Dog Trainer Foundations

“Thank you! I learned so much!! The course really pulled together the different concepts I had been trying to fully understand and assimilate in training sessions. It’s wonderful to feel better equipped to solve previous “training dilemmas.” Training and learning new things are much more enjoyable for my dogs too! I will definitely recommend this course to others.”

“I enjoyed the experience and learned a significant amount.

Getting my skills precise and speedy for clicking was extremely helpful. Our dogs, Bandit and Smokey Rose, became very happy participants in the experience.

One of the most important outcomes of the course is how much the fun of clicking for my dogs greatly helped with Smokey's reactivity. Her overall confidence improved, along with a measurable drop in the frequency of barking and a quicker return to calm. (We had been doing a bunch of other methods to help her with these, but clicker training was new. For a specific example, let's say she hears a car horn beeping - a typical trigger. Well, she will rush over to the windows & doors, barking fiercely. When I used to just call her name and say "yes" for looking over at me, she would ignore me & continue barking. Now, if I click at the point she looks at me, she quiets down almost immediately and rushes to me for her reward.”

I just this morning finally reached my goal of having my dog calmly accept a Dremel tool to trim his nails—YEA!! I've felt all along that this would be the true test: Would I learn anything in this course that I couldn't learn—or hadn't already learned—from all the clicker training books and videos I've already invested in? The answer is YES. The KPA Dog Trainer Foundations course has done the trick; I now know for sure that I'm making real progress in my clicker skills. I so needed the structure and motivation this course provides to advance my clicker skills, and to get past this major roadblock.

Yesterday I completed my Dog Trainer Foundations course. I say my because I have become very attached to this place of learning, virtual as it may be, and I am sad to let it go. It was a marvelous experience—a life-changer really—and I have learned so much, thanks to your ‘presence’ and additional input. I now have much food for thought as well as action. I live in a part of Italy where animals in general, and dogs in particular, are not valued. I will have to devise a strategy to change this and positive reinforcement will certainly play a big part.

Thank you to all at Karen Pryor Academy for the wonderful course.

Taking the course was the best thing I could have done. I gave me a foundation in dog knowledge, some basic training skills, and an approach to training that I haven't had before.

I have submitted my application to the full training program and have my interview next week. I am assuming I will be accepted(!) and am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of and experience with dogs.

Just want to say a huge Thank You for the course. I have enjoyed myself. I have been clicker training for a number of years but I felt I needed to ground myself and do a refresher. It was great and to be able to see the improvements in myself is huge.

I really enjoyed the course. Trina, my beagle, is the first dog I have ever trained. We have been doing flex training, nose works. some treiball and canine dance for a couple of years, primarily using a 'yes' marker, but moving to using a clicker after I started watching some videos. I really had no understanding of the foundations to good training or why things were working/not working until I took the course. Trina and I had some of the basic exercises down before the course (like go to mat), but now have a better understanding of the many functional uses for these exercises.

During the course, Trina earned her Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert Trick Dog titles. We had been working on tricks for a year and half, but the clicker training really helped me advance her skills!

"I'm working through the KPA Dog Trainer Foundations course, and am currently going through the Cooperative Vet Care section. I just watched the video with the blood draw and was, again, in awe of the practical, wonderful applications of clicker training. EXCELLENT WORK! I'm really impressed with this program, so much so that I've submitted my application for the full KPA Dog Trainer Program! I'm thrilled to have finally found the type of dog training that really "speaks" to me. Keep up the great work!"

"Loved the experience! I wish I had taken up clicker training long ago— the Dog Trainer Foundations course was the perfect introduction! The material is presented clearly, the activities were all very useful and definitely inspire further creativity in the handler.

In about six weeks, my dog easily doubled his cues with clicker training, learning more complex behaviors than even possible with traditional training. His retention and understanding are easy to see, and he wags at every click.

I've really enjoyed not saying "No" and I’m sure he’s enjoyed not hearing me say "No!"

I never saw this intensity of focus, understanding and enthusiasm from him with other training methods. In mere minutes with clicker training he "gets it!"

