Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate Program - BASIC

Why Choose GDA PPDT? [Video]

Unlock your potential with Good Dog Academy's Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate program! This comprehensive course equips you with the knowledge and hands-on skills you need to kickstart your career as a dog trainer.

Discover the 'why behind the how' in our 22 in-depth theory modules, empowering you to understand the psychology and science of dog training.

With guidance from our seasoned instructors and your unwavering passion for helping dogs, you'll be on the path to success in the thriving dog industry.

Increase your income with part-time freelance work or finally pursue your dream of a full-time career helping dogs. Good Dog Academy is your ultimate launchpad.

When your clients demand proof of your expertise, our Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate will be your badge of trust. Join us and gain the confidence and competence you need to work with their beloved canine companions. Elevate your career and change lives ‚Äď enroll in Good Dog Academy today!

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Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate Program - BASIC


or 5 monthly payments of $278*

  • 7 Day Refund Period
  • Payment Plan Option
  • 22 Theory Courses
  • Practical Skills Development¬†- over 50 videos
  • Student Mentor with Office Hours
  • Post program support
  • Industry Leading Guest Speakers
  • Monthly LIVE Student Webinars
  • Canine First Aid Certificate
  • Community Portal Membership
  • Exclusive Business for Pet Dog Trainers Program
 *All prices are shown in Canadian funds and include tuition, taxes, processing fees and payment plan charges where applicable. 

US and International Students - your credit card company will calculate the exchange and charge in your country’s currency. No additional GDA fees.

Good Dog Academy's 
Professional Pet Dog Trainer 
Certificate Program - BASIC


Choose our Full Pay or Payment Plan Option Now by Clicking an Image Below

$400 OFF FULL PAY ūüźĺ Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate ūüźĺ Apply Code: SALE24


22 Courses

Information you need to start your Professional Dog Trainer career

Canine First Aid

Knowledge and skills to deal with a sick or injured dog until veterinary care is available

Practical Skills Development

52 Video Lessons

Case Study Mastery
Empowering Client Support

Business for Dog Trainers

Specifically created for

Professional Pet
Dog Trainers

Principles of Training


Welcome to the Principles of Training course, designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of fundamental training principles. Throughout this course, we will delve into various key aspects of dog training, with a focus on animal welfare, humane training methodologies, the Humane Hierarchy, Applied Behaviour Analysis, discuss the diverse range of dog training approaches, and much more. Our goal is to equip you with a solid theoretical foundation of dog training.

Evolution of the Dog


As a dog trainer, understanding the origins and development of our canine friends provides a valuable foundation for your practice. This course will help you unlock the secrets that make dogs such a remarkable and diverse species.

We will discuss:
The Origins Unveiled: Learn about the fascinating evolution of dogs, from their wild ancestors to the incredible diversity of breeds we have today.
Genetic Secrets: Discover the mysteries of dog domestication and the role of selective breeding in shaping their characteristics.
Taxonomy and Classification: Gain insights into the systematic classification of dogs.
Breed Variation Theories: Explore theories that explain the incredible variations among different breeds and how they've adapted to human needs.

This course also includes an in-depth presentation hosted by Applied Ethologist Kim Brophey. Kim Brophey, CDBC, CPDT-KA, FDM, is an applied ethologist and owner of The Dog Door Behavior Center in Asheville, NC.

Kim‚Äôs commitment to Family Dog Mediation¬ģ has been recognized internationally, awarded the APDT Outstanding Trainer of the Year in 2009 and the Best Dog Trainer of WNC seven years in a row. She is a member of the International Society for Applied Ethology and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Kim is also a certified member and past board member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Dog Breeds


As professionals in the field of dog training, we should be prepared to offer helpful guidance to our clients regarding their dog's distinct and specific needs.

Gaining insight into the historical roles for which various dog breeds were initially developed can help us develop tailored training and behaviour modification strategies that will best suit both the dog and their guardian. This course touches on kennel clubs, breed groups and popular dog breeds.

Selecting a Dog


Occasionally, clients seek your expertise in choosing the ideal dog or breed to welcome into their family. Equipping yourself with the right knowledge to meet the unique needs of both the guardian and the dog can make all the difference in avoiding potential frustration or heartbreak.

