4-Week Professional Obedience and Behavior Course

Professional Obedience/Behavior Course

About the Course

The primary objective of this course is to prepare students for a career in the field of professional obedience training and behavior modification for dogs. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to evaluate both the dog’s personality as well as the customer’s needs. Graduates of this course are then able to formulate appropriate training approaches and programs to successfully train individual dogs. Students are instructed how to effectively educate the owners in proper handling and modification of their dog’s behavior. This instruction will qualify most graduates to begin their own training practices or to seek employment with an established dog-training center upon completion of the course.

This course begins with a study of the canine personality types and the characteristics and temperament of different breeds of dogs. In addition, students learn how to evaluate a dog’s personality, temperament, aptitude, and how to apply that knowledge in training and behavior modification. With the assistance of our instructors, students learn techniques and proper training equipment application used for behavior modification and on and off-leash obedience.

Because most undesirable dog behavior grows from a lack of communication between dog and owner, students learn how to establish an effective line of communication between dog and owner through proper handling and obedience commands. Throughout this course students are provided with the contributing causes and solutions to many canine related behavior problems.

Students will also be exposed to in-depth units related to puppy development. Students will learn how a puppy’s personality develops and the importance of proper socialization. The process of temperament testing a litter of puppies will be covered. Students will also learn the importance of establishing a puppy pre-school class that is designed to teach the puppy owner’s role in raising a well-mannered and well-behaved dog.

Students will learn how to maintain a healthy dog. It is important for a trainer to able to identify a dog that needs to see a veterinarian for health issue as opposed to pursuing training for behavior problem.  Students gain the ability to recognize the most common communicable diseases and internal or external parasites that afflict dogs. It is important for a trainer to be able to identify a dog that needs to see a veterinarian for an illness as opposed to pursuing training for a behavior problem. During this course students will receive a dog first aid certification and instruction from a licensed veterinarian. Students will also receive guidance in planning, opening, and operating their own training business.

The following breakdown of topics represents a combination of classroom lectures, practical application of instruction in supervised workshops, instructor observation, and independent study sessions.

course specifics

Basic Obedience

This unit covers

  • The importance of complete owner/dog pre-training evalutions
  • Evaluation and study of canine personalities and effective training approaches
  • How to determine and discuss training methods and techniques with dog owners
  • How obedience training relates to everyday dog behavior problems, effective communication, and the foundation for more advanced training
  • Proper introduction and application of training tools and equipment
  • How to teach and use obedience commands for everyday life, including Heel, Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Stand, Finish and more
  • Opportunities to work with and observe different breeds, ages, and personalities of dogs
  • Instruction and observation of pre-training evaluations, customer lessons, and group classes with our staff trainers with staff trainers
Advanced Obedience

Students will receive instruction and practical application of off-leash obedience as it relates to the family companion and working dogs. Building the foundation presented in the Basic Obedience unit, this unit includes:

  • Evaluating dogs and owners for advanced and off-leash obedience
  • The importance and application of distraction and diversification training
  • Methods for training a dog to hand signals alone
  • Use of group classes to assist dog owners with advanced and off-leash obedience transitions
  • Techniques for transitioning towards off-leash obedience commands
  • Use of a place mat command in which a dog must stay in a designated area
  • Implementation and instruction of group obedience classes
  • Opportunities to observe different breeds or mixes, ages, and personalities of dogs training off-leash
  • Information regarding Therapy Dog screening and related training
Behavior Modification

Students will study the causes and remedies of common behavioral problems such as house training, chewing, jumping, barking, digging, running away, dog aggression, people aggression, and many other forms of unwanted behavior. Individual case histories are reviewed in class to help students understand how dogs develop unwanted behaviors and how these behaviors can be prevented and corrected.

In this unit students are also exposed to a variety approaches to assist dogs with socialization and confidence related problems and behaviors. Special emphasis is placed on dealing with various forms of aggression directed towards dogs, other animals, and people.

Utility Training

Utility training compliments obedience training and behavior modification by providing dogs with confidence-building exercises. It is especially helpful for timid and shy dogs and also prepares confident dogs for civil work  and other forms of service. Students will learn how to safely teach dogs how 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 also introduces agility training through practical application and observation of National K-9’s agility classes provided to National K-9 clientele.

