Details & Requirements | DSE

Who Should Take This Course

This course is ideal for anyone interested in dog sports, whether you are just starting out, currently competing, or instructing dog sports classes. The framework of core concepts and skills laid out in this course will help everyone from novice handlers to seasoned competitors and instructors.

Admission Requirements

To get the most out of this course, students should already be familiar with the basics of clicker training, including mechanical skills, capturing and shaping behavior, cueing, and the basics of canine emotional signals. Dogs should understand the relationship between click and treat, and how to offer behavior on their own. If you and your dog do not have this experience, we recommend that you take Karen Pryor Academy’s Dog Trainer Foundations course before the Dog Sports Essentials course.

Course Authors and Coaches

Lynne Stephens, KPA CTP

Lynne Stephens is co-owner and trainer at DogLogic Training near Statesville in North Carolina. She was an educator in England for 26 years and has more than 30 years' experience in a variety of dog sports. Lynne has taken her own dogs to the highest levels of competition both in the USA and abroad.

In 1987, Lynne won the prestigious Working Trials competition, ASPADS (Associated Sheep, Police and Army Dogs) Patrol Dog of the Year with a Belgian Tervueren. She was a member of the British World Agility team in 2003 and 2004 with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel and has taken both Cavaliers and Border Collies to AKC and USDAA agility Nationals in the USA.

Lynne now combines her passion for teaching, learning, and dogs in her roles as agility specialist, instructor, and seminar presenter at DogLogic. At first a “cross-over” trainer, Lynne now fully embraces positive reinforcement, marker-based training and graduated with honors from Karen Pryor Academy as a Certified Training Partner in December 2013.

These days Lynne considers that some of her greatest teachers are the dogs with which she and her husband share their home. Her greatest piece of advice to students and to herself is, “Love your dogs, keep an open mind, and never stop learning!”

Karen Mielke, KPA CTP

Karen is co-owner and trainer at DogLogic training near Statesville in NC. Always fascinated by the scientific principles governing learning and behavior, she has found her training niche in the positive-reinforcement, marker-based training community. Karen is eager to seize any opportunity to increase her training knowledge. She graduated with honors from Karen Pryor Academy the first year this prestigious certification was offered. Karen is a Certified American Treibball Trainer and Judge as well as a Therapy Dog evaluator. She enjoys presenting clicker-related seminars as well as teaching group classes and working with private clients at her training facility. Playing Agility and Treibball with her personal dogs is her favorite pastime.

Course Details

Dog Sports Essentials features clear and engaging content and includes dozens of high-quality videos and step-by-step training exercises. The course covers: using play and food as reinforcers, handling skills, play and self control, how to establish rock-solid cues that are on stimulus control and trained to fluency, building solid behavior chains, and more!

The course is divided into 7 lessons that feature:

  • high-quality videos
  • training exercises
  • informative articles

Students proceed through the course at their own pace and will receive access to the course for one year upon enrollment.

Check out the Course Guide and Learning Goals.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Students of the Dog Sports Essentials 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 12 CEUs.
  • Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) awards 12 CEUs to KPA Certified Training Partners.

Enrollment Schedule

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

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 at least one dog you can train regularly
  • Occasional help from a human assistant

Required training supplies

  • Clickers
  • Treat bag
  • Plenty of high-quality treats

Suggested equipment/supplies (optional, not required)

  • balance disc
  • chair
  • bed sheet
  • low-to-the-ground platform
  • Hula hoop
  • traffic safety cone or a soccer cone
  • wooden plank (for example, a 2 X 10" board)
  • skateboard
  • ladder
  • occasional access to a wooded area with logs
  • long line/training lead