In this comprehensive course we will explore the essential aspects of this process. You will learn the crucial questions to ask in order to determine the best canine match for your clients. Gain valuable insights into the integration of a new dog into a household, ensuring a harmonious transition. We will also cover invaluable topics like introducing dogs and cats, as well as the intricacies of introducing an existing dog to a new dog.

Today's Canine


Our Today's Canine course offers an invaluable opportunity to delve into the world of dog breeding practices, husbandry and dog sourcing.

Throughout this course, you'll explore an array of engaging topics, from genetics to basic understandings of dog breeding practices. Dive into the fascinating world of purebred dogs, we will discuss pedigrees, line breeding and inbreeding. Gain an understanding of single breed, mixed breed, and crossbreed dogs, and touch on the advantages of DNA testing.

Physical Dog


This course is designed to equip you with essential insights into dogs' physical attributes and touches on some of the health issues they may encounter that may effect your training approach.

Understanding a dog's overall well-being is the foundation for addressing any undesirable behaviours effectively. In this comprehensive course, we'll empower you with the knowledge to:

  • Assess the general health and welfare status of the dogs you are working with
    Tailor your training techniques for dogs with know health issues
  • In this course we also explore the physical well-being of our canine companions, enabling you to become a more informed and empathetic dog



Our Nutrition course has been designed to provide you with an understanding of the pivotal role nutrition plays in a dog's well-being.

In this course, we look at the significance of nutrition, shedding light on the controversies surrounding dog food. We  also explore the diverse types of dog food available and explore the intricacies of dog food ingredients and guaranteed analysis.

By the end of this course, you'll gain valuable insights into:

  • The crucial role of nutrition in canine health and behaviour
  • Navigating the dog food controversy
  • The diverse array of dog food options
  • How to decipher guaranteed analysis

Training Equipment


GDA’s Training Equipment course has been designed to provide you with knowledge about the wide array of training equipment available to you and your clients.

In this course, we'll cover what you need to know about various pieces of training equipment available on the market. You will gain valuable insights into selecting the right gear, ensuring it is a good fit for your canine clients and leveraging it effectively in your training sessions.

Canine Language


Our Canine Language Course will unlock the secrets of canine communication and take your understanding of body language to the next level. Understanding a dog's body language is key to effective dog training.

Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • The Art of Observation:¬†Develop a keen eye for their body language, from tail wags to ear positions - learn what it all means.
  • Emotional Insights:¬†Explore the world of emotional behaviour. Learn about how dogs express joy, fear and everything in between through their actions and reactions.
  • Guardian Guidance:¬†Address common struggles dog guardians face when trying to interpret their pet's behaviour and gain the knowledge to assist them effectively.
  • Ethological Exploration:¬†Examine canine communication from an ethological perspective, enhancing your comprehension of dog behaviour rooted in evolutionary biology.
  • Peaceful Introductions:¬†Master the art of dog introductions, ensuring that dogs meet each other safely and harmoniously.
  • Play Matters:¬†Learn the secrets of healthy dog play, which fosters mental and physical well-being and how to recognize signs of trouble

Kids & Dogs


In this course we will discuss important considerations when working with families who have new babies or children.

Working with kids and dogs involves unique skills, empathy and a solid understanding of family needs as well as the needs of the dog.

This course includes an in-depth original webinar presented by Licensed Family Paws Educator and Good Dog Academy Graduate, Melissa Wood who will talk in detail about some things you will want to consider when working with families who have children and dogs.

Training Philosophies


Dog training is not one-size-fits-all. It's an ever-evolving landscape of methods and philosophies. Gain a deeper understanding of the complex world of dog training with our Training Philosophies course.

Here’s some of what we will explore:

  • Your Analytical Viewpoint:¬†Develop a comprehensive perspective on training methods and theories. Equip yourself with the analytical skills needed to assess what works best for each unique canine case.
  • Believe in Yourself:¬†Build confidence in your training abilities. Learn how to trust your instincts and develop a training style that aligns with your beliefs and values.
  • Controversies in Pet Dog Training:¬†Navigate the maze of training controversies. Gain insights into the hot-button issues surrounding pet dog training, and learn to make informed decisions.
  • Positive Reinforcement and Reward-Based Training:¬†Embrace the power of positivity. Learn about the benefits or positive reinforcement and reward-based training.
  • Other Methodologies:¬†We also discuss alternative training methods in detail.