"This class has been one of the best things I have ever done for me and with my dogs. The online course is excellent, combining information with activities and videos so that the learner can "see" both trainer and dog at work, learning...and then be that trainer, applying what was just seen or described. The material was interesting. Every day I looked forward to what the topic would be and what I would learn. The course was such a good part of my day for six weeks and I will miss it!"

"The training was quite instructive for both me and Duke. I found the skills tasks helpful, and the course very thorough and well-planned.  I loved the videos! The course definitely lived up to my expectations and more! Thank you for a great course."

"I wanted to let you know how grateful I am to the whole KPA staff. Everyone has been very quick to respond to my questions, the Dog Trainer Foundations course is excellent, and I can't wait to learn more."

"Just finished my Dog Trainer Foundations course through KPA and I was NOT disappointed! I am a dog trainer working in Iceland and I think it is very very important for all dog trainers to keep educating themselves and not get stuck in old habits. The Foundations course helped me get up and keep on moving! Thanks again."

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Dog Trainer Professional

“I opened the “congratulations” email and burst into tears! Wow, what an amazing 6 months! Your program has changed my life in so many ways already. The bond I have formed with my pup Lib is just beautiful. And the bonds I formed with my classmates are so rare in this busy world we live in. I am so grateful for the friendships we have formed, and the skills I have learned. I am honored to become part of the KPA team and community.”

“This course has been the most amazing experience of my life and I am so pleased that I put other things aside for it. It has been so worth it.”

“This has been without doubt the most rewarding achievement of my life. Really life changing.”

“It has been a fantastic 9 months and both myself and my dog, Rune, have loved every minute. I am so proud to be a part of KPA.”

“I'm so proud of what we achieved and to be a part of KPA. It has been a wonderful learning experience.”

"I can't tell you how pleased I am to graduate. It's been a long time since I have genuinely felt overwhelmed or have had this sense of accomplishment. The dog trainer program exceeded all of my expectations and like all great learning experiences has left me knowing there is so much more to continue learning. Becoming a training partner is the beginning of a new chapter in my life."

"When people ask me about the Academy, I tell them that before I went I thought I was a clicker trainer. I had taught this method for eight years, attended many workshops, conferences, read piles of books, and also attended Expo. But I only had chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 out of 10. After the Academy I believe all 10 are in place. I just had countless “ah-ha” moments. I have never spent time in such a supportive, positive learning atmosphere with such lovely people. We were all there for each other through phone and e-mail. We worked out problems we were having in between classes and found a safe environment to share training ideas with everyone at workshops. We continue to be friends and plan future training opportunities together. I have said that it is one of the most challenging and valuable things I have done in my life."

"I'm so delighted to be a KPA graduate. The course far surpassed my expectations and has created a monumental shift in my life's path and purpose. Thank you all for the support and this tremenous opportunity for future growth."

"I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoyed my experience with KPA, from the initial contact with Tia and Laura to the quality of the entire curriculum.

I have taken thousands of hours of courses and certification training, but KPA is in a league of its own. It's not just that the Academy is able to make complex ideas so easily understandable, KPA has made a science of this art. KPA has chosen knowledgeable teachers who are able to deliver information in a manner that empowers and excites the learner.

Steve Benjamin does this with an intense passion that nurtures and motivates his students - his zeal is infectious and his students cannot help but succeed.

Caesy Lomonaco sets the example of what a student can become. She is devoted, energetic, and a gifted teacher to both her humans and canine clients."

"Thanks again to all of you. This course has helped to solidify my understanding of how to train, and been a huge confidence booster. One of my huge takeaways is the understanding of how crucial positive reinforcement is for not only the dogs, but the people as well. Creating a warm, safe, training environment, where language is carefully selected to boost the owner's confidence is a huge piece of the training puzzle. For both dogs and their people, ignore the mistakes, reinforce the positive, train an alternate behavior, build confidence, and most of all have fun! It has been an absolute pleasure to share the last six months with you all!"

