Dog Obedience Trainer Course Curriculum

The Dog Obedience Trainer course offers real-world training developed by professional educators and dog obedience training experts. The curriculum is easy to follow and includes information you’ll actually use on the job.

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Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Introduction to Animal Care Careers  

This learning guide introduces you to the basic operations of veterinary practices and the legal and ethical issues you may encounter while working in a veterinary clinic. It also provides you with basic knowledge of routine veterinary office procedures.

Lesson Group 2: Foundations of Dog Training

The History of Dog Training  

Students will learn about the history of dog training, including the societal changes that occurred from the start of dog training. Students will also learn about past and present dog training methods and the people involved in the development of dog training.

Animal Learning: Classical and Operant Conditioning  

This lesson introduces students to classical and operant conditioning, including how animals learn through these conditioning methods and how they are used in dog training.

Reinforcement and Punishment  

In this lesson, students will learn about positive and negative reinforcement and how to properly use reinforcement in dog training. This lesson also covers conditioned reinforcers, reinforcement schedules used in teaching, positive punishment, and the dangers of using positive punishment.

Lesson Group 3: Learning, Emotions, and Behavior

Effects on Learning  

In this lesson, students will learn about generalization and discrimination in the learning process. Students will also learn about habituation and sensitization in dog training and how they affect dogs. Students will learn about conditioned emotional responses and how a dog's emotional state affects its ability to learn.

Dog Biology and Behavior  

Students will learn about the ethology of the domestic dog, how genetics play a role in behavior, and the different body language and social signals of dogs.

Critical Periods of Dog Development  

In this lesson, students will learn about the optimum socialization period and the key stages in dog development. Students will also learn about social and sexual maturity and how they affect dog behavior.

Lesson Group 4: Breed Characteristics, Teaching, and Addressing Problems

Breed Characteristics  

This lesson introduces the student to specific groups and classifications of dogs and their key characteristics. Students will also learn the different types of jobs dogs were bred for, and how a dog's breed can affect its behavior and training.

Teaching the Basics  

Students will learn about the basic behaviors taught to dogs and the methods used to teach these basic behaviors, including those that can work on a variety of dogs who have different motivations or learning styles. Students will also learn how to help owners who are struggling with teaching the basic behaviors.

Common Behavior Problems  

In this lesson, students will learn about common behavior problems seen in dogs and how to change these behaviors. Students will also learn the difference between management, training, and behavior medication which cases to refer to another trainer, and how to choose the right trainer for the job.

Lesson Group 5: Building a Successful Dog Training Business

Becoming a Dog Trainer  

Students will learn about the types of teaching opportunities that exist for dog trainers, how to determine which services to offer clients, and how to screen and steer clients to the most appropriate class. Students will also learn about creating contracts and the professional organizations that dog trainers can join, as well as the benefits of joining them.

Group Classes  

In this lesson, students will learn about the various places group lessons can be taught and how to determine class content for group classes, including developing specialty classes that meet the needs of the market. Students will also learn about where to look for opportunities to teach group classes and how to determine class policies and class structure.

One-on-One Lessons  

Students will learn why one-on-one lessons might be appropriate for some dogs and their owners. This lesson also covers the different types of one-on-one lessons that can be taught, including day training and boarding and training, and the different locations where these lessons can be taught. Students will learn how to establish policies for one-on-one lessons and the key components needed to start a dog training business.

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Program Description

Students will learn about the role and responsibilities of professional dog trainers and the different teaching methods used during training. The program covers topics including different breed characteristics, problem behaviors, reinforcement techniques, and critical periods of dog behavior. The program is designed to be used as essential academic instruction, that, when paired with training experience and interaction with dog training professionals, can provide a path that can eventually lead to trainer-level status.

Program Objectives

After completing the Dog Obedience Trainer program, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of the dog trainer and identify the career opportunities available to trained dog training professionals
  2. Outline the different methods and equipment used in dog training and explain how these have changed over time
  3. Define classical and operant conditioning and describe how these techniques are applied by dog trainers
  4. Explain how generalization, discrimination, habituation, sensitization, and desensitization affect a dog’s ability to be trained
  5. Describe the ethology of dogs and the role genetics play in dog behavior, including breed characteristics and their effect on behavior and training
  6. Outline the critical periods of dog growth and describe how a dog’s maturity affects behavior
  7. Identify and explain important business considerations involved in running a dog training business
  8. Describe the various professional memberships and certifications available to dog trainers and the benefits associated with each

The Dog Obedience Trainer course gives you the skills you need to provide quality training to animals. Call 1-800-957-5412 or enroll now.