Learning Theory


In the world of dog training, knowledge rooted in scientific principles is paramount. Dive into the fundamentals of learning theory with our comprehensive course.

Your learning journey will encompass the following areas:

  • Training vs. Learning:¬†Differentiate between the concepts of training and learning. Gain a¬†comprehensive grasp of the principles and methodologies underpinning both.
  • Classical Conditioning:¬†Explore classical conditioning. Understand how associations form and impact a dog's reactions to external stimuli.
  • Operant Conditioning:¬†Uncover the intricacies of operant conditioning, including the nuances of reinforcement, punishment and how they effect a dog's behaviour.
  • Schedules of Reinforcement:¬†Learn about reinforcement schedules and how they can be strategically implemented to optimize training outcomes.
  • Counterconditioning:¬†Discover the potential of counterconditioning, a method that replaces negative associations with positive ones, aiding in behaviour modification.
  • Desensitization:¬†Gain an in-depth understanding of desensitization techniques and their effectiveness in acclimating dogs to stimuli that provoke stress or anxiety.

By immersing yourself in Learning Theory, you will gain a profound comprehension of the scientific principles and terminology essential for a successful canine training career. Elevate your training proficiency, communicate more effectively with your furry students and provide an enriched learning experience for your clients.

Canine Enrichment


In this comprehensive course you will gain a solid understanding of canine enrichment, exploring its vital role in fostering mental and physical health.

Course Highlights Include:

  • Understanding Enrichment:¬†Explore the essence of enrichment, learning how it enhances a dog's quality of life.
  • What Enrichment Is Not:¬†Discern the misconceptions surrounding enrichment and discover what true enrichment entails.
  • Active Enrichment:¬†Unlock the power of active enrichment strategies that keep dogs mentally and physically engaged.
  • Passive Enrichment:¬†Explore the world of passive enrichment, designed to provide relaxation and mental stimulation. Acquire the skills to implement passive enrichment techniques that contribute to a harmonious and content canine lifestyle.

Behaviour Problem Solving


As a dedicated dog trainer, you know that addressing ‚Äėproblem behaviors‚Äô is a top client concern. In this insightful course you will gain the expertise needed to tackle common canine behaviour issues while being a strong advocate for your furry clients.

This course will discuss:

  • Understanding Problem Behaviours:¬†Understand what constitutes ‚Äėproblem behaviour‚Äô. Explore the fundamental principles that underlie every canine action, gaining insights from experts as you go.
  • Decoding Behaviour Analysis:¬†Uncover the ABC's of Behaviour Analysis and Applied Behaviour Analysis, essential tools for understanding and resolving problem behaviours.
  • The Formula For Success:¬†Build a solid foundation for creating effective behaviour modification plans.

In this course we discuss common issues such as jumping up, house soiling, mouthing and so much more!

Intro to Dog Sports


Just like the title suggests this course has been designed to introduce you to some popular dog sports. We will introduce you to Agility, Scent Work, Barn Hunt, Tracking, Dock Diving, Rally Obedience, Bite Sports and Parkour.

All Things Puppy


In this course you will gain a comprehensive understanding of puppy behaviour, socialization and training. This knowledge is a game-changer in guiding and supporting puppy guardians to nurture well-behaved and happy dogs.

Course Highlights:

  • Unlocking Individual Puppy Needs:¬†Dive into the unique needs of each puppy you encounter. Learn to tailor your approach to provide the best care and training for every furry friend.
  • Socialization Mastery:¬†Understand the crucial role of socialization in a puppy's development. Gain the skills to create positive and safe socialization experiences for each pup.
  • Demystifying Fear in Puppies:¬†Explore the fascinating world of fear in puppies. Learn to recognize its signs and effectively address it to build a confident and well-adjusted adult dog.
  • Mouthing Matters:¬†Discover the common yet often misunderstood behaviour of mouthing in puppies. Learn how to manage and shape this behaviour into a well-mannered response.
  • House Training Success:¬†Get a grip on house and potty training techniques, helping both pups and their guardians achieve a harmonious living environment.