"I really enjoyed the Academy and learned so much. The set up of the program was absolutely wonderful and I felt supported from everyone I had contact with. I have never been through any learning program that was so positive. At first it seemed strange and even a little uncomfortable to have so much positive input, but soon I relaxed and let it carry me and realized how much confidence it gave me. I hope my dog feels the same when we learn together."

"Thanks for offering this program. I got involved at the right time. I learned a huge amount!"

"KPA was such a fantastic experience! Not only does the course cover almost any aspect of training/teaching but it also gives you a profound insight. I think this it what makes it so unique. It gives you both a complete understanding of what you are doing out there with the dogs as well as the skills to observe and click!"

"It has been a wild, bumpy ride but a ride that was well worth it. I am not the same person I was in January when I first signed up. I am more confident of my knowledge and skills. I signed up with KPA to be a better trainer. I have no doubt I am, but I became a better person as well. I most certainly believe in the Academy's curriculum and mission."

""I have great respect for the program and the people that make up KPA. It has proven to be a sincere, dedicated, and committed organization, one in which I am very proud to say I have participated.

I am hoping to have a fruitful career with the new knowledge and training I have received through the Academy. But what is truly more important, probably the most important item, is my understanding of animals, the respect that they need and deserve. I have always had love for animals but never had the knowledge of how intelligent and aware they are of their lives. It was not only the program that gave me this new insight, but Steve [Benjamin], too. He really showed me through his class lectures, direct questions, and casual conversations what a magnificent gift God has given us. I will never forget that.

Respectfully and humbly,"

"I wanted to extend my congratulations to you, and ask that you pass this along to Karen as well, for the creation of a terrific program from start to finish. I just received my diploma and am so pleased! The quality and rigor of the program is unparalleled, as are the materials and the support that students receive.

I think this has been the best investment of money and time I’ve spent for my dog training career and education. Karen Pryor Academy is top-notch in every aspect. I look forward to seeing you all in Kentucky at Clicker Expo. I’m a proud KPA Certified Training Partner!

Thanks for making my day (month, year!),"

"I've grown so much as a trainer. I've learned new techniques and why things actually work, plus the friendships are priceless."

"I'm really excited about my first workshop this coming weekend. I've been plowing through the material and have found it incredibly challenging and useful. I really needed this coursework more than I realized. I have discovered that my criteria for cueing are very, very weak. I've been way too accepting of ‘offered behaviors.’ I have learned a tremendous amount about training already in this first month of class. But, more importantly, I am learning a great deal more about myself and about my expectations for myself and for my animals. And, most importantly, I am learning to expand my conception of what is possible.

Thank you again for making this opportunity possible."

"I know it's a lot of money and a big decision that only you can make but I can say that everyone I've talked to that's enrolled in the Academy is as excited about it as I am!" (expand/collapse)

"All my memories of the Academy will stay in my heart forever."

"Often veterinary professionals are not sure to whom they should refer clients for animal training. It can be difficult to find a trainer who uses non-punishment-based training, appreciates and respects the human-animal bond, and demonstrates good rapport and teaching ability with owners. This dilemma has been resolved by the creation of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. (expand/collapse)

"The marketing advice in the KPA program has been invaluable. It’s helped me design how to market, who to target, and how to capture useful data to plan further. Having that help to refine the financial & marketing aspects of my business plan made a huge difference. Especially since a dog training facility was outside the experience of any of the business consultants helping me."

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Canine Freestyle

I HIGHLY recommend Michele's Canine Freestyle I course to anyone who is interested in this fantastic sport. Michele's grace/style is fabulous & is clearly evident in videos course provides. The amount of information graciously offered is worth every cent :) You won't feel disappointed ... in fact you will finish feeling accomplished and motivated to continue with Canine Freestyle.

"Your course is ideal for anyone from beginner through experienced freestyle trainers. The course is well organized with clear instruction and wonderful visual aids throughout.You are a top notch instructor as well as a brilliant trainer. As I have mentioned to you before, your contributions to dogs and their trainers is priceless and admirable."