Breed Characteristics & Temperament Study

To assist students in accurately evaluating dogs as it pertains to puppy development, obedience training, and behavior modification. This unit provides:

  • Details of the physical characteristics and purposes of American Kennel Club (A.K.C.) recognized breeds
  • Review of breed aptitude and typical training problems based on National K-9’s extensive training history
  • Discussion of how breed characteristics influence mixed breed dogs and puppies.
Puppy Temperament Testing

This unit provides information on the value and process of puppy temperament testing as it applies to matching dogs with individual owners for companionship and/or service goals.

The ability to temperament test puppies to find suitable matches is one of the most valuable skills that a professional trainer can possess. Practical applications include testing a puppy to be a family pet, therapy dog, service dog, scent training, or other specialized training.

Understanding puppy temperament testing will allow trainers and owners to recognize the signs of potential problems. These problems can then be avoided or corrected by proper handling and socialization during the formative stages of puppy development. Students receive comprehensive instruction not only through lecture, but review of National K-9’s video footage of previous temperament tests.

Puppy Development and Preschool

Each year millions of dogs are given up by owners or euthanized due to behavior problems. The reason is usually a lack of understanding between dog and owners. Most of the dogs given up each year were dogs that as puppies were never socialized correctly or taught how to fit into our domestic world. Most puppy owners just assume that since their dog is provided plenty of love that the dog will turn out just fine. Puppies need more than registration papers, food, and love to become great pets or provide service related training. Puppy preschool is designed to teach the puppy owners their role in raising a well-mannered and well-behaved dog.

The main objective of this section is to teach students how dogs learn and how people can influence and shape the behavior of their growing puppy. Puppy pre-school is designed to teach owners to better understand their puppy’s needs, establish effective communication, curb behavior problems, and to show owners how to socialize puppies properly.

National K-9 students will learn how to set-up and teach their own puppy pre-school program. Students will receive information on how to complete individual puppy consultations to assist puppy owners.  Students are also given the opportunity to observe and participate in our weekly classes given to our local clientele. This allows them to receive practical experience that they will need to start their own puppy preschool. The puppy pre-school teaches the following:

  • How to develop a puppy’s learning skills and introduce them to proper animal socialization, people socialization, and object socialization skills.
  • How to solve and prevent future behavioral problems such as chewing, play biting, barking, house training, jumping, aggression, and more.
  • Informational topics such as proper puppy handling, introducing grooming tools, basic first aid, and basic dog care.
  • The importance of continuing a puppy’s education by participating in obedience training.
Dog Care

This subject matter exposes students to the vital issues of maintaining a dog’s health and recognizing the early signs of health problems. This unit is taught in part by a licensed veterinarian and includes Pet First Aid Certification. Points of focus include:

  • Completion of a Pet First Aid Certification course that includes CPR techniques, first aid skills, and health care and wellness information for dogs
  • Introduction to dog nutrition
  • Signs, symptoms, effects, and prevention of the most common and fatal canine diseases
  • Signs, symptoms, effects, and prevention of common internal and external parasites
  • Kennel sanitation and health needs as they pertain to dogs’ health and prevention of infectious diseases and parasites
  • Proper introduction and use of grooming tools (nail trimming, brushing, and bathing)
  • Health concerns in connection with training.
Customer Relations

Students learn the important aspects of customer evaluations and relations. Students will also learn how to teach owners proper handling of their dogs as most undesirable behavior grows from a lack of communication between dog and owner.

Also covered is how to counsel clients regarding their habits and behaviors, which have a great impact on the dog’s behavior. In addition to classroom lecture and study, students are given the opportunity to observe the National K-9’s staff of certified professional trainers as they conduct evaluations, private lessons, follow-up lessons, and group classes. During observations, the students will learn problem-solving skills in dealing with various customer situations.  The ability to effectively communicate and instruct people is crucial to the dog’s, owner’s, and dog trainer’s success.

Kennel Management

Students will receive instruction in Kennel Management and care of dogs in a kennel environment. Students will be instructed on 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
Small Business Operation

Students receive instruction on how to set up their dog training business. In-home training, studio training, and a complete boarding/training facility are discussed. Topics include:

  • Required training equipment and supplies
  • Advertising, promotion, and public relations
  • Managing the competition
  • Customer interaction and relations
  • Pricing services and record keeping
  • Continued observation of the National K-9 staff trainers as they conduct evaluations, private lessons, group lessons and follow-up lessons

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