Details & Requirements | DTF

Who Should Take This Course

Dog Trainer Foundations student

The Dog Trainer Foundations course is ideal for anyone who would like to build a solid foundation in positive reinforcement-based training. This would include "traditional" trainers looking to explore force-free techniques.
This course is also ideal for those who already work with dogs in some capacity but would like to broaden their understanding of how best to train and interact with them and how to use this knowledge in their work. This group could include:

  • Shelter workers
  • Veterinary professionals
  • Dog walkers
  • Pet sitters

Finally, this course is designed for those who would like to enroll in our professional Dog Trainer Program and launch a dog-trainer career, but need more education and experience with clicker training and/or more dog-related knowledge.

If you do not know which course is right for you, compare our two Dog Trainer courses.

Admission Requirements

You do not need any previous experience with dog training. Whether you are a "crossover trainer" who has been using more traditional training methods and would like to learn more about positive reinforcement training, or you are just starting out with no prior training experience, this course will give you the foundation you need to become a great trainer.


The course is taught by the Faculty of Karen Pryor Academy.

Course Details

The Dog Trainer Foundations course features clear and engaging content designed for our online classroom and includes dozens of high-quality videos and step-by-step training exercises. The course is divided into 7 lesson units that feature 28 in-home practice training activities and 40 high-quality training videos. Students can interact with peers and their instructor via an online discussion board.

Students proceed through the course at their own pace. The course has been designed to be completed in 8 weeks, but students have up to 12 weeks from their start date to complete the course.
Check out the Course Guide and Learning Goals.

Student Support

Three types of support are available: support from the teacher, support from peers, and in-course support.

  • One-on-one support via email, phone, chat, or video review is included in the cost of course tuition (limited to one hour per student).
  • Support from peers occurs within the discussion forums provided through the course's online classroom. Academy faculty members monitor and participate in these forum discussions.
  • In-course support includes an online glossary, an FAQ section, and a digital library - all accessible to students throughout their enrollment in the course.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Students of the Dog Trainer Foundations course can receive CEUs for completion of the course.

  • The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) awards 21 CEUs.
  • The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) awards 21 CEUs.
  • This program was reviewed and approved by AAVSB RACE program for 12 hours of continuing education in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval. Please contact the AAVSB RACE program if you have any comments/concerns regarding this program’s validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession.

Enrollment Schedule

Enroll online and begin the course any time after you enroll. After you've completed the enrollment process, you will be given access to the course and can begin right away!

Learn more about Tuition and Payment >

Required Materials

  • A computer with high-speed Internet access
  • A modern web browser. We test with the latest versions of: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera
  • Support for Adobe PDF documents (the latest version of Adobe Reader or Mac OS X Preview)
  • Temporary access to a video recorder such as a camcorder, cell phone, digital camera with video option, or webcam (recommended, but not required)
  • Access to a dog you can train regularly
  • Occasional help from a human assistant

Required Training Supplies

NOTE: The KPA Student Pack from KPCT contains everything needed to complete course exercises. Already a great value at $39.95, KPA students can purchase this pack at a discounted rate by entering the promo code located near the beginning of the course.

Get more detailed info on what you'll need for the course (PDF).