Learning Goals | DTF

The Dog Trainer Foundations course is designed to give you a solid foundation in clicker training and a deeper understanding of dog behavior.

Whether your goal is simply to improve your relationship with your dog, or to go on to Karen Pryor Academy’s flagship Dog Trainer Program, you will emerge with a solid understanding of force-free training. This course will help you understand the science behind clicker training and teach you the mechanical skills needed to use this technology effectively.

Upon completing the course, you will be able to:

  • describe what clicker training is and why it works better and faster than punishment-based methods
  • train with a marker and reinforcers, without the need for corrections or physical control
  • identify, describe, and practice three techniques of getting behavior started: capturing, targeting, and shaping
  • teach new behaviors by breaking them down into small, achievable pieces
  • come up with sensible, positive approaches to replace undesired behaviors
  • fit your training skills into daily life with your dog
  • select and add appropriate cues to behaviors you teach
  • observe the emotional state of dogs by interpreting their body language
  • identify the key stages of canine development
  • describe what socialization is, why it is important, and how to use clicker training to help build your dog’s confidence
  • create training plans to teach new behaviors quickly and easily and help ensure your dog’s success
  • practice “clean” clicker mechanics, such as holding the clicker properly, keeping body language still, and delivering food treats swiftly and accurately
  • identify and use “real-life” reinforcement opportunities
  • understand the difference between management and training, and know how and when to use each
  • understand the dangers of using punishment
  • critically evaluate and “debunk” some popular myths about dog training
  • assess and improve your training skills