Fear and Anxiety


The objective of this course is to highlight the differences between fear and anxiety so you can better understand and address these common emotional states that dogs can experience.

Course Highlights:

  • Decoding Fear:¬†Investigate the world of fear, from its definition to its signs and the profound effects it has on dogs. Learn to recognize and address fear effectively.
  • Understanding Anxiety:¬†Explore anxiety in-depth, understanding its definition, signs, and its impact on our four-legged friends.
  • Collaborative Care:¬†Discover the vital collaboration between dog trainers and veterinarians when it comes to behaviour modification medications. Understand the benefits and nuances of this collaboration for the well-being of dogs.
  • Effective Intervention:¬†Learn how to address fear and anxiety with precision and empathy, guiding dogs toward a happier and more relaxed state.

Separation Anxiety


An in-depth webinar recorded just for GDA students provided by Separation Anxiety expert Malena DeMartini.

Malena is a Certified Trainer and Counsellor (CTC) and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC). She is renowned in the dog training world for her work on canine separation anxiety over more than two decades.

Her books, Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs, and Separation Anxiety in Dogs, Next Generation in Treatment Protocols and Practices have helped countless numbers of dogs (and the people that love them).

In addition to writing and lecturing for a worldwide audience, Malena oversees a team of top separation anxiety trainers and runs an internationally accessible certification program for accomplished dog professionals looking to hone their skills. Malena is passionate about furthering education in this field through science-based methods.

Aggression & Reactivity


The objective of this course is to describe the underlying causes of aggression and reactivity, discuss assessment and management of risk and look at the considerations of working with aggressive and reactive dogs.

Working with aggression and reactivity in dogs requires expertise, experience and a commitment to ensuring the welfare and safety of all involved.

Topics include:

  • ¬†Define Aggression
  • ¬†Define Reactivity
  • ¬†Bylaws
  • ¬†Bite Scales
  • ¬†Is Aggression¬†and¬†Reactivity Curable?
  • ¬†Is working with aggressive dogs right for me?

This course also includes an original webinar recorded for GDA students by world renowned aggression expert Michael Shikashio.

Michael is a highly skilled dog trainer with an unwavering passion for understanding and working with complex canine behaviour. With years of experience and a deep understanding of dog psychology, he has established himself as a trusted expert in the field of dog aggression.

His dedication to expanding his knowledge and refining his skills allowed him to develop a unique approach that emphasizes positive reinforcement and effective communication.

Euthanasia and Bereavement


This course discusses what might come up for you and/or your client when a dog passes away. Bereavement is a weighty subject. 

This course will also help you to understand what euthanasia is and when is may be the right choice. 

As a professional dog trainer, at some point in your career you will encounter this sad reality and a dog you know will pass away.

We will discuss:

  • Bereavement and Grief
  • Defining Euthanasia:¬†Gain an understanding of what euthanasia truly means, from a technical perspective. Learn to handle this topic with sensitivity and professionalism.
  • The Realm of Behavioural Euthanasia:¬†Explore the less-discussed aspect of euthanasia: behavioural euthanasia. Understand its definition and the factors that come into play.
  • Considerations in Euthanasia:¬†Look into the considerations that guardians face when making this difficult decision for their dogs. Equip yourself with the knowledge to offer empathetic support.



In the world of dog training, understanding the legal landscape is as vital as knowing your canine companions.

Our specialized course Bylaws is designed to equip you with the knowledge and expertise to navigate city regulations and bylaws, enabling your business to flourish.

This course includes:

  • Zoning and Permits:¬†Learn about zoning and permits, crucial for identifying suitable training spaces and ensuring compliance with local regulations.
  • Noise Regulations:¬†Gain insights into noise restrictions and regulations, helping you strike a balance between effective training and respecting your community's tranquility.
  • Animal Control Bylaws:¬†Understand the governing principles behind animal control bylaws, ensuring that your practices align with the municipality's standards.