"I was brought to tears watching Michele and her "boys" in slow motion with their performance heeling demo set to music. I look forward to each lesson with great anticipation. What a terrific course this is."

"I've never taken an online course before, and I wasn't too enthusiastic about it—but I'm a convert!! It's a GREAT way to learn. Michele is so organized in her presentation, and the supporting materials (videos, PDFs, etc.) are a terrific complement to the course."

"....There is so much information, I find I keep reviewing to get the details. My dog has improved so much, I want to keep going and do more!!! I was reluctant to take an online course, now I recommend it to everyone..."

THANK YOU MICHELE! Over this past cold, snowy winter, Rex and I have followed each and every lesson in your online Freestyle Course religiously. We’ve gone back to square one to re-train (using a clicker) even those behaviors I assumed he already knew. We’ve had to make very few adjustments along the way and the most thrilling part is that Rex seems so happy I’ve learned to communicate in a way he understands! Guess introducing and mastering the proper use of a clicker, along with clean training, is like completing the Rosetta Stone course of dog language. I refer to my new skill as being able to “COMMUNICLICK” with my dog. I’ve learned more in the past 6 months from you than I learned over the past 45 years of owning dogs. Thank you again!

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Puppy Start Right for Instructors

"I enjoyed the course so much, I didn't want it to end!! It has been one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever done. Fascinating, with so much information, and very well presented."

“I can really see such a value in this for clients and their dogs. I’ve had several puppies come in timid and exit with more confidence and I can really see a difference in how well they do in regular obedience classes compared to puppies that did not attend the PSR classes…it is so nice to be able make an important difference for my clients and their puppies. Thank you for writing the book and offering the course…I know I’m a better trainer because of it and I really appreciate that.

I really appreciate that you provided information to help put together presentations for veterinary offices. They love the idea of the PSR sessions and have been referring like crazy. ... I'm in a very small town and have had no problem getting enough puppies (4 or 5) for each session.”

This ten-lesson course contains the most complete set of instructions for holding puppy classes that I have seen anywhere! The thoroughness of the course is only exceeded by all of the other additional benefits that come with taking the course.

The Puppy Start Right course begins by covering the reasons why puppy classes are so critical to the healthy development of a dog, and proceeds to describe the developmental stages of the puppy in great detail. The science of learning is explained thoroughly in a way that should be readily understandable to anyone, no matter what the person’s prior experience is in this field. The explanations and videos demonstrating positive training techniques are excellent! The mechanics of clicker training are also covered in exquisite detail and include videos that demonstrate the technique as well as exercises for perfecting skills.

One aspect of the course that I find particularly appealing is that an entire lesson is dedicated to the diseases that concern puppy course instructors. This lesson includes the basic principles of the transmission of diseases that are most likely to be seen in young puppies, how to recognize signs of illness and how to clean and sanitize the puppy class environment properly. Guidelines for vaccinations and parasite control are also spelled out in detail.

Entire lessons are also dedicated to the marketing of puppy classes, and to the curriculum in step-by-step detail. Course materials also include checklists for supplies so that instructors know exactly what they need to prepare for each class. There is no need for each puppy class instructor to “reinvent the wheel,” because a complete set of handouts is included with the course. The handouts cover everything from teaching targeting, sit, loose-leash walking to handling and restraint exercises. The materials provided also include fliers for advertising courses, ready-made registration forms for attendees, and even certificates of completion!

Anyone interested in learning how to offer puppy classes should look no further! Everything they need to know is available here in one neat package from the Karen Pryor Academy.

"Jam-packed with everything you need! I am now confidently prepared and proud to provide a fun, convenient, and quality learning experience for new owners and their puppies."

"It is so amazing. Everyone in dog training should take this if they deal with puppies."

We have been attending Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo conferences for several years and have had the Puppy Start Right book for quite a while. We have been doing most of the things you teach (which we learned from you and Karen Pryor!) but taking this course allows us to structure much better. I think teaching our puppy-raisers more about animal behavior is going to be amazing! I know, for me, when the behavior is well-explained, it brings everything together so much better. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping to make our program better, allowing us to help change people's lives. What you are doing is huge and impacts so many people and animals.

