trainers certified dog trainer".  We are a PTIB-registered trade school.
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

  • You must submit the enrolment application form to be approved 

  • You must be physically able to perform practical exercises as required. An in-person interview might be scheduled.

  • You have to read and certify the Academy's policies and Student Handbook

Will I be certified after completing your course?

Yes.  When you successfully complete your chosen course, you will be certified.

What type of dog training will I learn?

The Academy of Canine Trainers teaches copyrighted, professional dog trainer courses developed by Amber Cottle.  The goal of the course is to teach students how to utilize scientific learning theory and positive reinforcement in techniques that will help teach family pet dogs proper behaviour and obedience.  Students are taught how to assess, prevent and rehabilitate behaviour problems which actually strengthen the bond between dog and owner.

Is your program hands-on?

Yes! More than 50% 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 and a final written and practical exam.

Do you offer financial aid?

Unfortunately, we do not offer financial aid but we are very flexible with payment plans.  Please call to discuss your options.

Do you offer job placement?

Through our course, we introduce you to the vast world of dogs and professional dog trainers.  Periodically, there are opportunities to work with Amber in her Training Center. 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.

Will I need to purchase any additional books or equipment?

Not necessarily.  The course provides you with loads of written material and Amber is happy to make suggestions for follow-up reading. Once completed, you may want to purchase your own equipment.

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 a complete tool-kit.

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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