The Master Trainer Course includes and expands upon the material covered in the Professional Obedience/Behavior Course. This course covers a wide variety of civil-service uses for canine training including service dogs for the physically disabled, utilizing techniques for enhancing the dog’s natural instincts of protection, scent discrimination and tracking/trailing. Students learn the proper, safe and effective methods to teach dogs to control these instincts and put them to use in civil settings to assist society. While not every student may actively use these types of specialty training, the knowledge and experience has proven invaluable when the student becomes a professional trainer. These skills allow students to expand their horizons, giving them much-needed confidence and problem solving ability.
This course provides additional coverage of small business operation and dog owner counseling. Students will receive continued opportunities to observe the National K-9 staff trainers as they conduct evaluations, private lessons, group lessons and follow-up lessons. A unit on kennel management is provided for graduates that wish to incorporate residency training programs and/or boarding into their training practices.
The primary objective of this course is to prepare students for a career in almost any facet of professional dog training. This instruction will qualify most graduates to begin a multi-faceted training practice or to seek employment with many different types of training centers or related occupations. The following breakdown of units represents a combination of classroom lectures on theory, practical application of instruction in supervised workshops, and independent study sessions.
6-week Master Training Course
Students will receive instruction and participate in practical application of off-leash obedience as it relates to the family companion and working dogs. Building on foundation presented in the Basic Obedience and Advanced Obedience Introduction units, this unit includes:
- Training techniques and practical usage of off-leash obedience commands
- Expansion on proper application of training tools and equipment
- Methods for training a dog to work from hand signals and distraction diversification
- Opportunities to observe different breeds, ages, and personalities of dogs training off-leash
This unit will expose students to types of service dogs, related terminology, and service dog trainer ethics. Students will learn the importance of proper client and dog selection when forming service dog teams. Standards of behaviors for service dogs and public access expectations will also be covered.
Assistance Dog Training requires continual creative problem solving by trainers to match dogs to the unique abilities and needs of disabled individuals. Students are exposed to many facets of training including necessary problem-solving skills to meet the recipient’s individual needs. The classroom and workshop instruction provide a foundation for training physical assistance related service dogs. This unit covers:
- Evaluation of special training needs for the physically challenged
- Performing all obedience commands on the right side as well as the left side
- Basic obedience with a wheelchair-bound, walker/cane restricted handler
- Retrieval of dropped items and counter retrieval
- Pulling wheelchairs, activating switches, and other specialized training challenges
- Selection of dogs for support training and proper socialization
- Education and public relations with service dog recipients
This unit introduces students how to utilize a dog’s highly developed sense of smell. Because of their keen sense of smell, dogs can assist us with locating lost individuals, disaster survivors, cadaver remains, narcotics, explosives, and more. This unit’s classroom and workshop instruction will provide an overview and some hands-on experience in the basics of:
- Types of detection training
- Evaluation and selection of dogs for detection training
- Odor imprinting and training aids
- Scent training, search scenarios, and search patterns
- Detection dog handling techniques, equipment, and training records
- Reading of scenting dog’s body language
- Advanced Utility training to teach dogs to jump over obstacles, climb, navigate on moving or unstable objects, and other skills that may be required of dogs in civil duty
This unit expands on the information covered in the Scent Detection unit by introducing students to dogs’ ability to track and trail lost or elusive people. This introduction to tracking and trailing will expose students to the following in classroom and workshop instruction:
- Evaluating and selecting dogs for tracking and trailing training
- Foundation training and teaching the dog soft-mouth retrieval for greater reliability while tracking and trailing
- Basic handling techniques and equipment
- Use of a scent article and article finds
- Uses and differences of air scenting versus tracking and trailing
- Search patterns and techniques
- Impact of environment, geography and the effects of weather conditions
- Continued concentrated reading of canine body language
The goal of Personal Protection Training is to teach qualified dogs how to recognize a threat on command towards their owner/handler and refine a dog’s natural protective instincts to provide owner-controlled defense. Although some dogs do not readily show aggression, they do possess the ability to protect their owners. This form of training prepares the dog to defend his/her owner on command by naturally enhancing the dog’s suspicion level and building their confidence.
One of the greatest benefits in learning to train dogs in protection work is that the students thoroughly learn how to recognize the difference between real aggression and “bluff” or defensive-type aggression. Students who are not certain they will train dogs for protection, find that this part of the course greatly improves their ability to read and deal with all sorts of aggression problems during customer evaluations and obedience training, regardless of the breed or size of dog.
Emphasis is placed on the safety of both the dog and owner. Students also are taught to evaluate the limitations of a protection trained dog. All forms of training to control aggression are accomplished and refined without physical abuse by utilizing the dog’s natural abilities while retaining his/her out-going and friendly personality.
Students will experience:
- How to evaluate a dog to determine if she/he has the potential to become a protection dog
- How to evaluate and access an individual customer’s need for a personal protection dog
- How to enhance a dog’s natural defensive abilities and increase their confidence level
- The art of criminal agitation through naturally raising the dog’s suspicion level by participating in agitation sessions in supervised workshops
- How to read and react instantaneously to canine body language
Students will receive instruction in Kennel Management, including kennel design, proper ventilation, business operation, record keeping, sanitation, and more. Through lecture and a guided tour of the National K-9 kennel system, students gain the knowledge needed to design kennel facilities of any size or to purchase and renovate existing kennel set-ups to keep those kennels operating safely.
Topics addressed include:
- Design and construction of new kennel buildings or renovation of existing facilities
- Kennel cleaning and sanitation procedures
- Record-keeping procedures for training and boarding dogs
- Stress-reduction and stress management in kenneled dogs
- • Proper handling and care of boarding dogs