Thank so much for this wonderful curriculum. I am hoping to start classes right after the first of the year and can hardly wait. Since I want to teach the course continually, and not in a linear fashion, I am relieved and thrilled to have the ability to provide orientation outside of class—and not have try to figure out how to make orientation work or make the presentations each week. You have thought of everything possible with all the lovely handouts, checklists, the lesson plans, and homework. It was like Christmas to open each one.

That was a great course!! Learned lots and took lots of notes!! Thank you for putting that together. I feel much more confident teaching my puppy classes—and it gave me great ideas!

As a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging “positive” or “compassionate” training techniques and providing other educational resources, we are happy to have the opportunity to offer Puppy Start Right in our community to complement our other class offerings. We are investigating the safest and most appropriate location for starting our classes and will be contacting local veterinary clinics to gauge interest in the coming weeks. Thank you again for putting together a wonderful and comprehensive training program focusing on developing the human-animal bond from puppyhood!

I have now completed the Puppy Start Right KPA program. I was very happy with the content and organization of the class. I learned a great deal and am very excited to change my Puppy Headstart classes to the PSR curriculum. Thanks for putting together such an excellent program!

Let me just give a rousing giant CONGRATULATIONS to Debbie and Ken Martin for this phenomenal course. I **highly** recommend it to any CTPs who are considering starting out teaching puppy classes, or who have been teaching puppy classes and want a fresh outlook.

I cannot say enough about how wonderfully this is organized! This is the puppy class I would feel comfortable taking a puppy to.

Seriously, we have all hit the jackpot. Such a good model for a completely positive experience for a puppy class—and a great resource.

We just finished our first session of Puppy Start Right classes and everyone loved the curriculum! Thank you for an awesome product!

First of all, I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I was with the course layout and the way each module flowed so well into the next one. The materials and topics covered are exactly what I was looking for in puppy socialization class and have eliminated the need for me to build/revise an ongoing curriculum. You’ve covered everything!

I was especially impressed and got-super excited with the marketing chapter. I can’t thank you enough for doing all of this legwork. Now I can approach the vets and get them on board (hopefully) and also help them see the business benefits. Very clever indeed—I hadn’t even thought of their business aspect before.

I can’t thank you enough for putting together such a wonderful, well-laid-out, and all-encompassing curriculum for puppy socialization. This course should be a standard for everyone who teaches puppy classes. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to putting this course together. You have created a very powerful “vaccine” that is sure to provide puppies lifelong “immunity” to behavior problems!

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Shelter Training & Enrichment

"This course is a bit like a good book - I can’t put it down! I am an experienced clicker trainer, but this has made me take stock and clean up my act, so to speak! On the shelter side of the course I found several tips, especially for enrichment ideas. I wanted to be able to recommend a course suitable for the trainee trainers who work with me. One of our trainers has already started it."

"I found it to be an excellent foundational course for trainers, shelter and rescue agency staff, and animal behavior students interested in developing and advancing their knowledge of shelter animal welfare for homeless cats and dogs. I will certainly recommend this course to volunteers, interns, and staff at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. Thank you for developing a comprehensive introductory program; it is beautifully compiled and of excellent quality. The videos are outstanding: great quality and great behaviors."

"As a seasoned clicker trainer new to the world of animal sheltering, I was elated to hear that my alma mater had come out with a course that would help me apply my existing training skills in the shelter environment in the most efficient way.

This fantastic resource provides plenty of new information, but also covers the basics well enough to benefit both those who are new to, and those who are experienced in, the fields of animal training and sheltering.

This course will help not only our shelter but many other shelters to develop staff, volunteers, and procedures that enhance adoption rates while improving the lives of the animals in our care. Thank you, KPA, from the dogs, cats, and staff of the Chemung County SPCA."