The effectiveness of your guidance and instruction can make all the difference in fostering well-behaved canines. This course has been crafted to empower you with the tools and insights needed to excel in your role as a professional dog trainer.

Course highlights include:

  • Professionalism:¬†Explore the nuances of professionalism in a dog training business. Learn how to project credibility and reliability to gain your clients' trust.
  • Speaking Skills:¬†Enhance your communication skills to effectively convey your training techniques and insights to your clients, ensuring clear and concise instruction.
  • Private Session and Group Instruction:¬†Learn the ropes of providing personalized instruction in one-on-one settings and group classes, tailoring your approach to the unique needs of individual clients and their dogs.

Canine First Aid

Canine First Aid Certificate

In your role as a professional, possessing the knowledge and capabilities to act swiftly in medical emergencies is paramount.¬†Canine First Aid by Dogsafe¬ģ, is meticulously crafted to equip you with the essential skills and expertise required to address the needs of a sick or injured dog effectively, bridging the gap until professional veterinary care is available.

The topics are covered online and in-depth so you have a thorough understanding of the principles of canine first aid. Once you successfully complete this course and its exam, you will receive a Dogsafe¬ģ Canine First Aid Certificate.

Practical Skills Development

This portion of the program is key in your development and essential to becoming a top-tier, professional dog trainer, ensuring you're well-prepared to tackle real-world challenges.

There are three parts to the Practical Skills portion of the Professional Pet Dog Trainer Program.

Demonstrate Mastery: Showcase your expertise by delivering practical solutions to empower clients and enhance their relationship with their dogs.

Part 1 - Building Foundations

Practical Skills Development

Master the art of foundation obedience skills and exercises, the cornerstone of effective dog training. Our comprehensive instructional videos and downloadable PDF’s will guide you step by step, showcasing the techniques you need to assist your clients in achieving their goals with their four-legged companions.

Video Assignments: Showcase your skills by submitting video assignments where you and your dog demonstrate competence in various crucial exercises. Our dedicated Student Mentor will review and grade your submissions, providing invaluable feedback and guidance.

Resource-Rich: Access helpful tip sheets and detailed guidelines, ensuring you're well-prepared for success.

Grading Excellence: Strive for a minimum of 80% on all practical assignments to advance to the next level.

Part 2 - Case Study Mastery

Practical Skills Development

Dive into three real-life case studies that mirror scenarios you're likely to encounter with clients. You'll create comprehensive behaviour modification plans, applying the knowledge you've learned during your theoretical studies.

Theory Integration: Bridge the gap between theory and practice, showcasing your ability to solve complex canine behaviour issues.

Part 3 - Empowering Client Support

Practical Skills Development

In this final segment, you'll step into the shoes of a professional dog trainer, presented with a client struggling to understand their dog's needs. Your task is to create an informative tip sheet that details the dog’s natural requirements and how to fulfill them based on the provided information.

Exclusive Business for Pet Dog Trainers 

Business for Pet Dog Trainers

We will help you to create your own unique business path by challenging you to think about the details of your business while working through exercises.


Refund Policy - Full Pay - No Questions Asked

Full Pay Refund Period is 7 days. In the first 7 days, you will have access to the first 5 courses. To receive a refund, we require written notification within 7 days. After 7 days, all remaining content will become available.

If you want to have the full¬†program open within the first 7 days, email¬†[email protected]¬†indicating that you want to waive your eligibility for a refund and we will open everything for you.

Refund Policy - Payment Plans - No Questions Asked

Payment Plan Refund Period is 7 days. In the first 7 days, you will have access to the first 5 courses. To receive a refund, we require written notification within 7 days. After 7 days, all remaining content will become available.

If you want to have the full¬†program open within the first 7 days, email¬†[email protected]¬†indicating that you want to waive your eligibility for a refund and we will open everything for you.

After 7 days, Payment Plan payments are not refundable. If you decide not to continue, once we receive written notification from you, we will stop all future payments.

If a payment is declined for whatever reason, your program will be immediately deactivated until a resolution for the payment is made. It is your responsibility to contact us and make arrangements to bring your account up to date.

No certificate will be issued without full payment. 



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