Why ICS Canada?

  • DEAC Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Take the first step toward this career by learning dog training skills with ICS Canada’s Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor Career Diploma course. This flexible online program allows you to train at home and at a pace that's right for you. You can complete the program in as few as seven months.

You’ll learn how to become a dog trainer and teach pet owners to better handle their dogs. Study subjects range from the basics of puppy-related issues to special training areas. The program can help you start on a path toward opening a dog obedience training business of your own!

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor career diploma program prepares students for a career as an entry-level dog obedience trainer.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the senses of a canine and know how they function, and define the learning theory and classical and operant conditioning
  • Describe common behaviour problems and strategies for prevention and treatment, identify the pros and cons of punishment versus reinforcement, as well as the signals and displays that dogs use to communicate with each other and with humans
  • Apply knowledge of behaviour problems by recommending behaviour modification plans for the dogs in the three given scenarios
  • Define dog testing, state the functions of the American Kennel Club, and list its seven major groups of dog breeds
  • Apply knowledge of dog selection by selecting an appropriate breed for the persons in the case studies as well as selecting an inappropriate breed
  • Identify the various types of canine training, know the commands to teach dogs basic obedience, and recognize types of dog-training equipment
  • Apply knowledge of agility training by examining agility course diagrams and indicating correct and incorrect sequences and identifying handling techniques
  • Identify dog tricks are and know how to use them, describe what play is an why it's important for a domesticated dog, as well as name recreational activities involving dogs
  • Name the exercises required for classes of competition and describe the ways dogs are used to assist humans
  • Describe basic nutrition, reproductive function, and caring for a dog in old age, as well as know first-aid procedures for shock and wounds
  • Outline a dog training business plan, describe effective advertising and marketing strategies, and describe how canine day care centers are run
  • Apply knowledge of the dog training business by writing an evaluation of the demographics as they pertain to starting a dog training business and providing information necessary to develop a business plan

Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies

The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations.

Introduction to the Dog Training Profession

Structure of the dog; types of training; history and ethnology of the dog.

Instruction Set 2

Sensory Abilities of the Dog

How dogs see, hear, taste, detect scents, and use touch; using knowledge of a dog's senses in the training process.

Social Behaviour and Communication

How and why dogs communicate; evaluating a dog’s demeanor by watching “from head to tail”; a dog’s relationship with its human “pack.”

Instruction Set 3

How Dogs Learn

Identifying and employing scientific theories of psychologists and behaviourists; using a dog’s learning abilities to teach and motivate.


Conditioning and how it relates to dog obedience training; difference between classical and operant conditioning; drive theory and its application.

Applied Dog Behaviour

Punishment versus reinforcement; nature versus nurture; effects of genetics; clicker training and the scientific principles behind it.

Instruction Set 4

Testing and Selection of Dogs

Temperament testing and using it to evaluate puppies; selecting the best dog for a particular client.

Housetraining and Crate Training

Proper housetraining techniques; training a dog to go on command, in a litter box, or in one place; how to choose and use a crate.

Dog Selection (Graded Project)

Pairing the most suitable breed with a prospective owner.

Instruction Set 5

Canine Equipment

Food Bowls to leashes to safe toys.


Basic obedience training.

Instruction Set 6


Ensuring a positive human-dog bond at an early age; puppy house training; socialization and how to prevent problems in adult dogs.

Teaching Tricks

Instructing clients to teach tricks to their dogs; positive reinforcement techniques for the dog and handler; fun and useful tricks.

Training Through Play

Understanding play behaviour; play in the context of obedience training; increasing the dog's motivation for training.

Instruction Set 7

Basic Veterinary Issues

Recognizing signs of illness and distress; how to respond in the case of an emergency; addressing behavioural problems; reproductive science; medications; care for dogs in their old age.

Behaviour Problems

Common behaviour problems; strategies for prevention and treatment.

Behavioural Analysis (Graded Project)

Analyzing scenarios to determine if there’s a behavioural problem involved.

Instruction Set 8

Competition Obedience

Terminology and requirements of the various levels of competition obedience.

Additional Material

Reference: The Right Dog for You

Emergency Care

Triage and readiness; common emergency presentations; chemical and physical disorders; client communication and grief management.

Instruction Set 9

Hunting Training

Examine hunting breeds; different training methods; hunting and field tests.

Assistance Dogs

Guide, hearing, service, seizure alert, and therapy dogs; dogs in medical emergencies; legal aspects of working with an assistance dog.

Instruction Set 10

Agility Training

Navigating agility courses as a sport, speed and accuracy in competition; communication between dog and master.

Search and Rescue Training

Techniques in ground and water searches; what dogs are suitable for a particular rescue mission; organizations involved in search and rescue around the world; certificates associated with this work.

Recreational Activities with Dogs

Sharing “down-time”; catch, flying disc, and walks in the park; organized activities for dog and owner.

Agility Handling and Courses (Graded Project)

Build an agility course using standard symbols of agility course design.

Instruction Set 11

The Dog Training Business, Parts 1 and 2

Demographics related to starting a business; developing a plan; obtaining funding; advertising and marketing issues; customer relations; legal issues relative to a small business.

Creating a Business Plan (Graded Project)

Developing a mock business plan using the information gathered from the preceding business units.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
In order to further enhance your performance in this field, ICS has researched and recommended specific practical activities designed to complement your course work.
To ensure that you acquire the manual skills which are important in this program area, we encourage you to follow all of the course instructions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Dog Obedience/Trainer sample lesson, click here.

Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor Training Program Details

In ICS Canada’s Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor training program, you'll cover topics such as:

  • Canine biology and behavior
  • Proper equipment and voice commands for different breeds
  • Communicating with dog owners
Dog training classes online

Dog obedience trainers train dogs and teach pet owners how to train and handle their own animals. As a dog obedience trainer/instructor, you can prepare dogs for law-enforcement or security, work for a dog obedience training facility or a pet store, or start a training business of your own. Here are a few qualities that effective dog obedience trainers/instructors have in common:

  • Patient: It takes time and practice to properly train a dog.
  • Communicative: You listen and talk through situations with dog owners, and are confident in giving commands to dogs.
  • Sociable: Spending time with others is fun and rewarding.
  • Compassionate: You care about the health and well-being of other people and animals.

"I chose to further my education and accounting knowledge with ICS Canada while working as an accounting clerk, which allowed me to move up within the company at which I am currently working. Studying with ICS Canada was a great experience, and the instructors were very helpful when it came to resolving any issues I had while studying."

- Sean S., ICS Canada graduate

"I have taken three diploma courses with ICS Canada. It has been very rewarding and challenging. I love to increase my knowledge level and share experiences. ICS Canada is great. Enrol! The contact with them is always very pleasant. You feel like a part of the ICS team."

- Connie K., ICS Canada graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids, including videos, references, and a dog breed chart
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Exclusive access to ICS Canada’s Student and Alumni Facebook Group
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What are the benefits of the Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor Training Program?

The Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor Training Program teaches students the necessary skills to successfully train dogs. This program can be useful for students to use on their own dogs, or for students hoping to work at Humane Societies, obedience training facilities, or pet stores.

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