"The course exceeded all expectations, and once I started it I just couldn't stop! There is not too much information that could so easily overwhelm someone completely new to clicker training, but there is enough that it appeals to those who already work within the shelter environment and/or already have clicker training experience.

The Shelter Training & Enrichment course covers every aspect of clicker training in a shelter beautifully, in a concise and easy-to-follow format. The videos are especially useful, featuring clicker training in action with dogs/cats that are also new to the training. The results will surely sway those who are skeptics.

Downloadable PDFs are also extremely helpful; it's great to have a reference after the course is completed. I was amazed at the amount of information you managed to include in the course— enrichment, how to avoid spreading disease, and even working with adopters.

What a fabulous job you have done! Looking forward to spreading the word about this exemplary course."

"The course served as a great learning tool for all of us, and has re-energized me to figure out additional ways clicker methods can be included in my shelter.

Overall, I thought the content was GREAT and well laid-out! I absolutely LOVED how Lesson 3 was broken down into human and dog foundation skills. That was a GREAT way of splitting the lesson apart so the human learners realize they are training as partners rather than imparting training UPON another being (regardless of species). I also really liked the simplicity of breaking down the emotional signals into very understandable categories—happiness, stress, and aggression—and then reapplying those signals in a contextual basis.

The videos all fit very well with the intended content messages. The course layout is very flexible and is appropriate for longer learning sessions or shorter chunks of time. This flexibility is very nice for many adult learners who do not have a dedicated 2-3 hours to work through material at any one time.

A great mix of handouts, links, and videos! These "takeaways" for the learner are in the form of resources to be referred to at a later date. Bravo!"

"I think it’s a terrific product that provides a solid foundation in training and enrichment in a shelter setting. It’s great to see low-cost, “insider” tips for training and enrichment equipment. There are so many ways to be creative and provide enrichment with objects that the average person just wouldn’t think of. This savings is very important considering that most shelters don’t have the resources to purchase commercially made enrichment equipment. I really can’t say enough good things about this course!"

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Dog Sports Essentials

"There is no doubt that incorporating the skills taught in the course will improve my performance as a trainer. All of the exercises were valuable, and some were truly innovative."

"From everything I have learned about the 'new' agility, I believe this course covers all the basics and then some. If we decide to do another dog sport, we'll be that much ahead of the game."

"I think this course has a well thought out criteria. The activities are easy to understand and enjoyable, not to mention perfect to do at home!”

"Carefully and effectively constructed for success. Well done."

“I can honestly say the course has been perfect for me to progress my training knowledge to the next level. I already compete in agility and would also like to in obedience. The course has helped me significantly."

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Smart Reinforcement

“I am very pleased with the course and loved having the opportunity to learn from Ken. He's a great teacher and explains things so clearly in the course and also in his correspondence.”

“This course was easy to follow and I found the way the information was presented made it easy to absorb and use in daily training sessions and daily life with my dogs. Ken was always prompt with a reply, always kind in his evaluations and has a great gift for making concepts and principles easily understood.”

"This course gave clarity to a complex and sometimes mysterious subject. The course was laid out in a clear manner. It taught what it set out to teach. It clarified and gave comprehensive rules to the process of conditioning a multitude of potential reinforcers."

Better Veterinary Visits

“This course will help your hospital smoothly implement Fear Free training practices, as you and your staff will be empowered to use clicker training to improve patient and client experience. Your clients and patients will thank you.”

"The KPA Better Veterinary Visits course offers veterinary professionals a valuable opportunity to learn science-based, dog training skills that will directly elevate the quality of patient care. Techniques provided lessen fear and increase cooperation for common health procedures making this course practical and applicable for all types of veterinary professionals."

"A good foundation in training & behaviour basics makes our jobs easier, builds owner trust in our profession, which enhances the practice reputation, & therefore allows us to more successfully help more pets stay well & happy! It isn't just about being respectful of our patients and providing the best care possible. We now have so much evidence for animals’ emotion, cognition, intelligence & social needs that it is no longer acceptable not to consider this in our day-to-day work with animals.”

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